The Gambler

1974

Action / Crime / Drama

10
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 78%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 77%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 4374

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 09, 2021 at 07:32 PM

Director

Cast

James Caan as Axel Freed
James Woods as Bank Officer
M. Emmet Walsh as Las Vegas Gambler
Paul Sorvino as Hips
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1018.87 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 50 min
P/S 3 / 3
1.85 GB
1904*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 50 min
P/S 1 / 9

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by joel cohen 9 / 10

Worth the Gamble

I saw this movie back in 1974/75 when it was released. I was already a Caan man. My comments are just random tidbits. Burt Young would go on to join Caan in 1975's The Killer Elite". Monkey (London Lee) was a stand-up comic who appeared numerous times on the Ed Sullivan show in the 60's. Lauren Hutton would trade Caan for Burt Reynolds in Gator. Caan earlier had beat out Burt for the role of Sonny Corleone. The line I remember most from this film is when Axel's mother is trying to get a bank loan to fund his gambling debt. There are some bureaucratic snafus and the bank officer isn't sure he has the proof to approve the loan to mom. Caan says "I came out of her womb and I know she's my mom. Now give her the god... money!".

Reviewed by davisk957 8 / 10

There are no happy endings in This world.

Those viewers who wished a happy ending (and that's what they're really saying when they find the movie's ending scene weak/disquieting/unfulfilling/whatever) don't really understand the nature of degenerate gambling.

And that's what this man is. Let's (as all gamblers do) put some %'s to it: arbitrarily I'll say 95% of habitual bettors play for the kick, the high, the thrill of the unknown outcome -- sports betting, casino betting, the turn of a card, they're all the same. Their motto of life might be, "If it moves, bet on it; if it doesn't, eat it." It isn't the win that's satisfying to them, or the money won -- because, you see, there's always the next game to get down on. Both a win or a loss is quickly forgotten, adjusted to, and forgotten. The next play is the only important one. Yet, to some extent or another, they keep it manageable, within the scope of their lives.

Then there are the other 5% -- the really degenerate gamblers. Now to these guys (never heard of a female degenerate gambler, did you?) it's NOT the action they crave. It's the LOSS. Make sense? Of course not, because you're probably reading this as a rational human being, and self-destruction is hard to get inside of.

But that's what this story is all about -- one of the 5%'ers.

To an experienced sports bettor, the scenes like the indelibly memorable tub scene are all too powerfully true. How a win turns to a loss in the last second happens all too often. And how COULD those 3 college hoops games all go south, when they all had big leads at the half?? But examine two key turning points in the story: for dramatic impact, the writer imbues the protagonist with somewhat unlikely powers of recovery -- the Vegas comeback is the stuff of dreams, and the fix on the NYU game, keeping it under 7 points when all was lost with a minute to go -- those contrivances were needed to show the magnitude of this guy's disease. Had he been just a steady loser, he couldn't rise to the heights necessary to fall so far. Not once, but twice, he made a full recovery from the debts he owed. Yet he couldn't learn from it -- hell, he couldn't even take one night to sleep in peace.

No, his desire for self-destruction had to be played out as it was, in a lurid hell far worse than casinos or calling the book again. He needed the self-degradation that only a Harlem pimp-fight could give him.

I found the ending fitting, un-sentimentalized, and perfect for this unblinking portrait of a man who couldn't be satisfied until he'd thoroughly debased himself.

Substitute a down-and-out drunk for the gambling addiction, and the story's been told many times. This should be assigned viewing in every GA meeting.

Reviewed by kayrok 9 / 10

A bit disturbing

From the first scene to the last I was on the edge of my seat. Bet after bet my stomach turned. Caan's Axel Freed is driven to hit the big one, but it never seems to come or be enough. He loves the thrill of losing and feels safe when he is at the bottom.

Watching Freed bet tens of thousands of dollars on whims is excruciating. This film is one huge car wreck that you can't turn away from. With each scene the damage gets worse and worse.

"If all my bets were safe they just wouldn't have any juice," he tells his bookie.

Axel is never happy--even when he is doing the thing he enjoys most. You can see the underlying dissatisfaction he has with his job, his life, and the universe in general. The only constant in his existence is the bet. Win or lose.

Freed is very adept at evading the lowlifes he owes his shirt to. It is a joyride for him to constantly "dodge the bullet". That is why each bet becomes riskier and riskier. He wants to see what will happen to him when all of his luck runs out.

At one point in the film Axel reads a passage from an essay on George Washington to his class. He and his students conclude that Washington was afraid of failure and that he tried to remove the element of risk from everything he did. It is the very antithesis of Axel's life as a gambler. He creates situations that are totally immersed in risk believing that it is the only way to ensure true success. All or nothing. He is willing to compromise not only himself, but anyone around him who cares about him. By displaying his dark, self-destructive side he gambles with their feelings and challenges them to either love him or leave him.

It was a special treat to see two actors (Cann and Sorvino) who are in two of the best crime movies ever made (The Godfather and Goodfellas) together in the same film.

Also Antonio Vargas is appropriately slimy as the Pimp (sort of an R-rated Huggy Bear).

There are some pivotal moments in the film like when Axel is told that he must get one of his basketball-playing students to fix a game; or when he confronts his millionaire grandfather after learning that he refused to cover his debt.

I won't give away the ending, but the payoff is not what you would expect in American cinema.

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