Casino Femme Fatales and Leading Ladies


While gambling movies have long been the domain of men, from the sophisticated James Bond to the desperate cheaters to the heist group, there are some notable appearances from women. Since Ingrid Bergman’s role as Ilsa Lund in the 1942 film ”Casablanca”, women have graced casino halls and Vegas hot-spots in films, usually to the detriment of the leading male.

Rita Hayworth dazzled audiences with her portrayal of the title role in ”Gilda”, playing the wife of an illegal high-class casino boss, who has a penchant for gambling men. Her sensual strip dance to humiliate her new lover into letting her go has become an iconic film moment; she is the ultimate femme-fatale and led to many more films in which strong men fall victim to the power of sexual women. In the 1998 film ”Croupier”, starring Clive Owen as a failing writer who takes a job as a croupier and breaks the rules about fraternizing almost instantly. Alex Kingston plays the love interest – you may know her as Dr Elizabeth Corday in” ER” or the cheeky River Song from ”Doctor Who” – who tricks the lead into helping her with a planned robbery on the casino. Kingston’s performance has been praised ever since for presenting a strong, real woman who uses her sexuality and intelligence for her own profit.

Gwyenth Paltrow plays a casino cocktail waitress in the neo-noir crime thriller ”Hard Eight”, who moonlights as a prostitute, to everyone’s detriment. Her role as an unintelligent, desperate woman contrasts with Sharon Stone’s character in Casino, a woman who escapes a life of prostitution by becoming a mob-wife. Her performance as Ginger Rothstein has commonly been described as a personification of Vegas itself – sexual, spoiled, selfish. She won a Golden Globe for best actress for the role where she plays a cocaine and alcohol addicted bad mother, a destructive force for anyone who gets too close to her.

However, none of these women are necessarily great adverts for Sin City. When the thought of that much complication makes you want to turn to Online Vegas Slot Machine Games, the more heart-warming ”The Cooler” may give you a little more faith in the chances of finding a good woman in Vegas. Mario Bello plays Natalie Belisario, a Vegas cocktail waitress who falls in love with the tragically unlucky Bernie Lootz – she’s smart, tough and sexy, and brings excellent luck to the man she loves.

Perhaps most recently, Eva Green wowed audiences as Vesper Lynd, a double-agent who uses Bond to raise millions in a Montenegro casino – she saves his life not once but twice, and looks incredible doing it. As the first Bond girl to be created by Ian Fleming in 1953, Green’s skills in ”Casino Royale” make her perhaps the ultimate casino siren of our day.