Las Vegas has always been one of the world’s glitziest and glamorous places. It is one of those destinations that so many have on a bucket list as a once-in-a-lifetime trip that needs to be made.
Of course, Sin City is known for its global reputation of being the world’s entertainment capital, with everything from musical performances and magic shows to some of the planet’s biggest attractions. This includes the casinos, with some of the most iconic being situated on The Strip. Players have been able to glimpse the Las Vegas gambling life through an online casino and the games themed on the location, while others have seen it on the big screen.
The big shots in Hollywood appear to love using The Strip as the setting for many of the films they create. While many recent films have been released and set in Sin City, Las Vegas has always been a popular destination. The 1990s was an extremely popular time for the location with filmmakers, with many movies set there.
Casino is perhaps one of the best films to have been set in Las Vegas, period. Directed by Martin Scorsese, Casino tells the story of Sam “Ace” Rothstein, a gambling expert tasked with running the Tangiers Casino in Las Vegas. He has to try and navigate a world of organized crime and power-hungry politicians to keep the casino afloat in a film that showcases the dark parts of Sin City during previous times.
Some may argue that Rounders is a better film to have been set in Las Vegas than Casino. Indeed, it is a valid argument. The movie – featuring Matt Damon and Edward Norton – is based on the story of two New Yorker friends that head to Vegas to try and win enough money to pay off the debts that Norton’s character has. Damon plays the role of Mike McDermott, who is a talented poker player that is looking to pay his way through law school by winning high-stakes games. He uses his skill to help his friend pay his own debts after getting into trouble.
Honeymoon in Vegas (1992)
Not all Vegas-based films need to be so serious. Honeymoon in Vegas provided a lighthearted and feel-good movie as Nicolas Cage and Sarah Jessica Parker co-starred as Jack Singer and Betsy. The film does involve gambling, as James Caan’s character looks to try and win Betsy from Singer.
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
Cage returned to Vegas three years later with another film project as he was the lead in Leaving Las Vegas. It is a heartbreaking drama that sees a screenwriter that is struggling with his emotions and life move to Las Vegas to drink himself to death. He meets a prostitute in a bar – played by Elizabeth Shue – and they become friends as they bond over their problems.
While the films mentioned above must be considered among the best to have ever been set in Las Vegas during the 1990s, there are numerous options available across a variety of different genres. There are serious dramas that involve true stories, while there are some that are more playful and can provide audiences with a number of feel-good moments. Ultimately, Las Vegas is a perfect setting to create a memorable big-screen flick!