Roulette in Popular Culture | Famous Movie Scenes, Music and Literature

It cannot be understated the effect that roulette in popular culture has. You don’t even have to be a fan of the casino to know the rules and stakes of roulette through sheer social osmosis. It’s thanks to movies, books, games, and songs that roulette has made such a mark on popular culture. So, where can you get the most out of roulette in popular culture? We’ve listed a few examples below.

Casablanca, 1941

There are a lot of iconic moments in 1941’s Casablanca that have stood the test of time: “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid”, “Play it again, Sam”, and more cast such a shadow over the rest of the film that it would be understandable if you forgot there are Nazi’s involved in this Old Hollywood romance.

The movie takes place on an island hub, free from war or cares, where naturally a roulette table is situated. Even better, the roulette table is the setting for a tense exchange between the main characters. Humphrey Bogart’s Rick Blaine is trying to help his love, Ingrid Bergman’s Isla, to find her husband, a Czechoslovak Resistance leader, which is the stakes at this particular roulette wheel. Two correct wagers on 22 is a high bar for answers, but she gets them and suddenly roulette in popular culture is cemented.

Indecent Proposal, 1993

In this example of roulette in popular culture, roulette is in fact the catalyst that kicks off the events of the story. When Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson’s Diana and David are strapped for cash and decide to bet what little they have at the roulette table, losing everything, it’s Robert Redford in to save the day with his infamous and indecent proposal.

Toy Story 3, 2010

Toy Story 3 puts a great new spin on a lot of things: the nursery is a toy prison where a classist dictatorship is taking place and ends in an unsubtle allegory for the holocaust. Even with all that, there are also a lot of smiles, so it makes sense that this example of roulette in popular culture too offers a smile.

You don’t remember the roulette scene? Ah, well, maybe you’ll remember the “Farmer Says…” scene. The higher-ups in the toy version of Animal Farm all gather around a familiar spinning toy and place their bets. If the horse says “neigh” for example, Ken wins. A great “spin” on a classic.

Fallout: New Vegas, 2010

If you want to play some roulette for yourself, you can’t go wrong with a game. Quite a few of them allow you to spend your “money”, which is usually a made-up currency for the game, in the local casinos. The Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto franchises are famous for this, but Fallout: New Vegas is the only game to let you play roulette in popular culture. With a premise built on a Vegas strip, there are plenty of premises to fulfil your roulette craving. Some might be cannibals, some might hire you as an assassin, but you can spend your pay at the roulette wheel if you just ignore all that.

Fast Five, 2011

Fast Five, arguably the best of the Fast and Furious franchise, with its high-stakes heist plot that only really went crazy at the closure, has a brilliant post-credit scene. The franchise’s long-running double act: Santos and Leo, have been bickering the entire film, always on opposite ends of the same coin. The last we see of them they are taking their share of the heist to the casino, still arguing, where Leo puts all his chips on red and Santos puts it all on black. And the screen cuts out. Who wins? Did anyone win? That’s the heart-stopping thrill of roulette.