The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
It's New Orleans and a new kid has come to town to beat the notorious Lancey Howard (Edward Robinson), the best poker player in the country. With the help of an old friend and card dealer, Eric Stoner (Steve McQueen) manages to get in on the highest stakes game of his life.
Cincinnati Kid is all about the poker scene at the end, which is one of the best on film for certain. However, you must sit through some reasonably flat performances revolving around revenge and romance to get there.
re are a couple of good moments of sexual tension between McQueen and Ann-Margret (playing Melba) in between Steve truly wanting to be with Christian (Tuesday Weld).
Likely the most popular poker movie in a while, Matt Damon's character is forced back into the world of poker to help pay off a friends (Ed Norton) gambling dept. It's more of a card marathon near the end as they attempt to get the cash they need.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
Four regular guys from London put all their cash together to back their friend in an insanely high stakes game of poker with a local gangster. When they lose they have to get deep into the world of crime in order to get out again. Not as poker based as the other picks, but such a fantastic movie overall that it had to get high rank.
Kirsten Dunst is on a quest to find her father who is a notorious gambler. She picks up a video store clerk with a dream of being 'the' poker player and heads off to Las Vegas to find happiness, her father, or ruin. Lots of good action, great gambling scenes, Kirsten looks particularly sweet and she pole dances.
Big Hand for a Little Lady (1966)
A family moves into a new town and the husband decides to get in on a high stakes game of poker. He loses almost everything until his last hand when he conveniently has a heart attack. His wife, who has never played poker before, has to finish the game and try to win back her life savings. Quite a nice little comedic western.
Sunset Trail (1939)
A good guys versus bad guys movie with Hopalong Cassidy as the hero. Keller, the bad guy buys up a farmer's cattle then kills him and steals the money. Hopalong finds out that this is the case by posing as a newbie poker player and getting the farmers daughter to check the serial numbers on the cash.
Barney is a sly, cheating, debonair poker player who has to play in a really high profile game to defend his title as the 'luckiest poker player ever' and win the killer pot.
Queen High (1930)
Two women who own a garter business together are always fighting and just can't agree on anything. They ask their lawyer to help them dissolve their business and he tell them that they should end it with a single hand of poker instead.
stakes: the loser has to be the winners personal servant for an entire year. Time to get a new lawyer.
Loaded Pistols (1948)
Gene Autry and Barbara Britton star in this classic poker murder mystery. Mary Evans' (Barbara) younger brother is wrongly accused of murder during a poker game
when someone is shot after the lights go out. Gene hides the boy and ends up having to recreate the poker game to find out who the real murderer is. Love this for the murder mystery aspect, you'll get nervous the next time you're at the table wondering who has the gun.
Set in the old South, Mel Gibson (Maverick) needs 3000 extra dollars to enter a winner takes all poker tournament that is scheduled in a couple of days. After he meets a feisty female gambler, played by Jody Foster, they fall into lots of funny situations trying to get enough money to play.
Patrick Dempsey kills time at an illegal card game in New Jersey before legalization of casino poker there. Here we get a rare filmed record of a player tipping the dealer, and the waving off of obnoxious second hand smoke.
game climaxes when a belligerent, violent player forces Dempsey to draw one card instead of standing pat. "This is a new twist: Gestapo poker." Run also is one of the best-paced movies you'll ever see.
The Sting (1973).
When you play a cheater, be sure you cheat better than he does. Paul Newman out-hustles Robert Shaw during a train-board poker game. Newman's boozy, needling performance -- and the shocked expression on Shaw's underling's face when he realizes they've been out-cheated -- reveal a glimpse of how below the polite veneer, poker is usually taken very seriously.
California Split (1974).
Tough dated, this is the only movie to ever attempt to show the day to day life of card-playing, sports-betting, sleep-till-noon gamblers. Marred only by a poor ending and muddled sound, Split was directed by Robert Altman (M*A*S*H, Nashville). George Segal & Elliot Gould play Gardena poker players in search of a rush. World Series of Poker
champion Amarillo Slim has a featured role.