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How Women Are Portrayed in Casino Movies

Posted on November 5th, 2019

Casino movies are exciting to watch, especially if you are a regular casino goer yourself or enjoy some fun in online blackjack casinos. We, as a society have portrayed high rollers as smart, sleazy, and mostly men in the cinemas. Women in casino movies are usually only on-screen depicted in a sexual way or just the side piece of the high roller. 

The women do not have their means of income, do not have thoughts of their own, and are usually with the high roller for his money. But why is this? Women are more than money-hungry sexual beings. 

Many of the big casino movies are from decades ago or are based in the past. It was not until recently that women were seen to be able to hold high-level jobs as leaders and to be independent. So, in the past, this is how women were viewed in real life. 

Throughout this article, we are going to look at and discuss some of the most famous casino movies, and how the women characters are portrayed on screen. 


Betsy in Honeymoon in Vegas

Honeymoon in Vegas is a comedy film from 1992 about a couple, Jack Singer, played by Nicholas Cage and Betsy, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, who decide to get married in Las Vegas. 

While passing time before the wedding, Jack finds himself in a bind when he loses big against experienced gambler Tommy Korman, played by James Caan. After the poker game, Tommy says Jack can erase his debt by letting him take his soon to be wife, who resembles Tommy’s late wife, out for the weekend. 

Betsy is overly sexualized and is used as an object to erase the debt. Tommy only cares that Betsy is beautiful and doesn’t care that she is about to get married. In desperation, Jack agrees because he doesn’t have the money. 

Tommy takes Betsy to Hawaii as his possession for winning the poker game. Jack spends his time trying to get Betsy back because he soon realizes Tommy has stolen her from him. After an action-packed plan, in the end, Jack and Betsy are reunited and get married. 

This is an excellent example of how women are portrayed in casino movies. Betsy is simply just a sexualized object in this movie that men can use to pay debts and earn rewards. This is a very bad way to treat a woman, especially one you are about to marry. 


Sarah in the Hustler 

The Hustler is a 1961 film about a pool hustler named “Fast Eddie” Felson, portrayed by Paul Newman, who travels to play the infamous “Minnesota Fats,” performed by Jackie Gleason. After losing almost all of his spending, Eddie goes on a binge, drinking himself sick. 

A frustrated Eddie goes to the bus terminal to forget about his losses. At the station is where he meets Sarah Packard, depicted by Piper Laurie. The two go to a bar to chat and get to know each other. Afterward, Eddie walks Sarah back to her place but she doesn’t let him in. 

In this scene, it shows that Eddie expects Sarah to have sex with him because they went on a date. This is the view of women in casino movies and that they are there to look pretty and have sex with the gamblers. Luckily, Sarah refuses the first time, but the next time she lets him in. 

Sarah stays by Eddie’s side throughout the movie through his winnings and losings. Sarah tries to help Eddie with his gambling problems and tells him that he can go with her and that they can have a beautiful life. However, Eddie is addicted to the game. 

In the end, Eddie loses more than just money. He finds Sarah dead in a hotel room with the words “PERVERTED,” “CRIPPLED,” and “TWISTED” in lipstick on the mirror. 

Sarah is portrayed as a woman who follows around a hustler and is only used for sex and to support her boyfriend with gambling addiction. It also shows that women are fragile beings because Sarah couldn’t live without Eddie. It is wrong to portray women in this way because women are much more than weak objects for sex.


Sera in Leaving Las Vegas

Leaving Las Vegas is a 1995 romantic drama film about Ben Sanderson, played by Nicholas Cage, who is an alcoholic that moves to Las Vegas from Los Angeles to party and drink himself to death. While Ben is driving drunk in Las Vegas, he almost hits a woman whose name is Sera, played by Elisabeth Shue. 

Sera is a prostitute working for a Polish mobster. Again, the woman in the film is portrayed as a sex worker, and she is only good at that and nothing else. During the movie, Ben and Sera become close but argue a lot about each other’s behaviour.

Sera criticizes Ben’s drinking habits, which makes Ben upset and goes out to buy another prostitute. Again, this portrays that when men are mad, they can go out and get another girl as revenge. 

While Sera is out working, she accepts a deal with three college boys for a specific transaction, but when they all get into the bedroom, the boys don’t stick to their agreement. Sera tries to refuse and leave, but instead, the boys violently abuse her. Yet another time in the movie which shows that women should follow what men want, and if they don’t, they get punished.  

Women are not a property for men to use how they want to and despite her job, it doesn’t mean a woman should be brutally disrespected. Sera is only seen as an object for sex in this movie and stays with Ben until his drinking causes his death. 


The Bottom Line

In casino movies of all kinds, women are portrayed as only sexual beings and are there to support their addict boyfriends. This is not true in real life, though, and it is a very negative way to portray women. 

Women should refuse to watch these types of movies, and actresses should refuse roles that treat women poorly. Women should watch and work in films that show women as strong and independent. This is the only way we can change the way men view women.

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