Let It Ride On These Atlantic City Movies

Thursday, October 18 by Christopher Nowlin

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Atlantic City is a place built by crime and vice. The city enjoyed its heyday during prohibition where it became a hub for bootlegging. The money pouring into the city put it on the map as a highrollers paradise. Then the city slowly started to fall into ruin. Atlantic City has been coming back to life lately, but the past few decades have not been kind to this gambling town on the beach. It has been a place notorious for being run by gangsters, scammers, and thieves. The crumbling city of broken dreams has been the backdrop to many famous films.

 

"Atlantic City" (1981)

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Lou, played by Burt Lancaster, is an aging mobster that is worried about his panache. Susan Sarandon plays a casino croupier named Sally, who has a really dumb husband. The husband steals a whole lot of drugs from one of those notorious Atlantic City gangs and he gets killed. The aging Lou has been enjoying an affair with a dead gangster's wife when he falls for Sally. Sally's got the drugs and Lou decides to relive his youth. He kills all the gangsters coming after pretty little Sally. It makes him feel good.

 

"The King of Marvin Gardens" (1972)

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This film wasn't afraid to look Atlantic City in the eye during the midst of its fall from grace. It used the shattered city to draw attention to lowlifes who are looking to pull off a get-rich-quick scheme. Jack Nicholson plays David who, along with his girlfriend, gets dragged to Atlantic City by his con-man brother. David is talked into pulling off a real estate scam while his girlfriend spirals into depression. Everything goes awry in the end when David takes his brother's body home to Philadelphia on a train.

 

"Duane Hopwood" (2005)

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David Schwimmer throws his bicycle off the Atlantic City pier in anger. He just got a DUI, he needed that bike to get to work and his ex-wife just told him that she is revoking his visitation rights because of his recent conviction. Duane used to be a happy family man but he's succumbed to that Atlantic City vice: booze. He tries too little too late to reunite with his ex-wife. His family drives out of the city while Duane, in a turkey costume, returns to his favorite bar.

 

"The Color of Money" (1986)

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Martin Scorsese directs Paul Newman and Tom Cruise in this movie about pool hall hustling. Newman plays Eddie the pool shark. He teaches a young Tom Cruise, playing Vincent, how to hustle. The relationship falls apart and Eddie returns to the pro circuit to find himself at the championship in a pro tournament. Of course, he's playing Vincent for the title. What goes around comes around.

 

"Snake Eyes" (1998)

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Nicholas Cage makes great movies or he makes bad movies; nothing in between. This one is a bad Nick Cage movie. Cage plays a crooked cop who witnesses a murder during a big A.C. boxing match. He suspects that his friend, played by Gary Sinese, is involved. When he looks into it the whole investigation takes unexpected turns.

 

"The Bounty Hunter" (2010)

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Gerard Butler plays Milo, a bond enforcement agent. His ex-wife, played by Jennifer Anniston, has a silly altercation with a police officer that gets her charged with a crime. She sets bail using a bond agent and skips her court hearing to chase down a lead as an investigative journalist. Old Milo gets his assignment, has to track down his ex-wife, and drag her back to town to collect his money. It's supposed to be funny.

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