Top 4 Italian Films about Gambling


Italy has a rich history of film-making, and the country has enjoyed global success with its cinematic offerings, winning a total of 13 Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film; more than any other country on earth.

So, with so many Italian movie gems to choose from, where do you start? With the popularity of gaming and gambling soaring throughout 2020, and our love of thrill-seeking protagonists and glitzy settings, delving into the world gambling is a great starting point for your journey into Italian cinema. So, let’s take a look at the top 4 Italian films about gambling:

LA SIGNORA GIOCA BENE A SCOPA1.   Poker in Bed (La Signora Gioca Bene a Scopa?) – 1974

A light-hearted sex comedy, Poker in Bed tells the story of a young shoe salesman who becomes a gigalo in order to get himself out of gambling debt. He is ‘working’ himself to exhaustion when he meets a beautiful young woman, and is convinced that if he can get her into bed, it will put an end to his losing streak at the poker tables.

Made in the mid-70s, the film is filled with the sexually-charged, tongue-in-cheek humour and slapstick comedy that was popular at the time. A silly, funny film, which takes on serious problems such as gambling and health problems with a refreshingly comedic air.

2.   Gambling City (La Città Gioca d’Azzardo) – 1975

A crime drama about a gambler called Luca, whose life is going well working for a big-shot casino owner, until he falls for the wrong woman; in this case, the casino owner’s daughter. When the boss’ son finds out Luca is in love with his unhappy mistress, he tries to get his father to turn against Luca and have him killed.

Directed by Sergio Martino, Gambling City was part of a trend of heist films that was Italy’s response to successful American movies like The Sting. It came out to positive reviews, and saw a new burst of popularity when it was re-released by No Shame Films on DVD, as part of their ‘Sergio Martino Collection’. A classic thriller with casino scenes and beautiful Italian women; what’s not to love?

3.   Odds and Evens (Pari e Dispari) – 1978

Another comedy, this time from director Sergio Corbucci, Odds and Evens is the story of Johnny and Charlie Firpo, two brothers who are enlisted to take down an illegal gambling ring. With Charlie’s experience as an ex-gambler, the two set about trying to infiltrate the ring’s dealings, which all comes down to one masterful poker game.

A fast-paced comedy, with all the plot twists and brawls you’d expect from a caper, Odds and Evens was one of three films to pick up the coveted Golden Screen Award in 1979.

4.   The Christmas Present (Regalo di Natale) – 1986

Who would have thought that poker and Christmas movies went so well together? In this tense comedy-drama, a group of friends decide to try and con a lawyer out of his money during their annual poker game. Each man has his own personal problems, and a big win could help them out of their financial struggles, but fate has something else in store for the men.

This unique film was entered into the 43rd Venice Film Festival, where actor Carlo Delle Piane took home the Volpi Cup for Best Actor. And, if you love this movie, you’ll be pleased to know there’s a sequel: Christmas Rematch, which was released in 2004.

Final thoughts

If you love cinema, and have a penchant for gambling, these top 4 films are a great way to indulge your hobby. And, if you want to really get into the spirit of things, why not take a look at at the casino guide There you can learn about all of the most popular casino games, and also find recommended and trusted online casinos Who knows? Maybe they’ll make a movie about you one day!


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