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Topic: If You Could Do A Gambling Movie (Like Shade) What Would You Like In It?
Message: Posted by: Unknown419 (Jul 4, 2005 12:01AM)
Picture this you have the money, the cameras the go ahead to make a movie like Shade what kind of scenes, cons, gambling moves or famous lines would you like to have put into your movie in order to make it a hit?

All ideas and plots are welcomed.

Message: Posted by: tommy (Jul 4, 2005 12:12AM)
That will take some thinking about Doc. But make it as real to life as you can. It will be better than shade and every other card and con film I have seen.

Message: Posted by: Unknown419 (Jul 4, 2005 12:17AM)
I would like a professional 3 Card Monte con done on a Monte box that I saw in the Scoundrel's DVD.

Message: Posted by: rannie (Jul 4, 2005 12:23AM)
Perhaps if the story evolves around the charachter rather than the moves and the gambling scenes. The center of the story must focus on the life of the "cheat" . Why does he do it? The other side of the character off the table. The lay audience don't care much about Vernon, Miller, Marlo etc....

I saw the movie and enjoyed it because I am a student of card magic and gambling moves. It was never a hit because it only pleased a particular market.

If I wanted it to be a box office hit and had the resources, I would pop in guys like Russel Crowe, Nicole kidman and Have Quentine Tarrantino direct it. Yeah, have De Niro do a cameo maybe .

The general viewing public must be considered .

As Tommy has posted , a biography of a real Cheat is a good idea. Provided that he indeed had a colorful life on and off the table.

Take it easy Doc,and welcome back to the Café!

Message: Posted by: Unknown419 (Jul 4, 2005 12:34AM)
Rannie that was a nice write up I wish more would write their ideas. Don't forget people that this is your movie not mine so Rannie you can have any character you wish to play any roll that you want.


P.S. I was always here there was just nothing to write about so I didn't.
Message: Posted by: iamslow (Jul 4, 2005 03:05AM)
Hey Rannie, great post!! I would also like to include carefully coreographed roulette scams(sleight of hand and hi tech) as well as some dice scams(switches in slow mo, mabee even in b/w)I would also have some of the scams from the surveillance viewpoint(camera) and the exposed angles switching back and fourth in slow mo for the audience to understand... Other games might also include big baccarat scams, 3 shell game, 3 card monte, pickpocketing and some jedi mind tricks that will work on the audience (something like the pink elephant in denver trick but much shorter and less complicated)
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jul 4, 2005 03:17AM)
I would like to the scene which Ed Marlo describes on his DVD, where he is talked into going out to cheat and when it comes to it the guy is that nervous he can not even cut the cards.
In life I have seen guys freeze at the table and it has happened me. I have never seen the terror of cheating portrayed in a movie. It would good to see that side it. I have seen a guy be physical sick after cheating it scared him that much. I am fed up of seeing the cardsharps in films being as smooth as silk and acting like there is nothing to it. When ever I see films about crime, the thief never as any fear but in real life stealing is scary.

Message: Posted by: NJJ (Jul 4, 2005 03:38AM)
How about this...

Dave The Great is a professional magician, making his living working the tables at a family restaurant three times a week plus any weddings and kid's parties he can scrape together. He does his thing with the spinning bow tie and the card vest.

Dave is a pretty good card mechanic but only uses his skills for entertaining the folks down at the Stuff Yer Face Steakhouse. One day, local small time mobster Vito Demarino comes to the Stuff Yer Face for his nephew's birthday and Dave wows him with his card stuff.

Vito hits on a great idea, Dave will teach Vito how to cheat at cards so Vito can clear a few old debts by scamming the local card rooms. Dave tries to get out of it telling Vito that you need TWO people to make a succesful cheat. So Vito hits on the idea that he Dave play the tables together and makes it very hard for him to say no. (if you catch my drift) Dave tries to convince them a card cheat and a card magician are two very different things but Vito won't listen....

So Vito keeps Dave neck deep in trouble with organised crime and the magician has to use all his skills as a performer and sleight of hand master to get himself out of the mess.

The key to the film's success would be to have a uncool, geeky magician (like most of us) trying to hold his own amongst the gangsters. Perhaps he makes them all balloon animals at one point......

I'm reminded of the Clown College episode of The Simpsons....
Message: Posted by: T. Joseph O'Malley (Jul 4, 2005 06:34AM)
Set it back in the 16th century, instead of now.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Jul 4, 2005 08:31AM)
Two very good looking people get involved with the world of the card shark ( a guy and his girl). A Plot with a good story. Less slang being said by people that have no idea what their talking about.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Jul 4, 2005 09:27AM)
"Murphy Snow"

A young writer, Penny Hack, seeks out legendary hustler Murphy Snow.
She eventually find Murph, now in his eighties and using a different name, living in the deep south. After some bantering Murph agrees to tell his story.
A tale of cons, scams, hustles and people Murph met unfolds taking the audience thru the countrysides, back rooms and dark allies of major cities.

Murphy Snow - Sean Penn.
Murphy Snow as a boy - ?.
Sam Cross - Billy Bob Thorton.
Penny Hack - Lili Taylor.

Ok, so this is set up like "Interview With A Vampire".
Message: Posted by: Yiannis (Jul 4, 2005 09:31AM)
How about the life of Erdnase? How he got into the world of hustling, how he developed his skill, how he worked the tables alone...
Message: Posted by: Samuel (Jul 4, 2005 09:41AM)
Jaz: How will you get Sean Penn to look like a eighty year old man? If you could, he could also play himself as young :)
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Jul 4, 2005 10:00AM)
On 2005-07-04 10:41, Samuel wrote:
Jaz: How will you get Sean Penn to look like a eighty year old man? If you could, he could also play himself as young :)

Message: Posted by: Andrei (Jul 4, 2005 12:23PM)
Tommy - In "The Sting", the famous cold deck done by Doyle Lonnegan (I think?) ends with the camera filming his shaky hands under the table, which I thought was a nice touch. It's subtle, but it's there.

Also, in "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" the main character cheats but finally ends up losing a half million pounds. He is consequently sick. I'm not sure if it was the cheating or the loss, but chronologically: he got sick after he cheated.

Doc - I would include scenes in which the cheater practices his moves. When the actual move was done in the game, I would cut to 3-4 different occasions on which he would be doing it in the privacy of his own room.
I would also think it professional if the amount of exposure (real work, and next-to-real work as well) was kept to a comfortable minimum. It's a tough highwire to balance, but if exposure is relatively frowned upon on a message board visited almost entirely of magicians, laymen should be bestowed no priviledges.

Cheaters cheating cheaters would be a nice scene as well.

Message: Posted by: Samuel (Jul 4, 2005 12:32PM)
I would actually seriously consider doing some "exposure", something the like of what was done in Shade. The reason for this is that I would probably wish to build the film up like this:

A young dude playing poker with friends. Just for fun. He decides to try to figure out techniques to earn more money playing poker. Then follows a lot of training, where we can se that the moves is difficult to master. One shot, with lots of quick editing, where you can se him practising the same move from after dinner until dark and until the next morning. Just to portray the difficulty of the cheating.

Then of course, the difficult part of the movie - making it interesting for the "commonman". There I have nothing to add, most of the ideas already mentioned is good :) My own idea could probably fit into some of your ideas as well - I don't know.

In regards to cheating, my objective was only to show that it is possible, but incredibly difficult, to master it.
Message: Posted by: Chris Stolz (Jul 4, 2005 12:35PM)
First of all I found it HILARIOUS that Shade used some EXACT LINES from The Sting. Remember when The Dean gets the call telling him what decks are being used? He says, "Good work JJ" and tossed one of each color into his bag. I starred in the stage version of the Sting and played the role of Henry Gondorff.....hence I recognised this immediately...word for word.

I would make a movie about a young card shark who gets through life performing magic for local events. When some great personal tradgedy happens (Such as a death or an exploding house), he needs to make some money fast. He grabs a couple Pickpocketing DVD's and gets to work. His life soon turns to cheating at cards and pickpocketing in busy subway stations.

Life smacks hims in the face when he sits down across the table from a knee shakingly gorgeous redhead who beats the pants off of him. Destined to find out who she was, he goes on a hunt. As it turns out she's the daughter of world Famous magician "Hug Denning". After a bunch of interesting movie stuff, he turns his life around and they end up together performing magic for the rest of their lives. Probably donating a bunch of money to preventing whatever cause put him in trouble in the first place.

Hmmm....I should come up with bas movies more often!
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jul 4, 2005 01:01PM)

Thanks, I never noticed that touch in the Sting, which was a great because it came close to the real thing. It was based on real guys and that cold deck was switch was a real move. These small things gave it class.


I do like true life stories and Doc would love to see the The Phantom, Walter Scott on the big screen but I would love to see Scott or Erdnase in fact I would to see both made.

I like Rannie would also like see it directed by Quentine Tarrantino.

Also Vernon and his search for cardsharps and their moves would make a good film. You could get a mix of magic and cheating in that, with lots of card work in it.
Tom Cruze is a big magic fan. I am still waiting for that film about Maskerlyne that he was said to making. When is that out?

Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Jul 4, 2005 01:39PM)
Now that is a GOOD movie chris_stolz.
Message: Posted by: Hippie (Jul 4, 2005 03:09PM)
Problem with all this talk is someone will take them and write a script and make a million and no one here will see a dime. Don't give away what you can sell. All the plots sound good but you get away from what make a movie commercially viable. Think about the character first and his skill last. You have to sell his emotional roller coaster not the moves involved to show him as a good cheat. Something going wrong in his life and him taking up cheating is good but concentrate on his emotions not on his practice to become a better cheat. Also the plot for the magician and mob as a comedy can work. Somebody write the script already. If Doc asked for ideas I wouldn't be surprised if he's taking up script writing. After all selling a script is also a game of chance.
Message: Posted by: Nosher (Jul 4, 2005 03:46PM)
Here's my movie idea :

Old man's grandson in auto accident-kid survives(just)but buckets of money required for surgery/rehab and this will bankrupt family. Old man rings friends (all in 70s/80s) and they have dinner - he asks about a big game - we find out they are all retired card guys (one gal) - his friends tell him that since poker moved into the casinos - big games hard to find - and that Carelli(mob)game is only one left. He says he'll play - his friends tell him he's too old, he'll get made - he says he's still got it. Someone produces a deck, turns over top card (7C), and places it front of old man. He turns card face down, someone else cuts deck burying 7C, he picks it up deck,squares it briefly, and deals 7C face up. This looks FLAWLESS to us (audience),but he looks up and one by one friends tell him "Sorry...".

Someone pipes up they have been showing a magician "a coupla things" - everyone looks at him - "no real stuff - like the stuff we showed that 'other guy'" - he says the magicguy has promise and just might make it...... Magician agrees and is relentlessly trained for a month - turns out each person at table has speciality hop,seconds,pegging,bottoms,stack,tells,odds etc........Eventually day of game arrives, magician is prounounced ready by group....big moment comes in game - magician freezes, too scared, loses stake money into bargain

Tragedy! - someone half-suggests "What about The Kid? He's been seen"..No-one believes it - Kid was best there ever was - but disappeared 25 years ago - discussion ensues...The Kid turns out to be 50 now, they approach him but as soon as he hears name Carelli - he's shakin..turns out he was beaten BADLY when caught by Carelli senior years ago. He shows his hands - practically claws. They apologise and got to leave but he says "Wait". He looks at the grandad - "5h,3s" - grandad shuffles once, and camera shows 5h&3s hitting table (face down). The Kid peeks at the cards and slowly flips them over As,Ac - turns out his twisted hands allow him to perform an impossible & undetectable hand mucking move...

Kid goes to Vegas with oldies, Huge Hold-em victory (despite casino cameras) - back to hospital - tears & smiles all around - roll credits.

P.S. Of course only magicians could see this movie, too many things exposed :)
Sorry for the book-length post - but I was having fun!
Message: Posted by: ImpromptuBoy (Jul 4, 2005 07:11PM)
On 2005-07-04 13:35, chris_stolz wrote:
I would make a movie about a young card shark who gets through life performing magic for local events. When some great personal tradgedy happens (Such as a death or an exploding house), he needs to make some money fast. He grabs a couple Pickpocketing DVD's and gets to work. His life soon turns to cheating at cards and pickpocketing in busy subway stations.

Life smacks hims in the face when he sits down across the table from a knee shakingly gorgeous redhead who beats the pants off of him. Destined to find out who she was, he goes on a hunt. As it turns out she's the daughter of world Famous magician "Hug Denning". After a bunch of interesting movie stuff, he turns his life around and they end up together performing magic for the rest of their lives. Probably donating a bunch of money to preventing whatever cause put him in trouble in the first place.

Hmmm....I should come up with bas movies more often!

Chris, I LOVE this idea! Great imagination and creativity. How did your last movie go?

Message: Posted by: Chris Stolz (Jul 4, 2005 09:43PM)
Went pretty well...until it came time to shoot!

We rehearsed the scene in the morning and at the last moment, he decided not to shoot that particular scene. The entrance to the scene after it (They came in guns blazing) was too much of a bang....shooting them coming into the casino (And knocking out the dealer...moi) would have made the entrance into the bar with guns no nearly as good.

But...I did have a great time. Mark Walberg seems to be a pretty cool guy.

Message: Posted by: Unknown419 (Jul 5, 2005 12:00AM)
Hey ya'll thanks for writing.

Andrei what you're saying about someone taking the ideas is absolutely right but no one is actually talking about anything here at the forum and I thought that it would a great idea to see what people are thinking or what they would do if they had the capital to do a movie.

Message: Posted by: Reis O'Brien (Jul 5, 2005 06:35AM)
Lots of strippers.
Message: Posted by: Yiannis (Jul 5, 2005 10:13AM)

very good idea about Vernon and his quest for gamblers and their moves. Too bad shade didn't appeal to a greater audience, so they would made more films like that.

When I asked my lay friends what excited them and went to see the movie, was the promise of exposure of specific gambling moves and what they didn't like was the absence of this.

I believe that if more moves are shown in the game, would make any movie much much more exciting to watch and watch again.
Message: Posted by: J Wessmiller (Jul 5, 2005 02:44PM)
"How about the life of Erdnase? How he got into the world of hustling, how he developed his skill, how he worked the tables alone... "

Now that's a good idea. Hasn't it been brought up in the Café before? I would cast Ricky Jay as Erdnase.
be well,
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jul 5, 2005 03:35PM)
The early life of Persi Diaconis.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Jul 5, 2005 04:28PM)
The problem with a movie like this is that a magician doing cards is flashy, outgoing, bold, bigger than life because that is what the entertainment world is like. It is OK to show the skill.

A card shark is the other side of the coin. They don't want people to know that they have any ability with cards at all. Erdnase was said to be a quiet, unassuming gentleman. I would say Walter Scott was like that to. They did their best to BLEND IN at the table.

So to photograph this and make it entertaining, and to have the audience believe in what they do is very hard. A second deal and the punch or a third deal to get two of a kind is not a spectacular thing to show on camera. And the punch is used to take a person over TIME a little bit of time over an evening of playing cards. So the writing needs to be very good and entertaining and set up the plot and move the story along.

So in a way the two worlds of the magician and card shark conflict because they both need different abilities and different psychology to accomplish their different goals.

For a card shark movie and cheating I thought the card work was a little to flashy in the movie shade to be real. In other words TO MAGICIAN LIKE.

Unless there would have been a kid that was a magician and an older experienced card shark that was teaching the kid how to hustle at the tables. And to stop being flashy - to get the money.
Message: Posted by: rawdawg (Jul 5, 2005 07:23PM)
Doyle Brunson's story would be fascinating.

Maybe a story about crossroaders and their adventures. It would show their births as hustlers, the various scams they pull, the different walks of life they encounter, their quest for their place under the sun, all against the backdrop of a Nation gearing itself up for prominence on the world's stage. A story about daring, ingenuity and risk taking during the Industrial Revolution.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jul 5, 2005 08:07PM)

Doyle is The Expert at the Card Table. I would love see the true story of his life, Pup Nose and Slim.

Message: Posted by: iamslow (Jul 5, 2005 08:21PM)
You guys should go rent "High Roller" the Stu Ungar story... its pretty cool movie about the man... doyles would be boring (imho).. chris's idea was pretty cool too.. I hope one of these ideas become a blockbuster...
Message: Posted by: daffy (Jul 6, 2005 05:56AM)

I think I will not do a 1h30 movie but a serie of 45mn movies focusing on one scam. For each scam, we will see a cheater (or a team) from the training to the real scam, with slow motions of the moves and explanation of what kind of advantage the cheater will gain with these moves to be sure anyone watching this movie understand it well.


Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Jul 6, 2005 07:16PM)
How about a scene in prison where the mechanic/felon is turned out and traded for his soft hands and pretty mouth.

Message: Posted by: T. Joseph O'Malley (Jul 6, 2005 07:29PM)
Boy, you sure hate card cheats! You must have run into a few here and there I guess.
Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Jul 6, 2005 07:38PM)
Sorry, just that my kid pulled down the curtains in his room and I needed to vent. Vacation starts tomorrow so I'll cool it with the card cheat thing.

Message: Posted by: Unknown419 (Jul 7, 2005 04:00AM)
Whatever happen to the famous lines and gambling moves that would impress the public?

Message: Posted by: tommy (Jul 7, 2005 07:12AM)
Amarillo Slim Preston and Doyle Brunson were partners and were and are two of the best hustlers the world as ever seen, I don’t think they were boring.
A couple things from “Amarillo Slim in a World Full of Fat People“:
In great detail, Slim and Dinkin chronicle Amarillo's winning ways and his larger-than-life-wagers like these classics. He won $300,000 from Willie Nelson in a televised match of dominoes, or remember when he beat Bobby Riggs out of $10,000 in a game of Ping-Pong played with frying pans as paddles? He also trounced a world champion ping-pong player with a Coca-Cola bottle, and even wooped Minnesota Fats in a game of pool using a broomstick as a cue.
Not one to pass up a poker playing opportunity, Slim has played poker with Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, and drug lords Pablo Escobar and Jimmy Charga - Slim states he has never seen men with more money and less brains than drug lords‹ always applying Slim's Top 10 Keys to poker success, which follow here at no extra charge.
Pug Nose and Doyle and many others who are now in Vegas, raking millions were and are not just good poker players they probably know more about real hustling than anyone alive. If I was going to make a film about gambling and hustling I would talk to these guys. Moreover they are approachable guys.

Message: Posted by: slakk (Jul 7, 2005 07:41AM)
Were Slim and Doyle card mechanics?
Message: Posted by: T. Joseph O'Malley (Jul 7, 2005 01:47PM)
I don't think that either of them were mechanics. I think they just knew people, and knew how to play.

Tommy that book was certainly an entertaining read, wasn't it.
Message: Posted by: Rindfleisch (Jul 9, 2005 09:38AM)
My movie would be called, "The Reformer" The life and times of Jonathan Harrington Green.

The story is so rich in plot and opportunity to play with the audiences emotions.

First, (the hustle) you show the ugly side of being a riverboat gambler.

Second, (Redemtion) show the series of events that changes his life and how he finds meaning in life.

Third, (Restitution) pays back people he hustled maybe showing him getting beat while making amends.

Fourth,(Exposure) goes around and and exposes gambling secrets

Fifth,(misled) uses deception to convince people that all the card printing companies are marking the decks for gamblers to cheat, and the turmole within of trying to walk the rightious path but being caught up in deception.

Joe Rindfleisch
Message: Posted by: slakk (Jul 9, 2005 10:36PM)
I greatly enjoy the ideas being put forth in the TV series "Takedown" on Court TV, Tuesday evenings. I think any of the episodes could be made into a great movie.
Message: Posted by: Pekka (Jul 12, 2005 02:22AM)
I have actually thought about this for years, yes even before Shade, and I would do a gross-realistic piece. A cheater who is so slick and cool that the audience will just love him. And he is pretty cool too, playing cards, using drugs buying girls. Until it unfolds that too much pressure, booze, and drigs takes their toll and he goes on a downward spiral. He will be shot down in a hotel room after beating to death his only companion in life, a street girl. Sounds a bit similar ending to Gartner's knowledge on Erdnase.

There would be very little happy events in this movie. I think we have too many of those nice slick movies which make people think cheating is alrigh´t and that cheaters are gentlemen. There may be gentlemen among them but I would think it is exception rather than a rule?

I would just like to make people fall in love with the main character and then feel guilty about it for weeks and weeks.
Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Jul 12, 2005 11:35AM)
This synopsis has brought a tear to my eye...
I would look forward to seeing something like this.

Message: Posted by: Unknown419 (Jul 12, 2005 11:17PM)
A line taken from Darwin's book

Largo: "Do you lose as graciously as you win?
James Bond: "I wouldn't know, I've never lost."

Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Jul 12, 2005 11:59PM)
Thanks for that.

Message: Posted by: DzH (Aug 9, 2005 05:22AM)
If it is a movie (of entertainment or educational purposes) for other cheats to gain more insight in the life of a hustler, then I think daffy idea is quite good, where you only pick one scam at a time and then really focus on the work, the setup, the sleights and the psychology behind the scam. and then create several short movies at around 30-45 minutes per scam, instead of a making an entire movie.

But if the movie is supposed to be seen by all people, and not just hustlers, then I would defiantly recommend that not to many sleights should be revealed, since it would be nice to keep most of the public unknown of such cheating sleights. (in case the movie gets a really big hit :) )
if, again, it is for everyone to see, and only for entertainment purpose, then it would be really great to se a gang of cheats that cheats casino's in reno or vegas or whatever, since everybody hates losing their money to the casino, so I think it would be great entertainment.