The Gambler

Watch The Gambler

"For $10,000 they break your arms. For $20,000 they break your legs. Axel Freed owes $44,000."
  • R
  • 1974
  • 1 hr 51 min
  • 7.1  (6,117)
  • 65

The Gambler (1974) is a dramatic crime film directed by Karel Reisz and starring James Caan, Paul Sorvino, and Lauren Hutton. The movie revolves around the life of Axel Freed (James Caan), a literature professor and a compulsive gambler who is addicted to gambling that he can not stop himself. Axel has a passion for high-stakes gambling, which has left him deeply in debt with a local bookie, Hips (Paul Sorvino). Despite his considerable experience, Axel's reckless gambling puts him in great danger as his debt increases. It seems Axel is addicted to the thrill of the game as much as the possibility of winning.

The story follows the life of Axel as he sinks deeper into his addiction, borrowing money from his girlfriend Billie (Lauren Hutton) and his mother Naomi (Jacqueline Brookes) to stay afloat. However, the loan sharks employed by Hips to collect Axel's debts lurk around every corner, and Axel's life spirals out of control.

Axel soon finds himself caught up in a web of deceit and danger as he scrambles to secure more money to satisfy his debts. Desperate for a way out, Axel strikes a deal with his indebted students, promising to forgive their debts in exchange for theirs. He underpays a loan from a violent gangster and loses everything he has, including his girlfriend who feels both betrayed and worried for Axel's well-being.

As the story unfolds, Axel is faced with the harsh reality that he must change his ways if he wants to survive. He seeks help from his family, but stakes get higher and tensions rise. He gambles his own life to get rid of the debt that is suffocating him, and it is unclear whether he will walk away as a winner, or if his addiction will consume him entirely.

The Gambler (1974) is a powerful film that explores the depths of human emotion and character. It is a compelling story of addiction, love, and redemption that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. James Caan gives a compelling performance as Axel, embodying the desperation and hopelessness of a man caught in the grips of addiction. The supporting cast is equally strong, with Paul Sorvino and Lauren Hutton providing nuanced performances as Hips and Billie.

The Gambler (1974) portrays the tangles of a dangerous and unpredicting life that gamblers can find themselves in. The film's masterfully crafted storyline is compelling, and the cinematography keeps the film's tone consistent throughout. The director Karel Reisz effectively conveyed the isolation and sense of self-destruction that Axel faces in his quest to win.

Overall, The Gambler (1974) is a must-see classic film that delves deep into the psychology of gambling addiction. It deftly explores the dangers of gambling, especially unchecked and insatiable desire to win even though gamblers always lose in the long run. Whether you're a fan of crime dramas, psychological thrillers, or just great acting, The Gambler (1974) will not disappoint.

The Gambler is a 1974 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 51 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 65.

The Gambler
Where to Watch The Gambler
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 51 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (6,117)
  • Metascore