7.2/10
3,719
41 user 23 critic

The Gambler (1974)

Axel Freed is a literature professor. He has the gambling vice. When he has lost all of his money, he borrows from his girlfriend, then his mother, and finally some bad guys that chase him. Despite all of this, he cannot stop gambling.

Director:

Karel Reisz

Writer:

James Toback
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Caan ... Axel Freed
Paul Sorvino ... Hips
Lauren Hutton ... Billie
Morris Carnovsky ... A.R. Lowenthal
Jacqueline Brookes ... Naomi Freed
Burt Young ... Carmine
Carmine Caridi ... Jimmy
Vic Tayback ... One
Steven Keats Steven Keats ... Howie
London Lee London Lee ... Monkey
M. Emmet Walsh ... Las Vegas Gambler
James Woods ... Bank Officer
Carl W. Crudup ... Spencer
Allan Rich ... Bernie
Stuart Margolin ... Cowboy
Learn more

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Photos

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Storyline

Axel Freed, a college professor and very successful at his job, is addicted to gambling, who wins big, but loses it all just as fast. He borrowed from his girlfriend, his wealthy mother, and last but not least a loan shark. It just gets worse for him because he can't stop. But when his girlfriend decides to leave him, his mom decides to disown him, and the mob wants to kill him, Axel decides to make a big score to win big and pay off everyone to stay alive and keep his dignity and come out ahead. Written by Wesley Benton

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

For $10,000 they break your arms. For $20,000 they break your legs. Axel Freed owes $44,000.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jacqueline Brookes, who played James Caan's mother, is ten years older than Caan. See more »

Quotes

Axel Freed: [dealer goes to reveal card] Hold it!
Billie: You're crazy.
Axel Freed: Blessed.
Axel Freed: Double it.
Las Vegas Dealer: You want to double on eighteen sir?
Axel Freed: Yes.
[pauses]
Axel Freed: Gimme the three.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #22.56 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 1 in D
by Gustav Mahler (as Mahler)
Performed by Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest (as The Concertgebouw Orchestra)
Conducted by Bernard Haitink (as Haitink)
Courtesy of Philips Records
See more »

User Reviews

 
excellent character study, caan can act
25 June 2002 | by mikel weisserSee all my reviews

a shocker in the 70s james toback's take on Dostoevskyan's fate, caan actually seems to act instead of react and gives a far more compelling performance than say, Thief 7 yrs. later. The Gambler is James toback's career making debut and has some of the most intense scenes toback would ever film despite numerous strong films later on. the ending is monumental. watch it build and be amazed. 9 of 10.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 February 1975 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gambler See more »

Filming Locations:

Tucson, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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