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By Jon Chattman | December 4, 2012

The character types in a poker movie

If you are as fond of watching movies as we are, you no doubt have seen an example of every genre there is. Comedy, horror, French cinema, film noir, sports movies, true stories etc. One genre which tends to be overlooked, but is very much present in Hollywood and independent cinema nowadays, is the poker movie. So many have been released now that it’s garnered a few parody movies too. Three character types who you normally see in a poker movie are:

The underdog

This stereotype is not limited to the poker movie. Pick a sports movie, and the narrative will likely follow a novice player, who against the odds wins the competition. To everyone but the audiences shock. The underdog tends to be someone in need of some cash as quickly as possible. Or perhaps they owe someone or just want revenge. The underdog takes the form of Eric Bana in Lucky You, or Matt Damon in Rounders, a movie which inspired many new players, long before the internet was full of sites like partypoker français, allowing French players to practise in their own homes. Speaking of France, it’s unlikely for the underdog to be any other nationality than American or even British.

The European

If the poker movie in question was made in the USA, there will normally be at least one foreign character sat at the table in the big casinos and competitions. And true to Hollywood form he’s usually any one of these stereotypes: creepy, evil, or just peculiar for laughs. To fabricate a common example, the European could be a French con artist who is both feared and revered for his mysterious nature. A real movie example is in Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale, in the form of Le Chiffre aka the main villain, wanted by MI6 for dealing.

Token female

No poker table is complete without the token female. Poker movies tend to be masculine affairs, with lots of testosterone around the table. The token female is used as a way to reach out to the female demographic and stop them feeling undervalued. They are still used in a limited capacity though: as the eye candy who distract the male players, or the lone woman sat at the table, underestimated by the men in the room. In Casino Royale for example, French actress Eva Green’s Vesper is used as distraction. In the movie All-In, Dominique Swain uses her assets to win the game.

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