Croupier

Croupier

4.8 6
Director: Mike Hodges

Cast: Clive Owen, Kate Hardie, Alex Kingston

     
 

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A man finds his personal and professional loyalties divides by his new career at a casino in this crime drama. Jack Manfred (Clive Owen) is a cocky, supremely confident man who wants to be a writer. Jack's long struggle to finish his first novel has landed him deep in debt, and his father (Nicholas Ball) volunteers to get him a job in a casino in London. While Jack

Overview

A man finds his personal and professional loyalties divides by his new career at a casino in this crime drama. Jack Manfred (Clive Owen) is a cocky, supremely confident man who wants to be a writer. Jack's long struggle to finish his first novel has landed him deep in debt, and his father (Nicholas Ball) volunteers to get him a job in a casino in London. While Jack doesn't gamble himself, he has the dexterity (and enough contempt for the game) to be a good dealer. He's soon making a tidy living as a dealer, despite the objections of his girlfriend, Marion (Gina McKee), who thinks his job is taking him away from his true calling as a writer. Against the orders of his boss, Jack has a fling with Bella (Kate Hardie), another dealer at the casino, and allows himself to be seduced by one of his customers, Jani (Alex Kingston). However, it turns out Jani wants more than sex from Jack; she and her compatriots have a plan to rob the casino and they want Jack to be their man on the inside. Croupier was directed by Mike Hodges, whose first film was the classic British thriller Get Carter.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Although it earned uniformly favorable reviews, Croupier only played in a select group of theaters located largely in major metropolitan areas. Unfortunately, most American moviegoers never had a chance to see this little gem on the big screen. Nevertheless, DVD release brings the movie to a much wider audience and comes heartily recommended. Clive Owen stars as an ambitious young man who's also a bit of a lowlife. He longs to be a published author and works tirelessly on what he hopes will be a great first novel. Needing money on which to live, he returns to the outwardly glamorous but morally questionable world of professional gambling, taking a job as croupier in a large London casino. The women in his life are well played by costars Gina McKee (as his long-suffering girlfriend) and Alex Kingston (a casino patron with whom he enjoys an erotic liaison). Owen -- an up-and-comer whose name has been bandied about as the possible "next" James Bond -- brings understated cynicism and detachment to his streetwise character, and he conveys his thoughts and attitudes with deceptively simple facial expressions and body language. It's a remarkably sophisticated performance that calls to mind some of the world-weary protagonists of classic films noir. In fact, the entire film has a noirish cast, thanks to the tough, lean script by Paul Mayersberg and the muscular direction of Mike Hodges. With just a slight difference in emphasis, Croupier might have been a floridly melodramatic and altogether conventional thriller. Hodges's refusal to bend this material to more common forms results in a less flamboyant but far more compelling movie.
All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
This dark crime drama and sleeper independent hit from the United Kingdom represents a comeback of sorts for director Mike Hodges, who bookends his career by doing his best work since the similarly bleak Get Carter (1971). Like Hodges' classic debut, Croupier is individuated by a cynical central character reluctantly navigating his way through a world he understands all too well but has tried to leave behind in an effort to create a "better" life for himself. This interest in the British class system and Hodges' skeptical, if sympathetic, view of those struggling to rise above it through whatever (not entirely legal) means necessary is an intellectually engaging, recurring motif not utilized often enough in his otherwise spotty career. A breakthrough performance is delivered in Croupier by lead actor Clive Owen, whose bravura acting, along with the rest of the film, was rendered ineligible for American awards due to the brief release of Croupier on international television in 1998, a disappointing technicality that ignited controversy among the film's champions.
New York Times - Stephen Holden
Clive Owen conveys a sharp, cynical intelligence that rolls off the screen in waves whenever he widens his glittering blue eyes.... Croupier, filmed by Mr. Hodges from a screenplay by Paul Mayersberg, shows that the director hasn't lost his knack for whip-smart, tongue-in-cheek suspense.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert
The plot is more than we bargained for. I will not hint at the details, which lead to an unexpected and satisfactory...ending. The point of the movie is not the plot, but the character and the atmosphere; Hodges is bemused by Jack Manfred, who thinks he can stand outside his own life, control it, figure the odds and turn it into a novel.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/03/2015
UPC:
0759731415729
Original Release:
1998
Rating:
NR
Source:
Henstooth Video
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:35:00
Sales rank:
31,026

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Clive Owen Jack Manfred
Kate Hardie Bella
Alex Kingston Jani de Villiers
Gina McKee Marion
Nicholas Ball Jack's Father
Rhona Mitra Girl with Joint
Alexander Morton Actor
Doremy Vernon Woman #1

Technical Credits
Michael Hodges Director
Jon Bunker Production Designer
Jonathan Cavendish Producer
Leo Davis Casting
Michael Garfath Cinematographer
Caroline Harris Costumes/Costume Designer
Leslie Healey Editor
Paul Mayersberg Screenwriter
James Mitchell Executive Producer
Michael Murray Asst. Director
Christine Ruppert Co-producer
Alexander Scherer Art Director
Ivan Sharrock Sound/Sound Designer
Simon Fisher Turner Score Composer
Martin Wiebel Associate Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Croupier
1. Start [6:31]
2. A New Job [12:29]
3. First Night [7:57]
4. Professional Gambler [7:09]
5. Conscience [7:52]
6. Cheats [6:35]
7. A Double Life [7:26]
8. Card Game [12:14]
9. The Challenge [6:26]
10. The Big Night [6:27]
11. It's All Numbers [10:11]
12. End Credits [2:58]

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Croupier 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
one of the best movies i've seen in a long time -- Clive Owen is a mysteriously great actor --
Guest More than 1 year ago
So you have never heard of a Croupier, have no idea what one does, and to find out that it has something to do with casnios just seems to much of a guy movie? Wrong. I saw this movie in the theatre in London and it kept my attention and held me through the entire thing. One of the best films I have seen- not a lot of Hollywood to it, just a great story about doing a job really well. I really enjoyed this movie and I highly recommend it. I only wish i could get it here in the states in VHS!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Croupier is a slick, well done crime thriller that doesn't skimp on character developement. Clive Owen is perfect as the cooly detached casino dealer that knows the game too well to know that you can win. But he isn't smart enough to see that the femme fatale that enters the gambling house one night is big trouble. Neo-noir at it's best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film has style and substance. A great character sketch wrapped around a film noir plot. Clive Owen plays a Humphrey Bogart character with the looks and manners of a James Bond. Great film!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The script was amazingly complex. It's one of those movies you need to watch (and can) at least three times. Clive Owen is also very impressive.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was looking for films in which Clive Owen appears and, after being disappointing in a few that I sampled, finally stumbled onto "Croupier." This one is worth your time. Owen plays a writer (Jack Manfred) struggling to find a setting and plot for his first novel. His only support, both emotional and financial, is from his live-in lover who nonetheless is also quick to judge both his product and his purpose. Down to his last pennies, with a phone-call tip and encouragement from his father, Jack reluctantly takes a job as a card dealer, a craft he already knows all too well. He detests the work and the gambling environment, but he hopes his tenure in the occupation will only be temporary until he can find direction for his writing. Ironically, it is this repugnant experience as a croupier and the particular events that surround his life in the casino which actually provide the inspiration he has been seeking. Owen is brilliant in this understated, but very believable performance. One of his better efforts, he convincingly portrays an enigmatic figure, not trying to overcompensate for the measured pace of the film. He is the riveting focus of a story that is more than just about wins and losses on the Black Jack tables. It is also a tale that poses compelling moral questions, choices concerning fidelity, honesty, and mission. To his credit, Director Mike Hodges does not overburden us with too much action. He also has Jack narrate, a device which not only helps to explain some of the technical aspects of card playing, but, more importantly, provides a writer's sensibility to the film. Hodges is not so good in his overall approach, however, typically failing to include crucial information about some of his characters, presumably to allow us to draw our own conclusions (if only this guy could edit). Fortunately, those flaws are not enough to detract from the film's thrust or mystery, including a surprise twist toward the end. Wonderful supporting performances by McKee, Kingston and Hardie complement what we get from Owen, making this, in total, a very good movie to see. I caution you, though: listen carefully to what Jake has to say.