Gambler

The Gambler

4.5 2
Director: Karel Reisz

Cast: James Caan, Paul Sorvino, Lauren Hutton

     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Karel Reisz directs James Caan in The Gambler, which comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. English and French soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English subtitles are accessible. There are no supplemental materials of any consequence. With the exception of the excellent

Overview

Karel Reisz directs James Caan in The Gambler, which comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. English and French soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English subtitles are accessible. There are no supplemental materials of any consequence. With the exception of the excellent visuals, this is a poor DVD from Paramount that does not support its high list price. Fans of the film will appreciate the widescreen image, but there is little here for the average DVD consumer.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Screenwriter James Toback's adaptation of the classic Dostoevsky novella, directed by Karel Reisz, is excellent on the details of the life of a compulsive gambler, but never gets far beneath the surface and trails off disappointingly. Toback, who has discussed his gambling and substance abuse problems publicly, has an intimate understanding of this subject, and while he uses aspects of Dostoevsky's novella, it's clearly his own life, including the privileged background, from which he's drawn this script. Caan makes the film's literature professor seem a charismatic character at first, one able to translate the complexities of Dostoevsky into an idiom that can hold the attention of easily bored students, while effortlessly picking up beautiful women such as Lauren Hutton. But he's clearly restless and dissatisfied in this role, and as his dangerously high-stakes betting increases, the extent of his pathology becomes more obvious. His expensive habit has already alienated his wealthy family, and at this point, his closest relationships; the film's best and funniest scenes are with loan shark Burt Young and his hired muscle Paul Sorvino. Yet while the film conveys both the high, the illusory sense of omnipotence when one is winning, with the low, not only of loss but of looming death if one loses, it never convincingly connects Caan with his disease on a deeper level. The direction of the talented Reisz, who hadn't made a film in six years, seems uncertain at times. Caan, dead-on as the glib, self-deceiving professor, leads an excellent cast which also includes Morris Carnovsky, Jacqueline Brooks, James Woods, and M. Emmet Walsh.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/14/2002
UPC:
0097360867848
Original Release:
1974
Rating:
R
Source:
Paramount
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono]
Time:
1:50:00

Special Features

Widescreen version enhanced for 16:9 TVs; Dolby Digital English Mono, Dolby Digital French Mono; English subtitles; Menus; Scene selection

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Caan Alex Freed
Paul Sorvino Hips
Lauren Hutton Billie
Morris Carnovsky A.R. Lowenthal
Jacqueline Brookes Naomi Freed
Starletta DePaur Monique
Burt Young Carmine
Sully Boyar Uncle Hy
Alisha Fontaine Howie's Girl
Richard Foronjy Donny
Chick Hearn Radio Announcer
Ric Mancini Sal
Lucille Patton Ricky's Wife
Leon Pinkney Street Basketball Boy
Allan Rich Bernie
Gregory Rozakis Joe
Dick Schaap TV Announcer
Ray Serra Benny
Frank Sivero Donny's Driver
Philip Sterling Sidney
M. Emmet Walsh Las Vegas Gambler
Beatrice Winde Receptionist
Joseph Attles Singer in the Park
Ed Kovens Ricky
Frank Scioscia Man in Park with Donny
Carl Crudup Spencer
Louise Lasser Actor
Carmine Caridi Jimmy
Stuart Margolin Cowboy
Antonio Fargas Pimp
Steven Keats Howie
James Woods Bank Officer
London Lee Monkey
Vic Tayback One
William Andrews Coach

Technical Credits
Karel Reisz Director
Robert Chartoff Producer
Jerry Fielding Score Composer
Victor J. Kemper Cinematographer
Dennis L. Maitland Sound/Sound Designer
Philip Rosenberg Production Designer
Roger Spottiswoode Editor
Edward Stewart Set Decoration/Design
James Toback Screenwriter
Doug Turner Sound/Sound Designer
Irwin Winkler Producer
Albert Wolsky Costumes/Costume Designer
Ted Zachary Asst. Director

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Down Forty-Four Dimes [8:09]
2. The Certainties of Dostoevsky [7:54]
3. A Ride With Carmine [6:44]
4. Toasting Killers and Kings [7:50]
5. Cash Withdrawals [11:55]
6. Hot as a Pistol [8:41]
7. Blessed [10:33]
8. "I Like the Threat of Losing." [9:10]
9. In the Hole Again [9:00]
10. One [7:04]
11. No More Than Seven [12:47]
12. Getting Into Something [8:44]
13. End Credits [2:13]

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Gambler 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous 11 months ago
This is a greatly written screenplay. I also enjoy the cast here, Caan, Sorvino, Burt Young etc.
Guest More than 1 year ago
''For $10,000.00 they break your arms; For $20,000.00 they break your legs. Axel Freed owes $44,000.00'' That sets the pace of this well made look at self destruction. As degenerate gambler/college professor Axel Freed, James Caan gives the first of his handful of post-GODFATHER characters that leave an indullable mark. Laureen Hutton is more than window dressing, she actually acts and acts well. Good support from Paul Sorvino and Burt Young.