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Jack Manfred is an aspiring writer going nowhere fast. To make ends meet, and against his better judgement, he takes a job as a croupier. He finds himself drawn into the casino world and the job gradually takes over his life; his relationship with girlfriend Marion begins to deteriorate. One gambler in particular catches his attention: Jani, whom he starts to see outside of working hours - a serious violation of casino rules. Jani is down on her luck; under pressure from her creditors she approaches Jack, asking him to be the inside man for a planned heist at the casino. Jack carefully considers the odds; it all looks so simple, but even a professional like Jack can't predict the cards he will be dealt. Written by
When Jack has a job interview at the London casino his father recommends him for, the manager (Mr. Reynolds) at one stage asks him the current count at the Blackjack table. Jack insists it is -9, the manager insists it is -8 to which Jack confides smugly to himself "It had taken him 45 minutes but Jack now had Mr. Reynolds number. The man couldn't count."
Neither Jack or Mr. Reynolds can count. The count is actually at +2. See more »
Now he had become the still center of that spinning wheel of misfortune. The world turned 'round him leaving him miraculously untouched. The croupier had reached his goal. He no longer heard the sound of the ball.
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In the "Croupier", Mike Hodges takes us in a thrilling journey in the underworld of gambling. We are introduced to Jack (Owen), an average guy who tries (unsuccessfully) to make a living as a writer. He lives a with his girlfriend Marion (McKee), an ex-cop who is deeply in love with him (while he is quite more reserved in his feelings). However, after his father arranges for him a job offer as a croupier in a casino, his life gets completely transformed: His new world and the creatures that live in it begin to devour him, and his character gets gradually reshaped. He is faced with corruption, lust, and ultimately, crime, and Marion does not seem to have the ability to bring him back.
Mike Hodges gives us an excellent account of Jack's world, with the characters being vividly and convincingly portrayed. A small plot twist in the end adds up to the overall excitement.
Clive Owen is simply superb as the icy croupier, who although he tries to be detached, he simply cannot (and probably does not want to) escape from his downhill path. We also enjoy very good performances by all the other actors involved.
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