6.1/10
2,013
31 user 21 critic

High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story (2003)

Stuey (original title)
R | | Biography, Drama | 1 May 2003 (USA)
Trailer
1:45 | Trailer
The story of poker legend Stuey Ungar. A gambler by the age of 10, Ungar won millions playing card games.

Director:

A.W. Vidmer

Writer:

A.W. Vidmer
Reviews
3 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Bernstein Al Bernstein ... Al Bernstein
Andrew N.S. Glazer ... Andrew N.S. Glazer
Michael Imperioli ... Stu Ungar
Brian Kaplan Brian Kaplan ... John Strzemp
Michael Pasternak ... The Stranger
Jonathan Press ... Young Stu
Evan Broder Evan Broder ... Goldstein
Todd Susman ... Max Ungar
Tommy Canary Tommy Canary ... Sol
Peggy Walton-Walker ... Flo Unger
A.W. Vidmer A.W. Vidmer ... Gin Victim
Michael Nouri ... Vincent
Lon Gary Lon Gary ... Poker Player #1
David Dwyer ... Poker Player #2 (as David S. Dwyer)
Steve Schirripa ... Anthony (as Steven R. Schirripa)
Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A documentary focusing on why one of America's oldest games has had a renaissance in the past few years and why, for so many, poker is the way to chase the American Dream.

Director: Douglas Tirola
Stars: Karen Abbott, Peter Alson, Nick Brancato
All or Nothing I (2013)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Some games are played for fun, some are played for power, but this game is played for ultimate stakes. In the underground world of ultimate poker, only one person walks out a winner, but win or lose, sometimes winning just isn't enough.

Director: Dave McGlone
Stars: Sharon Clancy, Desmond Daly, Sam Power
Shade (2003)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A group of hustlers encounter "The Dean" and pull off a successful sting that results in their pursuit by a vengeful gangster.

Director: Damian Nieman
Stars: Joe Nicolo, Carl Mazzocone Sr., George Tovar
KidPoker (TV Movie 2015)
Documentary | Biography | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Daniel Negreanu, the man, the legend, and the subject of this documentary that promises to take you into the mind and soul of one of the greatest poker players to have ever graced the felt.

Directors: Gary Davis, Francine Watson
Stars: Daniel Negreanu, Mike Negreanu, Oren Farkash
Deal I (2008)
Comedy | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

As an ex-gambler teaches a hot-shot college kid some things about playing cards, he finds himself pulled into the world series of poker, where his protégé is his toughest competition.

Director: Gil Cates Jr.
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Bret Harrison, Maria Mason
The Grand (2007)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An improvisational comedy using a handful of actors playing characters competing in an actual poker tournament.

Director: Zak Penn
Stars: Woody Harrelson, David Cross, Dennis Farina
Poker Game (2017)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

A poker player wishes to make a fortune, so he does his best to read his opponents moves. It all goes according to his plan, or so he thought.

Director: Mohamed Abu-Shally
Stars: Mohamed Lasheen, Dafna Sinai
Croupier (1998)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An aspiring writer is hired as a croupier at a casino, where he realizes that his life as a croupier would make a great novel.

Director: Mike Hodges
Stars: Clive Owen, Nick Reding, Nicholas Ball
Luna's Game (2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Luna plays poker for a living and decides to play with his father's killer.

Director: Mónica Laguna
Stars: Ana Torrent, Ernesto Alterio, Antonio Dechent
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An up-and-coming poker player tries to prove himself in a high-stakes match against a long-time master of the game.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Steve McQueen, Ann-Margret, Edward G. Robinson
Rounders (1998)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young, reformed gambler must return to playing big stakes poker to help a friend pay off loan sharks, while balancing his relationship with his girlfriend and his commitments to law school.

Director: John Dahl
Stars: Matt Damon, Edward Norton, Gretchen Mol
Maverick (1994)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Bret Maverick, needing money for a poker tournament, faces various comic mishaps and challenges, including a charming woman thief.

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Garner
Edit

Storyline

Stuey Ungar, in a motel room on the last night of his life, relays his personal story to an ominous stranger. He recounts growing up as the son of a bookie, his career as a tournament gin player, moving into poker, his marriage and the birth of his daughter, cocaine abuse, and the breakup of his marriage-all culminating in Ungar's third victory at the Main Event of the World Series of Poker.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Gambler. Addict. Loser. Legend.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some drug content and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where DJ (Joe La Due) bluffs his opponent, Mario, off of pocket Kings, while holding 7-2 off-suit, is based upon an actual hand that occurred between Jack "Treetop" Straus and an unknown opponent. The story goes, that while playing in a high stakes cash game, Straus had won several pots in row and decided that he would play the "rush" and raise the next hand regardless of what his cards were. When he looked down at his hole cards, he found that he'd been dealt 7-2 off-suit, the worst starting hand in Texas Hold'em. But he decided to raise anyway, he was called by a single opponent, and the flop read; 7 3 3. Straus bet and his opponent re-raised, indicating an over-pair to the board. Straus decided to call, in the hopes that he could perhaps bluff his opponent off of his hand on the turn or river. The turn brought a 2. It was no help to Straus though, as he could only play his two pair sevens and threes. The deuce didn't play. And it also meant that if his opponent did in fact have an over-pair, such as Kings or Queens, that Straus was way behind. Straus decided to bet again on the turn anyway, which made his opponent seriously consider whether to call or fold. Straus knew that if he were called, his chances of outdrawing his opponent were very slim, with only one card to go. After several minutes, Straus offered a proposition to his opponent, for $25 his opponent could choose either one of Straus' hole cards and Straus would show it to him. After more consideration, the opponent finally decided to take the deal, he tossed Straus $25 and chose a card, it turned out to be the deuce. Straus' opponent deduced that since he showed him one card, the other must be of the same value and so, he naturally assumed that Straus must have had pocket deuces, giving him a full house, deuces full of threes. It was considered one the most celebrated bluffs in all of poker history. See more »

Goofs

When Stuey first walks into a casino when he arrives in Las Vegas, the scene is supposed to take place in 1973. However the video slots on the other side of the glass doors he enters weren't invented until a couple decades after. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Al Bernstein: Welcome back, everybody, to the 1997 World Series of Poker, where Stu "The Kid" Ungar is attempting to make one of the greatest comebacks in poker history, by winning the no-limit Texas Hold'em Championship a record third time.
Andrew N.S. Glazer: And Al, the amazing thing about this is, that Stuey would be achieving that feat after sixteen years of personal struggle, where victories were really few and far between.
Al Bernstein: And standing between Stuey and history is John Stremp, a local casino executive who's ...
[...]
See more »

Soundtracks

ORDINARY GUY
Performed by Rudy Guess
Written by Rudy Guess (ASCAP)
Published by Rude Stone Music (ASCAP)
Administered by Little Bully Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Bully Music, L.L.C.
See more »

User Reviews

 
Recognize yourself?
17 May 2005 | by filmflam-1See all my reviews

What is it about certain films that generates such polar opposite reactions?

Some people here have called High Roller "disgusting." Some have called it "extraordinary" (as would I, actually).

Why? I think it's because films like this don't make heroes out of jerks, or glamour out of degeneration, and some people just can't deal with that emotionally. They NEED a hero. And I'd also add that if they're gamblers or poker players, they might feel personally betrayed when their existence isn't justified.

High Roller in NOT a poker movie. It's a PEOPLE movie. It's not perfect, but it looks good, is well-written, and wonderfully acted. And best of all, it generates an emotional response and inspires reflection.

And maybe that's what makes some people so damn mad.


19 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 31 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 May 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

AWV Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed