The Gambler (1974) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Gambler1974

The Gambler (1974)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Gambler Photos

Movie Info

The Gambler stars James Caan in the title role. Constantly in debt, college professor Caan must rely on his former friends and associates to bail him out. Morris Carnovsky, as Caan's grandfather, is the first but hardly the last person close to Caan who washes his hands of the whole mess. As his habit becomes an incurable disease, Caan finds that the only people who will have anything to do with him are those to whom he owes money--particularly the polite but deadly loan shark portrayed by Burt Young.

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James Caan
as Axel Freed
Morris Carnovsky
as A.R. Lowenthal
Burt Young
as Carmine
M. Emmet Walsh
as Las Vegas Gambler
James Woods
as Bank Officer
Allan Rich
as Bernie
Ray Serra
as Benny
William Andrews
as Basketball Coach
Joseph Attles
as Singer in the Park
Sully Boyar
as Uncle Hy
Lucille Patton
as Ricky's Wife
Ed Kovens
as Ricky
Baron Wilson
as Basketball Janitor
Frank Sivero
as Donny's Driver
Frank Scioscia
as Man in Park with Donny
Beatrice Winde
as Receptionist
Leon Pinkney
as Street Basketball Boy
Alisha Fontaine
as Howie's Girl
Presley Caton
as Monkey's Girl
Mitch Stein
as College Announcer
Jonathan Koshner
as College Announcer
Dick Schaap
as TV Announcer
Chick Hearn
as Radio Announcer
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Critic Reviews for The Gambler

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (1)

Reisz, Caan, and screenwriter James Toback have constructed the character and the movie so convincingly that the scene not only works, but works two ways: first as suspense, and then as character revelation.

April 29, 2018 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

...a better-than-average character study that boasts one of Caan's very best performances.

July 22, 2021 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

We feel neither Axel's ghastly compulsion nor his intermittent exultation -- granted that he gets very little help from the script.

February 10, 2019 | Full Review…

Fairly good dramatics topped by strong James Caan.

April 22, 2007 | Rating: 3/5

James Caan is unforgettable in this tense examination of a college professor who can't stop gambling. One of the many overlooked gems of the 1970s.

October 8, 2005 | Rating: 4/5

Haunting Karel Reisz film

July 30, 2002 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for The Gambler


a thriller masquerading as a drama, but some good shots heighten what's drama; the hero needs to lose to prove to himself that he actually risked; Caan keeps us interested in him

Adam Mahler
Adam Mahler

Super Reviewer

Great drama about a born loser who is given a second chance. An incredible character drama with the always great (at least back then) Caan.

Christopher  Brown
Christopher Brown

Super Reviewer

The Gambler Quotes

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