Everyone loves a great casino mobster movie. Whether it’s a straight drama or a tongue-in-cheek heist flick, there’s something about gangsters, card sharks, and casinos that just hits the spot when it comes to film entertainment.
Martin Scorcese’s Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995)
Released in 1990, Goodfellas stars Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta and focuses on small-time mobster Henry Hill, who works his way up through the ranks to become a major mob boss. It’s considered to be one of the best casino gangster movies of all time and, as well as winning an armful of awards, was selected for preservation, in 2000, in the National Film Registry by the US Library of Congress.
Casino is a seminal casino mafia film from 1995 and tells the story of Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein (played by Al Pacino), who the Chicago Outfit takes on to oversee the daily operations of the Tangiers Casino in Las Vegas. As an expert gambling handicapper, Ace has his work cut out for him and faces numerous struggles in his job. The film details the Mafia’s involvement in the casino and how Las Vegas and its gambling industry have changed over the years.
Ray Liotta wore a standout pair of Wayfarer-style shades in Goodfellas, perfectly supporting his character’s cool, aspiring nature. Wayfarers are an enduringly popular choice of sunglasses, having been sported on the red carpet and the high street for decades. If you’re looking for a stylish new pair of shades for the summer, you should definitely consider this style of sunnies: they suit most face shapes and look great worn with everything from casual wear to evening dress. So whether you’re heading to the beach or the casino, a pair of Wayfarers will see you right.
Robert De Niro wears a classic pair of Clubmaster-style sunglasses in his role as Ace in Casino. Worn with a yellow shirt, checked blazer, and slicked-back hair, this eyewear look is synonymous with 1970s mobster life. Clubmaster eyeglasses have a strong browline and a timeless, classic appeal. This style originated in the 1940s and has been popular ever since, with its fanbase growing in the wake of hit shows such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Heroes, and American Horror Story.
Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1996)
The British film by director Guy Ritchie relates what happens when Eddy and his three friends come up with the money to play in a major poker game against Hatchet Harry, a powerful local mobster. The game is rigged, and when Eddy loses, he has just a week to stump up the £500,000 he now owes Harry and very limited options when it comes to finding it…
Made for just a little over $1 million, the movie went on to gross over $28 worldwide and has since become a cult classic. The film won a slew of awards when it was released in 1996, including an Audience Award from BAFTA.
Fancy trying out the classic British gangster eyewear look? Go for the small, round-tinted lenses popularized by John Lennon – or even consider a pair of flip-up shades for ultimate retro styling. Pair with a trilby and long-length blazer, and you’re in business.
Ocean’s 11 (2001)
Ringleader Danny Ocean and his eleven criminally-minded associates plan the biggest casino heist of all time: to hit the Bellagio, the MGM Grand, and the Mirage in one night, hoping to get away with $150 million. A little bit of movie trivia? The weight of the loot would, in reality, be too heavy for the gang to carry out of the casinos!
Oliver Peoples Shades Worn by Brad Pitt – and Gould’s Goliaths
The character Rusty Ryan is played by Brad Pitt in the movie and wears a killer pair of rimless brown-tinted glasses with gold-colored armbars from luxury eyewear brand Oliver Peoples. This eyewear perfectly fits Ryan’s laid-back yet slick persona and looks fab with his collection of standout shirts and crisp fitted jackets.
Pitt wasn’t the only one lucky enough to get to wear standout shades in Oceans 11, though. In the role of Reuben Tishkoff, actor Elliott Gould sports a pair of hugely oversized Goliath sunglasses paired with a robe, cigar and a tangle of large gold chains. The brand Goliath doesn’t design its collections for shrinking violets: but those looking for shades that’ll turn heads will love both its vintage and contemporary ranges.
The Martin Scorsese Look
There are a few key styles of eyeglasses that come to mind when we think about casino mobsters. It’s likely we even have an image of Martin Scorcese’s – the director that’s most well known for casino mob films – own spectacles! These thick-rimmed, rectangular glasses with black frames have enduring vintage-with-a-modern-twist appeal and are great for adding an element of edge to a style. Those with round or oval face shapes tend to look best wearing these sorts of frames. If you find, however, that they’re a little overwhelming, why not try a version with clear frames for a more subtle look that’s easier for those with smaller features to pull off?
If you love casino mobster films and would like to get the style of some of your favorite characters yourself, use the guide above to get started!