The Gambler (1974) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Gambler (1974)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Gambler Trailers & 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.more
Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: James Toback
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 14, 2002
Paramount Pictures


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 Don...
Beatrice Winde
as Receptionist
Leon Pinkney
as Street Basketball Bo...
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
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Gambler

Critic Reviews for The Gambler

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | April 17, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Fairly good dramatics topped by strong James Caan.

April 22, 2007

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
Fantastica Daily

Haunting Karel Reisz film

July 30, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

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

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

Super Reviewer


A film that is driven and saved primarily by a fantastic performance from James Caan as a man who can't stop himself from destroying himself. It meanders a little too much to be something great, but the persistent rise and failure of Caan's character really drives home the point Reisz is trying to make.

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