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Luck be a lady!

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10 of our favorite movies featuring casinos, gambling and games of chanceBy Jeff Michael ViceSpecial to MSN MoviesWell, we don't know about you, but we're suckers for a good gambling movie. Which, if you'll excuse the pun, is one of the reasons why we're ready to take a chance on the film "Lay the Favorite," in theaters Dec. 7.The movie, which debuted at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, is a romantic comedy with gambling at its center. "Favorite" is based on the memoirs of Beth Raymer, a journalist and author whose unusual, diverse life experiences included forays into stripping, amateur boxing and gambling. Rebecca Hall ("The Town") plays the fictionalized version of Raymer, who was working as a Las Vegas cocktail waitress when she got involved with a married gambler.That character is Dirk Heimowitz (Bruce Willis), a sports bettor who teaches Raymer the ins and outs of his rather lucrative "job." And again, it's comedy, which is something Willis really hasn't done much of since he scored an unexpected hit with "The Whole Nine Yards" (2000) and then followed it up with a less enjoyable and less successful sequel, "The Whole Ten Yards" (2004). That's a pity, because he's obviously got great timing and chops for that sort of material.Bing: More about 'Lay the Favorite' | More about Bruce WillisIn supporting roles are Vince Vaughn, Joshua Jackson, Laura Prepon and Catherine Zeta-Jones, as Dink's justifiably jealous wife.It's a pretty likable cast. And if the premise and the actors weren't enough to pique your interest, consider this: The film was directed by Stephen Frears, a veteran who's well-known for quirky, darkly comic tales (he made the 1988 adaptation of "Dangerous Liaisons"), and it was penned by screenwriter D.V. DeVincentis. If you don't recognize that name, he wrote two of our favorite John Cusack comedies, "Grosse Pointe Blank" (1997) and the Americanized adaptation of Nick Hornby's "High Fidelity" (2000). (He also teamed with Frears on the latter.)"Lay the Favorite" is not the only film to feature a casino as a setting, or to feature gambling and games of chance. Movies ranging from Westerns to spy thrillers to gangster tales to comedies have all done so (our headline quote even comes from the 1955 musical version of "Guys and Dolls," which had a brief gambling story component, involving dice). At any rate, here are a few of our favorites.(Cheetah Vision)
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