Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio Filming ‘The Gambler’


Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio are teaming together for the fifth time for “The Gambler,” a remake of the 1974 film. I was disgruntled by their first collaboration “Gangs of New York” (2002), a film that had great moments but had lumbering handicaps. I was wary of them pairing up a second time, even the third time. But the two get better and better as they continue to work with each other. Plus, with the bankability of DiCaprio it has allowed Scorsese to work with bigger budgets than he was supplied with earlier in his career. Their collaborative films thus far are “The Aviator” (2004), “The Departed” (2006, pic above on the set), and “Shutter Island” (2010).

Another significance of the endeavor of “The Gambler” is that it marks Scorsese’s second work in remakes. In 1991, he made the deliriously thrilling and throat-grabbing “Cape Fear” which widely improved upon the OK but squarely straight-forward 1962 film. If you recall, it features a scene of Robert DeNiro and Juliette Lewis in the theater basement that was one of the best dialogue scenes of both their careers.

Let’s not be coy. Any announcement on Scorsese is exciting. He is the renowned director of timeless must-see-in-this-lifetime classics “Taxi Driver” (1976), “Raging Bull” (1980), “GoodFellas” (1990) and “Casino” (1995).

But surprisingly I find myself scratching my head over “The Gambler” remake. The first film with James Caan is terrifically entertaining and a no-holds barred look at a fast-talking compulsive gambler with no allegiance to working class life – one of these stories about guys who gamble with money they don’t have because they can’t wait to cut away from a real job. This is a four-star film with one @#!*% of an ending, I kid you not, that cannot be improved upon. For years Scorsese has been fiddling with a bio on Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, a historical docudrama on Theodore Roosevelt and a film called “Silence” about 17thcentury priests who go to Japan to protect persecuted Christians. Why do “The Gambler?”

Another person surprised, for other reasons, is the original screenwriter James Toback who also has directed films like “When Will I Be Loved?” (2004) with this saucy side-note: he had Neve Campbell doing nude scenes as a con artist lesbian. Anyway, Toback didn’t learn of the remake until it was publicly announced, and found it disrespectful that he wasn’t asked for his blessing.

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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