Orson Welles Teaches Baccarat, Craps, Blackjack, Roulette, and Keno at Caesars Palace (1978)

I’ve nev­er gone near Las Vegas’ Cae­sars Palace. The very idea of a gam­bling com­plex of such labyrinthine vast­ness, slick lux­u­ry, and rel­a­tive­ly recent construction—especially giv­en the ancient-Rome sim­u­lacrum it goes for here and there—frightens me. Then again, so does the idea of Las Vegas itself; I’ve nev­er gone near the city either. Per­haps you feel the same way. The video above promis­es, by lead­ing us straight into the bel­ly of the beast, to alle­vi­ate such fears. Not only does it offer a view of the milder, some­what less audio­vi­su­al­ly aggres­sive casi­no of 1978 (though the era’s col­lars, lapels, and hair­styles com­pen­sate with an aggres­sion of their own), it explains such pop­u­lar games of chance as bac­carat, craps, black­jack, roulette, and Keno. Give the Cae­sars Guide to Gam­ing with Orson Welles this: it cer­tain­ly picks a strik­ing Vir­gil.

“I’ve been asked by Cae­sars Palace to tell you a lit­tle about gam­ing,” Welles says. “I guess they’ve asked me because I know a lit­tle about cards, a lit­tle about his­to­ry, and, well, because I’ve been known to take a long shot or two.” And indeed, he pep­pers his lessons on bet­ting with anec­dotes about Posei­don, Zeus, shield-spin­ning Greek sol­diers, and the prim­i­tive bone-toss­ing games of ancient man. The Cae­sars Guide to Gam­ing with Orson Welles appeared five years after F for Fake, Welles’ final the­atri­cal fea­ture. I need hard­ly high­light the fact that F for Fake this ain’t, nor Welles’ abun­dance of awk­ward late-career projects and appear­ances. Still, you’ll learn a great deal more from it that you will from play­ing that frozen peas com­mer­cial record­ing ses­sion one more time.

via Metafil­ter

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch Orson Welles’ The Stranger Free Online, Where 1940s Film Noir Meets Real Hor­rors of WWII

Orson Welles Nar­rates Plato’s Cave Alle­go­ry, Kafka’s Para­ble, and Free­dom Riv­er

Orson Welles’ Last Inter­view and Final Moments Cap­tured on Film

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture and writes essays on lit­er­a­ture, film, cities, Asia, and aes­thet­ics. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­lesA Los Ange­les Primer. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall.

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.