Going for Broke is a television drama film first released in 2013. The film first aired on the Lifetime Network. Directed by Graeme Campbell, the film stars real-life husband and wife duo Gerald McRaney and Delta Burke as the lead characters. Going for Broke tells the story of how gambling has destroyed a woman’s life and family, and is partially based on a true story. According to the film, the real life actions thereof resulted in the law that all Nevada casinos have to list the toll-free number for the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling. Going for Broke won several awards, and has been praised for its realistic and touching story-telling.
The True Story
Going for Broke is partially based on a true story of an embezzlement case, which led to the mandatory displaying of the toll-free number for the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling in all Nevada casino outlets. This was enforced with the aim to help those addicted to gambling who do not know where to seek help.
The Going for Broke Plot
Going for Broke is told predominantly via flashbacks. Laura Bankcroft, played by Delta Burke, is giving her testimony before Gamblers Anonymous, and the flashbacks detail how her gambling addiction ruined her life, the lives of her children, and completely destroyed her marriage, family, and career.
At the start of the story, Laura is married to her second husband, Jim, played by Gerald McRaney, and she has two children, Jennifer and Tommy. The family has just moved to Reno, Nevada, from Florida, and Laura as found a job as a fundraiser for the Children’s Chronic Illness Association.
One night Laura tries out a video poker machine, and so begins a slow process of addiction and a downward spiral. Laura starts up smoking again, misses important events in her children’s lives, starts lying, and falls into debt. Lost for help, she ends up embezzling from her charity organisation, though this at first goes unnoticed. Her family life further falls to pieces, with her children rebelling, Jim leaving, and Laura contemplating suicide. Her family is unable to help her, her friends are unwilling to help, and her children abandon her, moving in with Laura’s mother to find some sense of stability.
Completely lost in life, Laura embezzles further money from her charity, stealing a total of US$ 100 00. Through a random audit, Laura’s lies and thievery are discovered. She finally owns up to them, is found guilty in court, and is sentenced to fifteen months in prison and three years of supervised release.
Some of The Film’s Themes
Going for Broke deals with important themes, that apply particularly to the gambling world. These include the concept of addiction, the difficulties of getting out of it, the destruction of family life, including rebellious children, the concept of not being loved, and the falling apart of marriage, love, and career. The film has been praised for detailing these themes in a realistic and touching way, bringing audiences to really feel with the characters and learning valuable lessons.
Reception and Awards
Going for Broke is highly acclaimed, well-praised, and has won numerous awards, including one for best musical score.