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Films to See Before You Die: #24 Casino


Casino (1995)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Sharon Stone, James Woods

Synopsis: Sam “Ace” Rothstein (Robert De Niro), is the best gambler around and he is given the chance of a lifetime to run the Tangiers Casino in Las Vegas for the mob outfit he places bets for. They want Ace to run the casino because he is so meticulous with his procedures they are sure he is going to make them a fortune. Everything is going very well for Ace and the casino when he meets Ginger (Sharon Stone), a local hustler who steals his heart and although she doesn’t want to he convinces her to marry him. While the casino is doing really well the bosses in Kansas want to make sure their money is secure and they send Ace’s best friend Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci), who is one of the outfits best muscles. Ace and Ginger are now married with a young daughter but she cannot seem to end her relationship with her former pimp/boyfriend Lester Diamond (James Woods), who keeps milking her for 25 grand every few months. When Nicky starts to go into a downward spiral of drugs and alcohol he threatens to bring Ace’s entire operation down with him something the bosses won’t allow to happen.

Trivia: The word “fuck” is said 422 times, including in the narration – 2.4 times per minute on average. The film also holds the Guinness world record for the most swearing in a film. To avoid the continuity problems that accompany a chain-smoking movie character, Robert De Niro always held his cigarettes the same distance from the lit end so that their lengths never appear to change. The movie is based on the career of casino boss Frank ‘Lefty’ Rosenthal as portrayed by Robert De Niro’s character Sam “Ace” Rothstein.

Why I think you should see this: Casino is a great film and I am convinces it was passed over by the academy awards just because it was of the same style as Goodfellas but this is a different beast entirely. Using the same narrating style that was used in Goodfellas except instead of Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco you get De Niro and Pesci which in my opinion isn’t a such a bad thing. Scorsese does yet another superb job from the directors chair and he also collaborates with author Nicholas Pilleggi again for a rock solid script. Both De Niro and Pesci are amazing but its really Sharon Stone who steals the show in a role that was perfect for her. Just a great film and the perfect companion piece for Goodfellas check it out sometime.


About Trevor

Hi my name is Trevor and this is my blog! Films are a passion of mine. I am a total film geek. I own over 700 films and the collection is ever growing. I studied Film Studies and Scriptwriting in College. What I have learned about films is mostly self taught.

7 responses to “Films to See Before You Die: #24 Casino

  1. jazfagan

    I’m not a BIG Sharon Stone fan but I loved her in this role….good movie….can’t say enough good about it….peace Jaz

  2. mrbsure

    Casino – another EXCELLENT choice for this list.

    I think people often glaze over it when looking for Scorsese’s best movies; indeed his gritty stuff is great but he’s a director for the masses and this is full of entertainment, class, intelligent plot and some wonderful acting.

    The scene usually titled Henry’s last day as a free man where he’s driving around stoned is wonderful.

    I noticed something very very very intricate about Scorsese’s blocking of this scene when they sit down for the ‘last meal’ he’s been slaving over.

    If you consider Henry the prodigal son (JESUS if you will) then you must consider the babysitter who got him caught Judas. They sit in relation to where Jesus and Judas sit in the last supper; not only that but as a sign from Jesus to Judas of recognition over what was happening Jesus gave Judas some ‘wet bred’ and if you look as the camera starts to track in; the babysitter is dipping her piece of bread in her glass of water.

    A very teeny-tiny point but a point to me that displays just how much detail a genius director is willing to put into his work!

    Keep up this list, I love reading them

  3. jmount43 ⋅

    I truly believe that this film and her performance in Sam Raimi’s The Quick and the Dead are Sharon Stone’s best performances. I loved Casino and your review is spot on.

  4. I have seen this movie only in bits and pieces. My husband watches every showing of it on cable. So I have seen it as I walk through the room while it is playing. šŸ™‚

  5. Barbara ⋅

    i love this movie! always surprised that it’s not more popular with critics or moviegoers. i was living in vegas when it was filmed and had friends working on it as extras. the main thing that surprised me about what they had to say is that robert deniro was apparently a great friend/admirer of don rickles. go figure!

  6. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!

    Extremely useful info particularly the last part šŸ™‚
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