Casino


In Vegas, everybody's gotta watch everybody else. Since the players are looking to beat the casino, the dealers are watching the players. The box men are watching the dealers. The floor men are watching the box men. The pit bosses are watching the floor men. The shift bosses are watching the pit bosses. The casino manager is watching the shift bosses. I'm watching the casino manager. And the eye-in-the-sky is watching us all.

From Casino

Casino is a movie directed by Martin Scorsese. It was filmed in 1995. The film boast such stars as Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Sharon Stone. It is based on a true story about a mafia controlled hotel and casino in Las Vegas. Casino was nominated for a Academy Award and is one of the most popular mafia movies ever made.

The main character is Sam Rothstien, who is played by Robert De Niro. He is sent by his bosses in the Midwest to run a hotel and casino called Tangier's. The plan is for Sam to skim portions of the profits that the casino makes. In other words, the mafia would be stealing some of the money before reporting the earnings to the authorities. That way they can say they made a certain amount of money when in actuality they would have made much more, the rest of the cash is in their pockets.

Sam is doing a very good job running this scam and helps make Tangier's one of the biggest casinos in Las Vegas. Sam ends up meeting a women by the name of Ginger McKenne who is played by Sharon Stone. The two fall in love, or at least Sam falls in love with Ginger. Little does he know that she is just as big of a scam artist as he is. All Ginger really cares about is money and her ex boyfriend, a small time crook named Lester Diamond.

The two get married and have a daughter. While all this is going on Ginger is still talking with Lester. When Sam finds out about this he gets very angry. This leads to Sam having Lester beaten right in front of Ginger's eyes. After the incident Ginger ends up drinking and taking drugs more heavily then she was doing before.

Meanwhile, as the Tangier's hotel and casino gains in popularity, so the bosses decide to send some extra protection for Sam. They bring Sam's old friend out to Vegas. His name is Nicky Santoro, played by Joe Pesci. Nicky makes Sam nervous because of his extremely violent nature, but he has no choice but to obey the bosses orders. Sam's even more wary of the idea when Nicky reveals that he wants to create his own ways of making money, things that the bosses don't know about. This is something you are not suppose to do in the mafia like searching for wholesale mortgage rates during a recession.

Nicky ends up getting into loan sharking. Basically letting people barrow money and charging phenomenal pay back rates and fees. If someone barrows and doesn't pay back all the money they owe, then violence will occur. Violence is what Nicky does best. He also starts shaking down other criminals. Also, he gathered a crew to cheat at the card tables in the casinos using hand signals.

His schemes don't work for long as Nicky is eventually caught and black booked, meaning he cannot enter any more casinos. So he turns to committing other crimes. With the help of his brother Dominic and other friends, they start committing robberies in and around Vegas. They also create numerous legitimate business's so they can hide the illegal cash within them by spreading it throughout the companies. Since Nicky is not suppose to be doing this, he sends some of the money back to the bosses so they won't be to angry with him.

Sam is starting not to like the attention Nicky is bringing. Plus Nicky and Ginger are starting to hang around each other a little to much for Sam's liking. When Sam ends up firing a casino worker who happens to be a relative of the country commissioner. The commissioner responds by denying Sam's casino license so he can no longer work in a casino. Sam begins to publicly challenge the commissioner. The bosses are not happy with the attention that Sam is bringing himself. Sam complains that everything is truly Nicky's fault. Of course this doesn't sit will with Nicky, and the pars relationship is strained even more. With all this conflict that is going on between everyone things start to get out of hand fast. Sam, Nicky, Ginger, the bosses, and the police all caught up in an epic struggle for control. What started out as a good way to make a load of money turns into a giant mess. The plot builds up to one of the most shocking and violent endings ever seen. It may be perhaps the best ending for any mafia movie ever made. What makes the movie even better is that it is based on true events. The deep plot and great acting make Casino even more enjoyable to watch. When it comes to great mob movies, the best bet is Casino.

Released in 1995, Casino was directed by Martin Scorsese and had an all star cast. It was shot in pivotal locations in Las Vegas, California and sound stages with attention to detail and preserving the early elements of the Vegas strip. To sum up the film, it is one of Scorsese's most underrated films but it is not for the weak hearted. Often compared to Goodfellas for its use of profanity, sexual tone and obvious mob affiliation, Casino stands alone as one of the all time best films in its genre.

From a movie buff's point of view, Casino offers you a little bit of everything. There's the glitz and greed of Las Vegas, some behind the scenes information on how cheats were caught and dealt with and of course the stuff that no one ever wanted to be caught talking about – the mob, the pay offs and the murders. Casino deserved more of a public push when it was released but the subject matter dictated that it remain a hush-hush debut. Some have compared it to the Godfather series while others said it ushered in the new era of mobster themed movies.

You could look at the cast and know, in a heart beat, that this was going to be a huge box office success. Robert De Niro (Sam 'Ace' Rothstein), Joe Pesci (Nicky Santoro), Sharon Stone (Ginger McKenna) and James Woods (Lester Diamond) are four of the main characters but the film would have fallen flat without the incredible performances by Kevin Pollak, Joseph Rigano and Don Rickles. The banter and interaction between the cast flows perfectly; there's no hesitation, no holding back.

The plot of Casino is simple. It tells the tale of how Las Vegas grew from a handful of small gambling houses to what is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in the United States. Sam Rothstein wants nothing more than to run his casino, the Tangiers, but that falls into jeopardy when the East Coast arm of the mafia starts to pressure him. Just like the "tribute" payments in Goodfellas, everyone wants a slice of the pie. If it were as simple as that, the movie would be over in a half hour instead of running for more than two.

Trouble starts brewing when Ginger McKenna enters the picture; forever the hustler she sees Rothstein as the ultimate whale. He has the money, social status and connections that she dreams of. After the marriage and birth of their daughter, things in the Rothstein household should be fairy tale perfect but Ginger refuses to give up her old ways. Affairs with Nicky and her ex-husband Lester should have been enough for Ace to have her taken care of but his love for her was greater than his hate for her.

Nicky is digging a slow grave with his gambling and drug addiction. Any bridges he built when he arrived in Las Vegas were slowly burned when he refused to pay off loan sharks and gambling wagers. He was spiraling out of control and taking everyone around him down with it. Ace, torn between his love of the Tangiers and his friendship with Nicky, has to make some tough judgment calls in regards to both.

Greed it the pivotal means of motivation in Casino. No one knows exactly when enough is enough and that propels the characters to test their limits. Nicky is faced with paying up or being left for dead, Ace has to make a hard call between the life he wanted and wanting a life with Ginger and everyone around them has to pray they make the right decisions. All the while the East Coast mobsters are growing more and more restless with misinformation, smaller payments and feeling that they are being short changed on every deal.

The film is rated R (restricted to those over the age of 18) for a plethora of reasons including profanity, violence, simulated sexual scenes, brief nudity and implied violence. The DVD boxed set is the wide screen, uncut version of Casino with a bonus disc of extra footage, cut scenes and all theatric trailers that were created (and not released) to promote the film. The movie came under fire from parental groups for its heavy handed views of the early Las Vegas strip; the MPAA was never involved in trying to tone down the overall feel of the film however they did petition to have made to carry the NC-17 rating instead of R.

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