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Monday, March 15, 2010

Casino (1995) - Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Sharon Stone

Casino was a movie released in 1995, and ranked to be one of the best movies made by Martin Scorsese. The movie was somewhat of a departure from the traditional New York setting of many of his other movies, although the use of mafia, violence, and rough language was still common (in fact, the movie was somewhat controversial because of the use of the word 'fuck' for almost 400 uses in one movie). The movie was based on a book by Nicholas Pileggi, with the screenplay for the movie written by Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese. The movie was based on a some real incidents, including the fight between a mob guy named Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal (a real life person based from the 1970's and early 80's who used to oversee multiple casinos for the mob) and his wife Geri McGee, a former topless dancer).
This concept was the idea of Nicholas Pileggi, who approached Martin Scorsese for the movie, and Scorsese was an eager supported of this thought, and decided to make a movie. When the movie was released, Martin Scorsese also have a tremendous reception, and this movie continued the trend, with the movie having got an overall positive acclaim. However, the movie did not do anything great at the Academy Awards, with a single nomination for Sharon Stone.

Robert De Niro stars as Sam "Ace" Rothstein, called in by the mob to oversee the operations of the Tangiers (non-existent in real life) casino in Las Vegas. In addition, Nicky Santoro (played by Joe Pesci) is a mob enforcer sent in to ensure that money keeps on coming to the mob, and that the mob's investments in the casinos are kept safe. Sharon Stone plays the role of Ginger, a devious lady who is also the wife of Ace (the skillful portrayal of a woman on the edge did get her a Golden Globe award for Best Actress).
The movie starts with an explosion in the car of Sam 'Ace', but he survives, and then the movie starts in flashback, moving back to the time in 1973 when Ace is brought in to run the Casino Tangiers. Ace is good at his job, and in a short period of time, he doubles the profits of the casino; however, the mob takes its cut before reporting to the tax authorities. Nicky is sent in to ensure that Sam has protection as he does his work. However, not everything works as intended; since Nicky works out to be nuisance with his attitude, and is banned from many casinos. Sam meets Ginger McKenna, and marries her after they have a baby girl.
Their is a difference that starts growing between Sam and Nick, and he also draws public attention when he gets into a dispute with the County Commissioner, and getting public attention is something that is bad for the mob. Things reach a boil pretty quickly after that, when Sam gets into a dispute with Ginger, and soon after, also begins a sexual affair with Nicky (something very severely frowned upon in the mob). This dispute between Sam and Nicky gets the FBI involved when some loose comments are overhead, and things quickly reach a stage where the entire business starts to unravel. And then the mob bosses, who are now in trouble themselves, have to decide whom to silence to ensure their safety. What happens to Sam, Ginger and Nicky ?

Casino (1995) - Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Sharon Stone

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