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Casino (1995, Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone)

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When Martin Scorsese announced his Mob-in-Vegas drama Casino in the mid-’90s, there was a distinct feeling of déjà vu , particularly as he was teaming up once again with GoodFellas writer Nicholas Pileggi on the project. But then the director himself voiced the concerns of many when he noted about the ’70s-set drama, ‘This story has to be on a big canvas. It has to be about America. Otherwise, why make another mob story? I couldn’t care less.’

With a cast that features Scorsese regulars Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, the Oscar-nominated Sharon Stone and a group of entertainers who actually performed in Las Vegas in the ’70s (Alan King, Don Rickles, Steve Allen), Casino is an expert examination of small town wise guys who find heaven on earth before frittering it all away.

De Niro stars as Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein, a top bookie who finds himself enlisted by the Mob to run the Tangiers casino in Vegas. Determined to do things correctly (ie the Mob’s way), he turns the casino into a tremendous success. There are three problems on the horizon, however: Ace’s run-ins with the Gaming Control Board that oversees the Vegas casinos; the appearance of a psychotic old friend, Nicky Santoro (Pesci), who is determined to muscle in on the action; and a beautiful hustler, Ginger McKenna (Stone), with whom Ace falls in love. All three will contribute to Ace’s spectacular downfall.

production details
USA | 179 minutes | 1995

Director: Martin Scorsese
Script: Martin Scorsese, Nicholas Pileggi

cast
Robert De Niro as Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein
Sharon Stone as Ginger McKenna
Joe Pesci as Nicky Santoro
James Woods as Lester Diamond
Don Rickles as Billy Sherbert
Alan King as Andy Stone
Kevin Pollak as Phillip Green
Pasquale Cajano as Remo Gaggi
L.Q. Jones as Pat Webb
Dick Smothers as Sénateur
Frank Vincent as Frank Marino
Oscar Goodman as Oscar Goodman
Richard Riehle as Charlie Clark
Catherine Scorsese as Mme Piscano
Vinny Vella as Artie Piscano
Nobu Matsuhisa as Ichikawa
Erika von Tagen as Amy
Nick Mazzola as Black Jack-Groupier
David Rose as David
John Bloom as Don Ward
Joseph Rigano as Vincent Borelli
Philip Suriano as Dominick Santoro
Melissa Prophet as Jennifer Santoro
Bill Allison as John Nance
Joe La Due as Signaller
Joseph P. Reidy as Winner
Craig Vincent as Cowboy
Carl Ciarfalio as Tony Dogs
Gene Ruffini as Vinny Forlano
Dominick Grieco as Americo Capelli
Clem Caserta as Sal Fusco
Daniel P. Conte as Doctor Dan
Joey DePinto as Stabbed Gambler
Jack Orend as Baker
Paul Herman as Gambler in Phone Booth
Jed Mills as Jack Hardy
Claudia Haro as Trudy
Ffolliott Le Coque as Anna Scott
John Manca as Wiseguy Eddie
Ronald Maccone as Wiseguy Jerry
Joseph Bono as Moosh
Frank Adonis as Rocky
Anthony Russell as Bookie
Stuart Nisbet as LA Banker
Alfred Nittoli as Chastised Gambler

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