Casino, The Movie

Casino is a Martin Scorsese feature film based on mob operations at a Las Vegas casino.

Though a disclaimer insists the movie is fiction, the story reflects meticulous research by author Nicholas Pileggi for his true-crime book of the same name. Pileggi's sources included court records from the 1970s about Tony "The Ant" Spilotro and Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, a former executive at the Stardust. Spilatro's counterpart becomes Nicky Santoro, while Rosenthal is called Ace Robinson and played by Robert de Niro. The duo's real life attorney, Oscar Goodman, plays a lawyer called Oscar. The Stardust becomes the Tangiers, and is substituted by the Landmark outside and the Riviera inside. Modern computerized slot machines are disguised by slipcovers that wrap existing machines to make them look older.

The crew took over the casino from midnight to 10 a.m., sharing the floor with active gamblers. Overall, the production company spent more than 100 days filming in the city. The final product provides a chance to see Scorsese's brilliant directorial style as a camera whizzes through narrow rows of slot machines and tables, with narration explaining the cacophony of visuals.

While Casino provides a hands-on operational study for laundering money with great attention to detail, it is pulled down by a tendency to push a point too long or go over the top with rough language and intense violence. As for the accuracy of Casino, cast member—and, later, Las Vegas Mayor—Goodman said, "I think it captured a decade that will never be repeated."

Geographic Area: 

Article Locations

Related Articles

None at this time.

Further Reading

None at this time.