A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Robert De Niro,
This Martin Scorsese film depicts the Janus-like quality of Las Vegas--it has a glittering, glamorous face, as well as a brutal, cruel one. Ace Rothstein and Nicky Santoro, mobsters who move to Las Vegas to make their mark, live and work in this paradoxical world. Seen through their eyes, each as a foil to the other, the details of mob involvement in the casinos of the 1970's and '80's are revealed. Ace is the smooth operator of the Tangiers casino, while Nicky is his boyhood friend and tough strongman, robbing and shaking down the locals. However, they each have a tragic flaw--Ace falls in love with a hustler, Ginger, and Nicky falls into an ever-deepening spiral of drugs and violence. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Joe Pesci bore some natural resemblance to Tony "The Ant" Spilotro, upon whom his character-Nicky Santoro-was based. In makeup, he looked even more like Spilotro-so much so that, according to Pileggi, when Pesci entered the casino where the movie was being shot, some pit bosses who'd had personal dealings with Spilotro "almost fainted." See more »
In the scene when Nicky and Frank collect from the bookie Frank points and says "smarten up," but his lips don't move. See more »
When you love someone, you've gotta trust them. There's no other way. You've got to give them the key to everything that's yours. Otherwise, what's the point? And for a while, I believed, that's the kind of love I had.
[Ace's car explodes]
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SPOILER: Nicky is about to finish his narration, he's cut short by the mobsters wanting to whack him. See more »
If you haven't seen Casino yet, stop whatever it is you're doing, rush to the nearest video store, rent it, and watch it. Along with Mean Streets Casino is probably Scorsese's most underrated and unheralded picture. I would also venture to say that this is probably his most ambitious film. The film deals with a particular time period and a particular atmosphere and accomplishes an overwhelming achievement by creating and accurately portraying both. The art direction is splendid, most likely the best of any film Scorsese has ever done. The acting is superb. I never thought Pesci would be able to top his dynamic performance in Raging Bull until I saw Casino. Every time I watch this picture I fall in love with it all over again. This is the most honest depiction of Las Vegas, especially of the time period it was portrayed in. Scorsese's direction is flawless. Perhaps it is because I watch alot of Scorsese and Kubrick films, but I am becoming less satisfied with plot driven films and more enamored by films that possess the freedom that typical stories just don't seem to hold. Sharon Stone gives the best performance of her career, and as far as the editing is concerned, well if you believe like Kubrick and Pudovkin that a film is not shot, but built who better to have on your team than long time cohort, collaborator, and editor Thelma Schoonmaker. Ultimately, the genius of Scorsese is not just in the mastery of the medium, but in the understanding and appreciation for the necessity of great collaborators on all levels that Scorsese has consistently utilized throughout his career. Casino exemplifies not only the best of a Scorsese film, but transcends it. This film is truly a gem.
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