Casino (film) is Released

Casino is an Academy Award nominated 1995 crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese.

It is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Nicholas Pileggi, who also co-wrote the screenplay for the film with Scorsese. Robert De Niro stars as Sam "Ace" Rothstein, a Jewish top gambling handicapper who is called by the Mob to oversee the day-to-day operations at the fictional Tangiers Casino in Las Vegas. The story is based on the late Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, who ran the Stardust, Fremont and the Hacienda casinos in Las Vegas for the Chicago Outfit from the 1970s until the early 1980s.

Joe Pesci plays Nicky Santoro, based on the real-life Anthony "Tony the Ant" Spilotro, an intimidating enforcer and psychopath. Nicky is sent by the Chicago Outfit to Vegas to make sure that money from the Tangiers is skimmed off the top and that the casinos and mobsters in Vegas are kept in line. Sharon Stone plays Ace's wife, the self-obsessed, spoiled, devious and sly Ginger, a role that earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

When released, Casino had the most uses of the word "fuck" (422) in a feature length film, but was outdone two years later by the film Nil by Mouth although it remains the highest number of uses of the word in an American film excluding documentaries. Casino has been considered a companion piece to Scorsese's earlier film, Goodfellas (1990), which also starred De Niro and Pesci, and was written by Pileggi and Scorsese.

Martin Scorsese's fascinating new film "Casino" knows a lot about the Mafia's relationship with Las Vegas. It's based on a book by Nicholas Pileggi, who had full access to a man who once ran four casinos for the mob, and whose true story inspires the movie's plot.

Like "The Godfather," it makes us feel like eavesdroppers in a secret place.

The movie opens with a car bombing, and the figure of Sam "Ace" Rothstein floating through the air. The movie explains how such a thing came to happen to him. The first hour plays like a documentary; there's a narration, by Rothstein (Robert De Niro) and others, explaining how the mob skimmed millions out of the casinos.