Blackjack Movies: Casino
Jun 22, 2015
Martin Scorsese’s amazing movies depicts the inner-workings of unlawful casino resorts ran by the mafia in the 70’s and 80’s.
Casino is famous crime drama from 1995 with star-filled credits and unbelievable acclaim. The screenplay was based on Nicholas Pileggi’s novel of the same name, co-written by the legendary Martin Scorsese who is also the director of the movie. Casino’s spectacular cast includes such names as Sharon Stone, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci.
The film managed to multiply its budget with an amazing USD 116 million box-office score. Sharon Stone’s outstanding performance was recognized with an Academy Award nomination for the Best Actress in a Leading Role and with a Golden Globe win for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture.
The movie’s inspiration
The movie follows the life of Sam “Ace” Rothstein a top-bookmaker who is assigned to manage a casino in Las Vegas, called Tangiers. Ace’s character is based on the real-life casino runner Frank Rosenthal, a mobster who was the head of Fremont, Stardust and Hacienda Casinos in Las Vegas. From the three resorts Fremont Casino is the only one still operating today. He was a member of the Chicago Outfit, the Chicago based mafia-organization under the control of Al Capone and Johnny Torrio.
Nicky Santoro, Joe Pesci’s character is also based on a real-life criminal, called Anthony Spilotro. He was known as “Tony the Ant” and his job was to protect the Chicago Outfit’s interests in Las Vegas casinos. Just like in reality, he is sent to the Tangiers to make sure that the casino’s money is skimmed. Sharon Stone plays Ginger McKenna, the fictional match of Geri McGee, the famous American socialite, model, showgirl and wife of Frank Rosenthal.
One skilled handicapper
The movie starts in 1973 when Sam “Ace” Rothstein is sent to Las Vegas to take care of Chicago Outfit’s casino shares. Thanks to the unsettled gambling laws he is able to work without a gambling license and becomes the boss of the destination. He proves to be an effective leader as the casino’s profits are multiplied under his leadership. Since the Mob leaders are extremely pleased with his work, they decide to send Ace’s friend Nicky Santoro to protect him.
As time goes by Nicky’s aggressive casino table manners gets him blacklisted in all casinos. He creates his own mob-group and opens a restaurant and jewelry store and engages in various illegal activities. Meanwhile Ace falls in Love with Ginger McKenna, a hustler who works is different casinos. Ace proposes to her, but Ginger refuses his first offer. After Ace promises to take care of her until her death, Ginger changes her mind and she gets pregnant with their child, Amy. Following their Wedding Ace spends millions to buy her jewelry and puts USD 2 million in a deposit box. The only key is given to Ginger as a symbol of Ace’s trust in her. It turns out that he shouldn’t have trusted her, because she is still involved with her pimp named Lester, as she gives him money.
The downfall of corrupt Las Vegas
As the plotline follows, Ginger becomes the lover of Nicky and she abuses Amy under the influence of alcohol and drugs. When Ace learns about the relationship he disowns his wife. During these happenings the FBI starts an investigation around the casinos of the Chicago Outfit and they collect numerous evidences to arrest some casino runners. The casino empire goes downhill as the bosses are get in prison one by one. As the leaders gradually lose their power the casinos are purchased and demolished by legal corporations building new, family friendly resorts.
The movie has an infamous and hilarious blackjack scene involving Nicky Santoro as he insults two dealers and throws his Blackjack cards at them. Casino is must-watch movie for everybody who’s interested in the golden age of gambling. This highly acclaimed movie won’t disappoint as it stars numerous Hollywood superstars in an exceptionally written plot.