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Bugsy

102 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Warren Beatty and Annette Bening star in the incredible true story of Benjamin Bugsy Siegel, the playboy gangster who betrayed the Mob for love. A cold-blooded killer who dreamed of Hollywood stardom, a crazed patriot who plotted against Mussolini, and the brilliant visionary who carved Las Vegas out of the dry Nevada desert, Bugsy had it all. Until he fell for the one woman who wanted more. A critical masterpiece, BUGSY is a remarkable collaboration of Hollywood's best: director Barry Levinson, screenwriter James Toback, and an all-star supporting cast that includes Harvey Keitel, Oscar(r)-winner Ben Kingsley (Best Actor, Gandhi,1982), Joe Mantegna, and Elliott Gould. But at the center of itall is the white-hot romance between Bugsy and the insatiable starlet, Virginia Hill.

Amazon.com

Bugsy represents an almost miraculous combination of director, writer, and star on a project that represents a career highlight for everyone involved. It's one of the best American gangster movies ever made--as good in its own way as any of the Godfather films--and it's impossible to imagine anyone better than Beatty in the movie's flashy title role. As notorious mobster and Las Vegas visionary "Bugsy" Siegel, Beatty is perfectly cast as a man whose dreams are greater than his ability to realize them--or at least, greater than his ability to stay alive while making those dreams come true. With a glamorous Hollywood mistress (Annette Bening) who shares Bugsy's dream while pursuing her own upwardly mobile agenda, Bugsy seems oblivious to threats when he begins to spend too much of the mob's money on the creation of the Flamingo casino. Meyer Lansky (Ben Kingsley) and Mickey Cohen (Harvey Keitel) will support Bugsy's wild ambition to a point, after which all bets are off, and Bugsy's life hangs in the balance. From the obvious chemistry of Beatty and Bening (who met and later married off-screen) to the sumptuous reproduction of 1940s Hollywood, every detail in this movie feels impeccably right. Beatty is simply mesmerizing as the man who invented Las Vegas but never saw it thrive, moving from infectious idealism to brutal violence in the blink of an eye. Director Barry Levinson is also in peak form here, guiding the stylish story with a subtle balance of admiration and horror; we can catch Bugsy's Vegas fever and root for the gangster's success, but we know he'll get what he deserves. We might wish that Bugsy had lived to see his dream turn into a booming oasis, but the movie doesn't suggest that we should shed any tears. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley, Elliott Gould
  • Directors: Barry Levinson
  • Writers: Dean Jennings, James Toback
  • Producers: Warren Beatty, Barry Levinson, Charles Newirth, Mark Johnson
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 23, 2004
  • Run Time: 136 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767818059
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,070 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bugsy" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Dark Mechanicus JSG on May 5, 2005
Format: DVD
Bugsy Siegel: mobster lunatic visionary, poet, prophet, a mercurial monster and marketing supergenius, a living contradiction, a man known to fly into a wild rage if a stranger called him "Bugsy" to his face, who simultaneously encouraged his Nom De Guerre among his friends, his enemies, and his publicists.

Bugsy Siegel, who revelled in his gangster image, even had screen-tests shot of himself with a Tommy-gun looking hard and "blazing" away at the screen---this hardboiled felon worked slavishly at English diction to erase traces of his Brooklyn brogue.

A suave wildman and visionary who made water---and money---flow in the middle of the desert, and even volunteered his services to put a bullet through Mussolini's heart. '

Now: to crawl over the crater-pocked landscape of cinematic exposition here would be a bore and a waste, compared to the embarrassment of riches that is Barry Levinson's masterpiece "Bugsy", a flick that will go down with "Scarface", "The Godfather", "Goodfellas", and "Heat" as one of the greatest gangster classics of all time. This is a gorgeous, sumptuous, lush, seductive movie. Watch it.

You're in competent hands here, Gangster.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By scherf.com on October 16, 2000
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The story about Bugsy Siegel is well documented in this motion picture, although not historically accurate in details, but it doesn't matter as the character and the story of Bugsy comes across very well. The notorious gangster who is credited with bringing high-class gaming to Las Vegas, is played by Warren Beatty. We think it's Beatty's best role so far ... he really plays very good, and so does Annette Bening as Virginia Hill. Siegel was a dreamer, a visionary and a ladies' man no doubt. The movie is inspiring about pursuing your vision, but it is also a warning against wrong affiliations. The set and styling (cars, clothes, etc.) are just great and they look absolutely authentic. The script is also very well written, the cinematogrpahy is excellent, and the soundtrack fits perfectly, and it's certainly one of the best gangster movies ever made.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Guy T. Saperstein on October 2, 2012
Format: DVD
Very few pretty boys are any good at playing gangsters. Warren Beatty is not one of them. And Annette Bening is much too shrill.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John K. Reed on November 17, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
The sets, costumes, cars, clothes, hairstyles, and music were perfectly chosen to take you back to Los Angeles in the 40's. Nuff said.
The dialogue was absolutely brilliant and Ms. Benning's performance is reminiscent of the glamour, style, and crassness that i'm sure was characteristic of many of the Hollywood actresses of the day. I remember thinking when I saw her... Now that's a movie star! And her delivery of many of the classic one liners was fabulous. Unfortunately I couldn't repeat the vulgarity online but it was classic.
Barry Levinson's direction is as always fabulous. His use of camera angles, lighting, depth of field, setup, and overlays was perfect. The scene where Ms Benning first comes over to Bugsy's house was beyond perfectly shot. I would also highly recommend Avalon and Mr Levinson's television work Homicide for quality viewing.
Warren Beatty's performance as Bugsy Siegel was masterful. It's hard to imagine that someone as complex as apparently Bugsy was could be personified so flawlessly. Bugsy was a man of many passions. How one man could be so brutal yet compassionate, stylish yet crude, brilliant but foolish, selfish yet concerned is amazing. And Beatty brings all those elements to his portrayal of Bugsy. An incredibly complex individual.
Just check it out. You won't be disappointed. One of my 10 favorite films of all time!
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Format: DVD
Bugsy is easily one of the most handsome pictures of the 90s, but on a second viewing it's a little less impressive than it seemed at the time. Siegel's life and crimes were too all-encompassing for anything less than a mini-series to do justice to it, but even so it's curious that for a film concentrating on his time in Hollywood and his fatal dream of turning Las Vegas into a gangster's paradise avoids his attempts to squeeze the studios dry by offering a union-fixing protection racket, one of the great untold Hollywood stories of the 40s. But what it does do it does well, offering centerstage to its charismatic, contradictory, impulsive and sporadically violent anti-hero and his equally contradictory lover. The violence isn't glossed over (indeed, Siegel's humiliation of one underling acts as a turn-on for the far from saintly dame), although Warren Beatty doesn't always quite convince when he's required to be pathologically sadistic.

The supporting cast are pretty impressive, especially Ben Kingsley before he disappeared up his own backside post-knighthood and Elliot Gould as a very simple stoolie, but it's surprising that Harvey Keitel was singled out for an Oscar nomination for his good but unremarkable work as Mickey Cohen. Still, it did result one of the best pre-Oscar interviews of all time: when asked what he'd do with his Oscar if he won, he casually replied that he'd smash it over Edward James Olmos' head (Keitel's wife had just left him for Olmos at the time). Maybe Keitel should've played Bugsy himself...
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