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"Casino" is the true story of Vegas in its heyday prior to the mega resort/casinos we see today, like Excalibur, New York New York, The Luxor, etc. Before large corporations turned Las Vegas into a theme park with casinos, the Chicago mob pretty much controlled the then famous casinos of the day, like the Stardust, where the movie "Casino" disguises it with the fictional name of The Tangier. Skimming the profits was the mob's business. Perhaps the greatest handicapper of all time, Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, ran three major casinos and ran them well. Chicago sent out the legendary Tony Spilotro to keep an eye on "Lefty" and protect him and the moolah. Spilotro, however, had ideas of his own and soon became mired in a horrendous mess, dragging Rosenthal and eventually all the mob controlled casinos to their demise with him. Rosenthal still lives, and even has a web site, but Spilotro at books' end learns the hard way that being insubordinate to the mob and skimming their skim has dire consequences.
Pileggi is a master at showing a picture of the lives of these people, the shady deals, the threats from every corner, from the state, other criminals and the Mob, and how difficult life is for those who choose the gambling scene as a way of life.
It's morbid but fascinating reading. A must for fans of organized crime books.
Why they didn't decide to do 2 DVD-9's for this is beyond comprehension, but at least they've dropped the list price a few dollars.
My rating is for the overall the release, although in my opinion both the film and the transfer on this release get 5 stars. Colors are vivid and rich, and detail is very fine.
In closing, if you're not a "special features" junkie, definitely get this release, as it's much more likely to play properly. If you must have the Anniversary Edition, make sure you play the disc right away, because most likely, it will have problems.
In the book, the names have not been changed and there are a few more details than in the movie.
If you like the movie, I suggest reading the book to get the whole picture of what went down.
So I guess you could say I had a personal interest in seeing how Marty Scorcese and his "Goodfellas" crew would tackle the subject of transplanted Chicago mobsters in the neon desert. My final verdict: they all did a hell of a job.
Pesci, as "Nicky Salerno" (all the names have been changed to protect the guilty) is just as horrifying and vicious here as he was as "Tommy DiVito" in "Goodfellas"; Pugnacious, bloodthirsty, bad-tempered, arrogant, and paranoid, but also capable of humor, loyalty and a certain weird charm. Some would say he was just playing the same character again, and yeah, he is, but he's so damn good at it, who cares?
Bobby D is superb (what else?) as "Ace Rothstien" -- the micro-managing, ego-maniacial Chicago handicapper and casino boss who trades in on his friendship with mobsters to become a big time player in Vegas, and promptly realizes he's let the snake in the manger.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great movie but unfortunately to long to watch given the 24 hrs Amazon allows (our fault...we started it late). I wish Amazon would allow 36-48 hrs for movies over 2 hours.Published 3 days ago by D. Jones
Excellent acting although brutal movie. Not for the squimish.Published 6 days ago by Marcia R. Aguiniga
Another great pileggi book. Highly recommended. A must read for Scorsese fansPublished 9 days ago by phillip j roscher
Really evil movie lots of killing cheating gambling and crime it's great!Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
Always enjoy watching this film. Everyone gives a great performance, and the fact that it's based on REAL events is a plus!Published 14 days ago by Pendit 1