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10th Anniversary Edition
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Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci star in director Martin Scorsese's riveting look at how blind ambition, white-hot passion and 24-karat greed toppled an empire. Las Vegas 1973 is the setting for this fact-based story about the Mob's multi-million dollar casino operation where fortunes and lives were made and lost with a roll of the dice.
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But Goodfellas was the story of small time hoods, neighborhood crooks, who had connections to the actual Mob but who were minor players at best. Casino is the epic story of how the Mob infiltrated Vegas, basically ran it through the Teamsters Union, and were gradually brought down by the carelessness and violence of the very people they sent to actually run the operation. The meticulous research and preparation for which Scorsese is known is here in abundance. As usual the story was based very closely on true events and characters with names barely changed. (De Niro's Ace Rothstein was based on Lefty Rosenthal; Pesci's Nicky Santoro was based on Tony Spiletro). The actual mobsters portrayed in the film including Mr. Rosenthal, and associates who survived it all were consultants on the film and often on the set. In interiors of the "Tangiers" casino were shot in the Riviera late at night with actual customers in the distance for authenticity.
The acting is of the highest order and Scorsese is at his very best here. It is a long film at three hours, but it's meant to be an epic and it's never boring. There is no one here to really root for, they're all terribly flawed characters, but that's who they were. This is not a film with a hero. It's almost a type of documentary. The ending is as grim as it gets. That's what happens when you screw up.
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