Casino

Director Martin Scorsese reunites with members of his GoodFellas gang (writer Nicholas Pileggi; actors Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Frank Vincent) for a three-hour epic about the rise and fall of mobster Sam "Ace" Rothstein (De Niro), a character based on real-life gangster Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal. (It's modeled after on Wiseguy and GoodFellas and Pileggi's true crime book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas.) Through Rothstein, the picture tells the story of how the Mafia seized, and finally lost control of, Las Vegas gambling. The first hour plays like a fascinating documentary, intricately detailing the inner workings of Vegas casinos. Sharon Stone is the stand out among the actors; she nabbed an Oscar nomination for her role as the voracious Ginger, the glitzy call girl who becomes Rothstein's wife. The film is not as fast paced or gripping as Scorsese's earlier gangster pictures (Mean Streets and GoodFellas), but it's still absorbing. And, hey--it's Scorsese! --Jim Emerson

Production: Universal Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 9 nominations.
 
IMDB:
8.2
Metacritic:
73
Rotten Tomatoes:
80%
R
Year:
1995
178
11,733 Views

Nicky Santoro:
Where the f*** do you get off talking to people about me behind my back going over my head?

Ace Rothstein:
What people?

Nicky Santoro:
What did you think, I wasn't gonna find out?

Ace Rothstein:
I don't know what your talking about Nick.

Nicky Santoro:
No? You said I'm bring heat on you? I've gotta listen to people because of your f***in' shit? Your ordering me out? You better get your own f***in' army pal.

Ace Rothstein:
I didn't do anything. I didn't order you or anybody. I just told Andy Stone that you had alot of heat on you. That's a problem?

Nicky Santoro:
You want me to get out of my own f***in' town?

Ace Rothstein:
Yeah. I just want the bullshit to blow over for a while so I can run the casino. If anything goes wrong with the casino, it's my ass. It's not yours, it's my ass.

Nicky Santoro:
Listen. I don't know if you know this or not but you only have your f***in' casino because I made that possible. I'm what counts out here. Not your f***in' country clubs, or your f***in' TV shows. And what the f*** are you doing on TV anyhow? You know I get calls from back home every f***in' day? They think you went bad shit.

Ace Rothstein:
I only go on TV to get the food and beverage job. You know that.

Nicky Santoro:
You f***in' ass! You could've had the food and beverage job without going on television. You wanted to go on TV!

Ace Rothstein:
Your right. I did want to go on TV. That way I can have a form. I can fight back. I'm known. People see me. They know they can't f*** around with me like they could if I was unknown.

Nicky Santoro:
You made a big f***in' spectacle of yourself.

Ace Rothstein:
Me? I wouldn't be in this situation if it wasn't for you. I mean, you brought down so much f***in' heat on me. Everytime I meet somebody, the big question is, "Do I know you?"

Nicky Santoro:
Oh sure. Now you wanna bring your f***in' license on me now. Is that it?

Ace Rothstein:
Nicky, what I tell you when you asked me if you could come out here? Now I knew you were gonna come out no matter what I said, but did I tell you? Do you remember what I told you?

Nicky Santoro:
Wait. Back up one f***in' minute here. Just one minute. I asked you? When the f*** did I ever ask you if I could come out here?

Ace Rothstein:
You never...

Nicky Santoro:
Get this through your head. Get this through your head you jew motherf***er you. You only exist out here because of me. That's the only reason. Without me, you personally, and every f***in' wiseguy still around, would be taking a piece of your f***in' jew ass! Then where are you gonna go? Your f***in' warned. Don't you ever go over my head again! You jew motherf***er you!

[A local cowboy with connections to the mob has been gambling in Sam's casino, ignoring the casino's rule against guests putting their feet up on the table.]

Sam Rothstein:
I don't give a shit who he's connected to. Tell him to take his fucking feet off the table. What does he think this is, a goddamn sawdust joint?

Billy Sherbert:
Sir, would you mind taking your feet off the table and put your shoes on, please?

Cowboy:
(sighs) Yeah, I would mind. I'm having a bad night.

[Billy returns to Sam, who is watching from across the room.]

Billy Sherbert:
Fucking asshole won't budge.

Sam Rothstein:
Call security. [Billy leaves to call casino security; Sam approaches the cowboy himself.] How are you?

Cowboy:
Good. How are you?

Sam Rothstein:
Good. You want to do me a favor? You want to take your feet off the table and put your shoes back on?

Cowboy:
Fuck you. [Sam just looks stunned].

Sam Rothstein:
[Pauses, then turns to the arriving security guards] I want you to exit this guy off the premises and I want you to exit him off his feet and use his head to open the fuckin door.

Security Guard:
Sir, you're going to have to leave. You mind accompanying us outside?

Cowboy:
Bullshit, I ain't going anywhere with you.

Security Guard:
Bullshit, you're outta here, cowboy! [The senior guard pulls the cowboy's sock-feet off the table]

[Four security guards grab the cowboy and carry him outside, ramming his head into the door to open it as Sam instructed.]

Cowboy:
Fuck you! Fuck you!

Security Guard:
Yeah?

Cowboy:
Do you know who you're fucking with?! Huh?!! Do you?!

Security Guard:
Now, move along.

Cowboy:
[to Sam Rothstein] You fuckin' faggot! Do you know who you're fucking with?! [to security guards] Leave me alone!

Security Guard:
Here we go.

Cowboy:
You've gotta be kidding me!

Sam Rothstein {as narrator}:
Sure enough, an hour later, I get a call.

Nicky Santoro:
Ace, what happened over there? I mean, did you know that guy you threw out was with me?

Sam Rothstein:
No, I didn't know that. But you know what he did?

Nicky Santoro:
No.

Sam Rothstein:
He insulted Billy. And then I walked over to him politely, and he tells me to go fuck myself.

Nicky Santoro:
What?!

Sam Rothstein:
Then he called me a faggot. So what do you think I do? I threw that cocksucker out.

Nicky Santoro:
What? Ho-- [puts down phone and addresses cowboy] Hey, come here. You called my friend a faggot? You tell him to go fuck himself?

Cowboy:
Nicky, I did--

Nicky Santoro:
Is that what you did?

Cowboy:
I did-- I didn't--

Nicky Santoro:
Tell him to go fuck himself? [hits cowboy on the head with the phone] You fucking hick! Fuckin', you big fuckin' hick, you. Come here. Come here. Get him up. Come here.

Frank Marino:
Get up, Get up.

Nicky Santoro:
Come here. Come here. You go over there right now and you apologize. You better hope he lets you back in. If you ever get out of line over there again, I'll smash your fuckin' head so hard, you won't be able to get that cowboy hat on. You hear me? Fucking hick. [resumes phone conversation] Sammy, listen. This guy obviously doesn't know who he was talking to. You understand? He doesn't know that... we're dear friends. I mean, he's already very sorry. But... if you could do me a favor and let him back in, I swear to you he'll never get out of line again. I promise you that.

Sam Rothstein:
If he does it again, he's out for good. I don't care what it is, Nick, I'm gonna ha-- I'll never let him in the place again.

Nicky Santoro:
I'm sorry about this. Really. All right, Ace?

Sam Rothstein:
Okay.

Nicky Santoro:
Thanks, pal. [hangs up the phone and turns to cowboy] You took your boots off? You put your feet on the table... You shit-kicking, stinky, horse-manure-smelling motherfucker you! You fuck me up over there, I'll stick you in a hole in the fuckin' desert! You understand? [slaps cowboy in the face] Go over there and apologize. Go! Get the fuck out of--!

Cowboy:
Nicky, I'm sorry!

Sam Rothstein {as narrator}:
Well, it wasn't long before what I was afraid was going to happen, happened. Nicky managed to get himself banned from every casino in Las Vegas. And from that moment on I couldn't be seen with him in Vegas or anywhere near it.

Nicky Santoro:
What the fuck is that supposed to mean? [reads letter] " ...detrimental to gaming. And he will be ejected from any casino in Las Vegas... and the casinos can be fined as much as $100,000 every time he shows up." [He waves the document] Do you believe this shit?

Sam Rothstein:
(Smoking a cigarette) Yeah, I believe it. You got banned.

Nicky Santoro:
[reads letter again] "Because of unsavory reputation..." [He angrily wads the document and tosses it across the table] Motherfucker. Unsavory fuckin'... Is there any way around this?

Sam Rothstein:
No, there's no way.

Nicky Santoro:
Let's say, for instance, I want to go in a restaurant that happens to be inside a casino, to get one of those sandwiches I like?

Sam Rothstein:
Forget it. You cannot so much as set foot in the parking lot. That is how serious this is.

Nicky Santoro:
In other words, I'm fucked.

Sam Rothstein:
In so many words, yes.

Sam Rothstein {as narrator}:
It just didn't sink into his head about the Black Book and what it meant. Not being able to go into a casino is just one thing, but being in this book etched your name into the brains of every cop and FBI agent in the state. I mean, you're listed in there with Al Capone. But Nicky didn't care.

Nicky Santoro:
I gotta do somethin'. I gotta do somethin'. They ain't gettin' rid of me. They're not gettin' rid of me. I'm staying here. Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em.

Commissioner Webb:
Thanks for seeing a humble public servant, Mr. Rothstein. You run a nice business here. House is doing very well for itself. Uh, I come here personally to kind of smooth over a fracas about a certain matter. See, uh, maybe you didn't know it, but, uh, Don Ward is a very well-liked man in this town. He's got lots of friends here. Now, his family and their money go back many, many years. Now, friends vote... family and money votes. That's important to me... and you. And if you'll think about our little problem along them lines... and you forgive me for sayin' it, maybe he did not deserve to be fired.

Sam Rothstein:
I'm sorry, but he knew about our gettin' hit on three big machines in a row and he did nothing about it. That means either he was in on it or, forgive me for saying this, he was too dumb to see what was going on. Either way, I cannot have a man like that workin' here.

Commissioner Webb:
Before we point the dirty end of the stick at 'ol Don, uh, we better be sure we can prove them charges.

Sam Rothstein:
Believe me, if I could prove it, he would be under arrest.

Commissioner Webb:
Are, uh - [Clears throat] - are we certain that you want the Gamin' Control Board eyeballin' your record and your gangster pals like Nicky Santoro?

Sam Rothstein:
I think you're way out of line talkin' to me like that. What you're sayin' is libelous, and you're in no position to challenge my expertise. I went way out of my way to be very helpful and courteous to that kid. He's weak, he's incompetent. He jeopardizes the whole place. There's not much more I can do for him.

Commissioner Webb:
[Chuckles] You have got me there. Old Don is about as useless as tits on a boar! But, he is my brother-in-law, and I would look on it as a personal favor if you'd think some more on hirin' him back.

Sam Rothstein:
I can't do that. And I appreciate the fact that he's your brother-in-law, and I do want to help you and I like to do favors, and I know who you are, but I cannot do that.

Commissioner Webb:
Well, could there be any position... further down the trough?

Sam Rothstein:
I'm sorry, I can't do anything. He's too incompetent. And the bottom line is, he cannot be trusted. (Phone rings, Ace responds and hangs up a few seconds later) Um... you know, that's it. I'm sorry.

Commissioner Webb:
Mr Rothstein. You people never will understand the way it works out here. You're all just our guests. But you act like you're at home. Let me tell you somethin', partner... you ain't home. But that's where we're gonna send you if it harelips the Governor. Thank you for your time.

Nicky Santoro {as narrator}:
No matter what the problems were outside the count room, it was all worth it. The cash kept rollin' in. And the suitcases kept comin' and goin'. And let me tell ya, the fuckin' bottom line here is... cash. The only problem was that, after a while, the bosses noticed that the suitcases were gettin' a little light. [Count room employee pockets a wad of cash].

[Kansas City. Bosses are enraged at news]

Vincent Borelli:
Aspetta, Wait a minute. You mean to tell me that the money we're robbing is bein' robbed? That somebody's robbing from us? We go through all this fuckin' trouble, and somebody's robbin' us?

Remo Gaggi:
Eh?

John Nance:
Like I said, you know, i-it's part of the business. I-it's considered leakage.

Vincent Borelli:
Leakage, my balls. I want the guy who's robbin' us.

Nicky Santoro {as narrator}:
Even John Nance, that's the guy who ran the skim, he knew there wasn't much you could do about it. You gotta know that a guy who helps you steal, even if you take care of him real well, I mean, he's gonna steal a little bit extra for himself. Makes sense, don't it? Right? Well, you go try and make these hard-headed old greaseballs understand that.

Vincent Borelli:
What's the point of skimming if we're being skimmed? Defeats the whole purpose of what we're doin' out there.

Remo Gaggi:
Eh?

John Nance:
You know, they take this money because they're my guys. So you gotta give 'em some leeway.

Nicky Santoro {as narrator}:
But the bosses never believed in leeway, so listen to what they do: they put Artie Piscano, the underboss of KC, in charge of making sure nobody skimmed the skim.

Vincent Borelli:
What the hell have you been doin' out there?

Artie Piscano:
I was out there with my cumare (mistress)

Vincent Borelli:
Your cumma? What were you doing with your cumare?

Artie Piscano:
What else? I gave her a schaff!

Nicky Santoro { as narrator}:
The only trouble was, Piscano was a disaster. This guy could fuck up a cup of coffee.

Vincent Borelli:
Artie, what the hell have you been doing out there, Artie?

Artie Piscano:
I'm out there more than I'm here.

Nicky Santoro {as narrator}:
And little did anybody know where this would all lead. If they did, they would have been better off making fucking novenas (Catholic prayers).

Vincent Borelli:
You gotta go back there and talk to that guy.

Artie Piscano:
Come on, go back there? I never got paid my expenses for the last trip.

Vincent Borelli:
What expenses?

Artie Piscano:
Well, I'm going all over, laying money out of my own pocket, and I never get anything back. What the hell's goin' on?

Vincent Borelli:
You gotta go back out there.

Artie Piscano:
Well, then, from now on, I'm gonna start keeping records.

[Vincent waves a cautionary hand]

Vincent Borelli:
Artie, no records, Artie. What are you going to do with records? Pay taxes?

Artie Piscano:
Well, I keep layin' out my own fuckin' dough for these trips and nothin' ever comes back. I mean, what the hell's goin' on? What are we doin' over here?

Vincent Borelli:
You're goin' out to Las Vegas, you're havin' a good time at my expense. What the fuck? I mean, after all, you're the one having a good time, not me.

Sam Rothstein {as narrator}:
No matter how many novenas you could make, nothing was gonna stop what came up next at the casino.

Phil Green:
I can't believe you're doing this.

Anna Scott:
We made a deal. You came to me, remember?

Sam Rothstein {as narrator}:
It turned out Phil Green, Mr. Integrity, had a partner nobody knew about, and when she showed up and started demanding some money from the Tangiers...

Anna Scott:
Why are you doing this to me?!

Phil Green:
Because you're wrong.

Anna Scott:
I'm not wrong.

Phil Green:
Yes, you are.

Anna Scott:
No, I am not wrong!

Sam Rothstein {as narrator}:
Green tried to stonewall her.

Anna Scott:
I will see to it that you do not get away with this!

Sam Rothstein {as narrator}:
So she sued him in court.

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