Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 18
  • Crime, Drama
  • 1995
  • 182 mins

Casino

Casino

Synopsis

Superbly crafted often sickeningly violent mafia must-see. Directed by Scorsese, starring De Niro, Pesci and Sharon Stone in a stand out performance

About

The true story of Sam 'Ace' Rothstein (Robert De Niro), a shrewd, Mafia-connected casino operator, whose assured, mannered existence is undone by his devotion to his flighty wife, Ginger and his boyhood friend Nicky (Joe Pesci), a wild card who fancies his chances on Ace's patch.

De Niro and Pesci narrate the extended opening, detailing the mechanics of skimming money from the casino to pass onto the bosses back home. This sequence ends with the glorious introduction of Sharon Stone's showgirl hustler Ginger, all fur, jewels and blonde ambition, who casts gambling chips into the air. On a security monitor, De Niro watches her exuberant transgression, and falls in love. So begins his downfall, and the end of Mob rule in Vegas.

Where GoodFellas explored the allure of being a Brooklyn wise guy, with a hair-trigger comic sensibility, Casino emphasises the remorseless fear and grind of a mobster's life, all its attraction purged in two horrifically violent set-pieces. One, a torture scene with a vice, has been rightly condemned as gratuitous - but it is the closing beating that truly disturbs, two men brutally disfigured by repeated whacks with metallic bats that, as they are tipped into the grave, their featureless faces frozen in a contorted howl, it's almost as if a new species has emerged from the violence, only to be suddenly, cruelly, aborted. There is no romanticism in this view of the Mafia.

Scorsese making a gangster film with Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro raised no eyebrows, and led some critics to accuse him of hitting a rut. All the same, with its ferocity and maturity, particularly in the responsibilities weighing upon the wise guys, Casino can be seen a closing chapter in the evolution of a gangster community, from its street heyday in Mean Streets to its adjustment to the new drug trade in Goodfellas to its final giving way to the power of the corporations in the eighties.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Don Rickles, Sharon Stone, James Woods, Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro, Alan King
  • Director: Martin Scorsese
  • Screen Writer: Martin Scorsese, Nicholas Pileggi
  • Writer (Book): Nicholas Pileggi
  • Producer: Barbara De Fina
  • Photographer: Robert Richardson

In a nutshell

The closing chapter in Scorsese's American Crime trilogy, Casino is superbly acted and quite astonishingly obsessive about detail, money, and the mob's decline.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 The Sitter

    The Sitter

    Jonah Hill stars as a slacker who's forced to fill in as a babysitter for a night, but the kids he's looking after prove more than he can handle when he takes them on a crime-filled trip through NYC

  • Film4 Amy

    Amy

    Senna director Asif Kapadia tells the story of Amy Winehouse in her own words with the use of unseen archive footage and previously unheard tracks

  • Film4 Evil Dead

    Saturday Night Shocks on Film4

    Horror, mystery and suspense stake its claim on the weekend. A new season of Saturday Night Shocks comes to Film4.

  • Film4 Bridesmaids

    Comedy Season 2015 on Film4

    Eight nights of contemporary comedy hits, including first plays of Cuban Fury, American Reunion, The Sitter, and the network premiere of 21 & Over, on Film4

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Cannes 2015 Wrap Up

    I've just come out of the press screening of the festival's Closing Night film - the ecological documentary The Ice and the Sky - and, for me, Cannes is finished for another year. A few great films an

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Cannes 2015: Love at the movies

    Film4 Channel Editor David Cox reports on the closing days of Cannes 2015... We're down to the last few days of the festival now, with crowds thinning out and the amount of films still to premiere co

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share