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: Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro, Don Rickles, Alan King, James Woods
  • 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

    Baggage Claim

    Paula Patton stars in writer-director David E Talbert's romcom about a woman's desperate hunt to find herself a husband.

    On Film4: 10 May 6:55PM

  • Film4

    Metallica: Through The Never

    Director Nimród Antal and cinematographer Gyula Pados blend fact and fiction as they capture an obscure live Metallica concert in North America.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Cannes 2016: 10 Picks

    Film4.com site editor and festival newbie Michael Leader selects ten films from the Official Selection at this year's Cannes Film Festival that he can't wait to see... Go easy on me, I'm new around t

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Cannes 2016: 10 picks

    Catherine Bray runs her eye over this year¿s line-up and selects ten films she can¿t wait to watch at the 69th Cannes Film Festival The official line-up is now locked and loaded, so time to have a ru

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Share