Captivating buildings, huge crowds of people, glamorous sights, breath-taking events, 24-hour entertainment, spinning roulette and a whole lot of money. Do you already have a clue as to what we’re talking about? Casino world. It is a mixture of excitement, hope and luxury, all tangled up to create an amazing atmosphere that can either make you the happiest person on earth or devastate you.
It’s no mistake that some of the most iconic movies ever made have been set in casinos (mostly Las Vegas casinos). From mob stories and heists, to espionage thrillers and comedies, all have been set beside the roulette and poker tables of the strip. But have no fear, not all casino action has to take place in Nevada. You can visit online casinos such as Conquer Casino UK and avoid a confrontation with a mafioso style pit boss! Using an online casino also means that you don’t have to carry large amounts of cash around, and you can also log on to play wherever you are and whatever you are doing- on the train, on your lunchbreak, or curled up on the sofa at home!
But if you’re still left with a craving for some Las Vegas glitz and glamour, there’s really only one movie you need to watch to give you that casino feeling from the comfort of home… Martin Scorsese’s 1995 masterpiece, Casino.
Casino is the quintessential Las Vegas casino movie. The film explores the greed and violence that ran through the heart of the mob’s involvement in gambling in the 1970’s and 1980’s. People talk and talk about how Vegas works, and Scorsese’s camera sprints to keep up. He’s like an energetic tour guide making sure we understand everything.
In much the same way as Goodfellas before it, Casino is another collaboration between crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese, and one that also details the life of a career criminal: Frank Rosenthal (renamed as Sam “Ace” Rothstein in the film). Unlike Scorsese’s earlier gangster film though, Casino was a much more glamorous and indulgent affair, detailing the life of Rosenthal (Robert De Niro) as he rose up to a position of prominence as the manager of a mob-run Las Vegas casino.
Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) was Ace’s extremely violent sidekick on their way up in the shadow of the criminal world, and Ace isn’t exactly thrilled when Nicky also relocates to Vegas. Ace meets and marries professional hustler Ginger McKenna (Sharon Stone), a gorgeous but money-hungry gold digger with an unhealthy attachment to small time hustler Lester Diamond (James Woods). Eventually Ace’s life begins to unravel: he insults the wrong local power brokers and runs afoul of Vegas’ licensing requirements; Nicky’s violent methods reflect badly on Ace’s business; and Ginger looks to rob him blind and make off with their daughter.
Visually, Casino is quite stunning and manages to really capture the excitement and glitz of gambling in a casino. So long as Casino stays focused on the excesses – of language, of violence, of ambition – in the life-styles of the rich and infamous, it remains a truly smart and knowing spectacle. And the ultimate cautionary tale.
When it all falls apart, when the mob gets run out because they got too sloppy, when Nicky is buried alive in a cornfield, when Ginger takes off with $1.2 million of Ace’s money and ODs, when the decrepit ancient bosses get indicted and turn Vegas into Wiseguy Valhalla, an acute sense of loss and diminution washes over you. It’s the same kind of strange pity you feel when the aging sisters of The Strip—The Hacienda, The Dunes, The Sands—get dynamited down into dust.