Movie Review: Casino (1996)

Based on a book by Nicholas Pileggi who himself had a fair share of experience with the mob as he was with a man who ran four casinos, Casino takes you closer to the horrid yet awe-inspiring Mafia culture in Las Vegas.

Just like other popular movies like Las Vegas, Casino is rich with the glamourous but dark culture of the Casino industry. Many of us today are familiar with online casino’s but there is just no comparison to gritty underbelly of real thing.

The movie starts with an opening scene of a car bombing off, and Sam “Ace” Rothstein floating in the air. From this point, it’s all about learning how such a thing happened to him, and how the mobs emptied the casinos of millions in Las Vegas. This is followed in a narrative style undertaken by Rothstein (Robert De Niro) and others, all of which do their job really well.

The movie is based on many interesting ideas. Just think about it for a moment- what if you could take out 25% of a slot-machine? How will you covert it into the bills, and arrange these to deliver to the mafia in Kansas City? The mafia in Casino knows how to go about it, and they don’t stop at casinos either- they go as far as gift shops, food services, and more.

Now, we all know that no movie is complete without some conflict. And in this case, the mafia deals with their kind of trouble too, as the casinos find out about their wrongdoings and try to “handle the situation”.

The Plot

Rothstein lives in Chicago and makes a living as a sports oddsmaker. However, he is blessed with a knack for numbers, and thus grabs the attention of the mob who think he will make for a great businessman. And so, they get him to run the Teamsters Union-funded Tangiers Casino on the behalf of the Chicago Outfit, i.e. the mafia.

One day, Rothstein sees Ginger McKenna, a hustler and former call girl, on a TV security monitor and is smitten by her. He starts showering her with all kinds of gifts and compliments, which she loves, but at the same time is bound by a predicament. The thing is- Rothstein wants to marry her, but she is with a pimp that goes by the name Lester Diamond (James Woods) and she can’t leave him. So, Rothstein promiser her all the riches in the world- expensive cars, diamonds, and a beautiful home with a pool, and she decides to marry him.

As it turns out, marrying Ginger was a big mistake, and so was to maintain relations with Nicky Santoro, who is a thief and a killer who likes to shake down the locals. So, what follows then is a tale of violence, money, power, and greed.

The Verdict

There have been many casino movies, but the 1996 Casino is a classic. It’s as good as with the action, and drama as with the history that’s deep and dark. It won’t be wrong to say that every person who is a fan of casinos, drama, and action should watch it.

Flush the Fashion

Editor of Flush the Fashion and Flush Magazine. I love music, art, film, travel, food, tech and cars. Basically, everything this site is about.