Casino: A Gambling Film Review (part2)

Posted: July 27, 2015

Updated: October 6, 2017

The continuation of Frank Rosenthal and his adventures as a casino operator.

“Casino” is a film that was directed and co-written by Martin Scorsese in 1995. Based on Nicholas Pileggio’s non-fiction novel about Frank Rosenthal, a reputable handicapper asked by the Chicago mafia to operate a casino. The film made U.S. gambling news when it made USD 116 million in worldwide sales. Film stars Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, who have already collaborated on earlier films, continue to have the incredible chemistry that made films like “Goodfellas” and “Raging Bull” box office hits.

• Casino showed how Las Vegas became deeply seeded in corruption
• DeNiro and Pesci gave stellar performances fans know them for
• The Chicago Outfit killed several characters while Ace paid the price

The film performs a better than average job of bringing its audience inside the early days of Las Vegas. DeNiro’s character, Sam “Ace” Rothstein, is a handicapper who is able to hustle his way into the inner workings of a casino. Casino is one of those rare films that gives a working account of how Vegas gained the credibility and power it wielded for the second half of the 20th century.

Ace Rothstein fights to get his family back

Nicky Santoro convinces Ace to take his wife Ginger back. Ace reluctantly accepts only under the condition that she wears a beeper so he can know her location at all times. Ginger, afraid to ask Ace for more money, asks Nicky to help her make it and the two begin an affair that’s being monitored by undercover police. Ace learns of the affair and, like Nicky, warns Ginger to end it.

Casino movie Sharon Stone Robert de Niro

Ace and Ginger (Robert de Niro, Sharon Stone) (Photo: Casino)

Frankie Marino denies the affair, when boss Gaggi asks him about it. Nicky and his crew start to become even more reckless as a result of their increased cocaine usage. Out of fear that Ace will reveal his affair to Gaggi, Nicky decides that Ace should be killed. Later Ace goes home and finds his daughter Amy alone tied to the bed posts. Quickly learning that Ginger left their daughter to go to Nicky’s restaurant, Ace goes there.

After they return home, Ginger leaves again asks Nicky to kill Ace. After Nicky refuses, Ginger physically attacks Nicky and she is thrown out by him and his men. Ginger arrives home the next morning and threatens to contact the FBI. The police soon arrive and escort Ginger inside the home to get some personal belongings. While doing so, Ginger steals Ace’s safe-deposit box key from his desk.

After withdrawing most of the money from the bank, Ginger is apprehended by police officers. The FBI then attains search warrants on Ace’s house and Nicky’s jewelry store. Nicky’s crew is arrested and Federal Agents seize control of the casino in order to examine the financial records and uncover any hidden gambling news. Philip Green makes a plea bargain with the FBI while Artie Piscano’s record books were found in his home.

The FBI collects more evidence against the Tangiers operation

Nicky is still missing as the FBI searches for more evidence. While questioning Ace, Federal Agents try to mentally influence him by trying to show him pictures of Nicky and his wife together. The Chicago Outfit is determined to kill anyone who is capable of helping the FBI with their indictment and kills Andy Stone as a result. The FBI arrested Nance’s son on drug possession as bait to lure out Nance.

John Nance, responsible for carrying money to Kansas City for the Outfit bosses, is killed while hiding in Costa Rica. Two workers from the counting room at the Tangiers were also killed. After weeks of continuous murders by the Chicago Outfit, Ginger ran off and gained the companionship of other drug addicts while spending all of the money she had. Ace finds out that Ginger died of a cocaine overdose and hires a private investigator.

John Nance by Bill Allison

John Nance played by Bill Allison (Photo: Casino)

He learns that Ginger may have died from a “hot dose”, a dose of cocaine contaminated with another toxin. Ace is in his car while it explodes from a bomb planted inside. Although his life is saved due to a metal plate that was placed under the driver’s seat, Ace blames Nicky for the explosion. The Chicago Outfit is completely irritated with Nicky. His barring from Vegas casinos, the attention from his murders and burglaries and his affair with Ginger all violated mafia codes for “made men.”

A meeting is arranged between Nicky and his crew members after they made bail. Alone in the desert, the crew starts to beat Dominick with bats until he’s unconscious, remove Dominick’s clothing and put him in a shallow grave. They then start to beat Nicky and do the same with his body. The Tangiers is destroyed as Ace talks in a sound over about the old days of Vegas being gone. Ace states that casinos used to be friendly and weren’t as burdened with U.S. gambling laws. Despite the fate of the old Vegas, Ace’s life is sparred by the mafia and he continues to work for them as a handicapper.

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