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15 Facts you did not know about Martin Scorsese’s Casino

The world of mobsters and underground kingpins is terrifying yet exciting. When you’re looking to take a break from browsing casino online ranking, why not enjoy a classic film. The top of Jacek Michałski’s list is the movie, Casino. He’s an avid gambling enthusiast and has a passion for cinema blockbusters, especially those that delve into the casino and gambling industry.

Casino Movie

The movie Casino is arguably one of Martin Scorsese’s best films that massed millions of dollars in 1995. It follows the tale of two mobster friends as they make a name for themselves in Las Vegas during the 70s and 80s.


Today we won’t be discussing the storyline or plot, but rather the most interesting Casino movie facts. So, let’s jump in and learn more about the movie that features Sharon Stone’s Golden Globe award-winning performance.

1. Dialogue

Most Casino scenes that feature the power duo Robert de Niro and Joe Pesci are improvised. Director, Scorsese, gave them the start and end-points, then allowed them to bounce off each other.

2. Wardrobe

There was a massive budget of one million dollars on the wardrobes alone. De Niro’s character, Ace, had 70 costume changes, and Stone’s role, Ginger, had 40. After filming, both stars were permitted to keep their production clothes.

3. The Dress

The stunning white and gold beaded gown that Ginger wears weighed a whopping 45 pounds (20.4 kg). She was in a lot of pain between Casino scenes as it flared up an old back injury.

4. Real Life

The ‘Tangiers’ in the movie is based on the real-life Stardust Casino that was managed by Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, who inspired Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein. De Niro met with Rosenthal before filming to have a better understanding of the character.

Ginger McKenna and Nicky Santoro were based on Geri McGee and Anthony Spilotro, respectively.

5. The Bombing

On October 4, 1982, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal survived a hit on his life when a bomb was planted on his car’s gas tank. The reason he wasn’t severely harmed is because of a metal plaque placed below the driver’s seat. In the movie, Ace also makes it out alive when a bomb detonates in his car.

6. Buried Alive

In the movie Casino, Nicky Santoro is beaten and buried alive with his brother by a mobster. Anthony Spilotro and his brother, Michael, were also battered and buried in a cornfield by the mob.

7. Overdose

Another one of the Casino movie facts is the way Ginger McKenna dies. At the end of the film, shes passes away as a result of a drug overdose, much like Geri McGee.

8. The Attorney

The man who acts as Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein’s attorney, Oscar Goodman, was a real-life lawyer. In his lifetime, he defended various Las Vegas connected mobsters. He was also elected as Mayer of Las Vegas in 1999.

9. K.K. Ichikawa

The character K.K. Ichikawa was inspired by real-life gambler, Akio Kashiwagi. He owed many people, including Donald Trump, millions as a result of gambling habits. The Japanese mafia, yakuza, assassinated him in the early 90s.

10. Authenticity

To keep as close to actual events, Martin Scorsese hired FBI agents and parolees from the movie’s era to develop the plot. It helped create authentic Casino movie scenes. He also used real dealers and pit bosses and not actors.

11. Location

If you’ve been wondering where was the movie Casino filmed that it looked like a genuine casino. In fact, it was shot in the Riviera Hotel and Casino, which was reportedly eager to have it filmed on-location.

12. Working Hours

To avoid disturbing the Riviera’s clients and gamblers, the cast and production crew worked between 1 AM and 4 AM.

13. The Counting Room

While the Casino scenes were shot inside the casino, production was forbidden in the counting room. It’s one of the few fake locations created for filming.

14. Keeping Secrets

According to reports, the most challenging task for filming was finding gamblers open to sharing methods of cheating.

15. Stardust

Scorsese pays tribute to Tangiers’ inspiration, Stardust Casino, by playing the song ‘Stardust’ three times throughout the film. It’s a thoughtful touch as the opening credits let viewers know the story is based on real events, but never mentions the Stardust Casino.

In Closing

Next time you put the movie Casino on, you’ll be able to appreciate the thorough detail and work done. The authenticity that the directors and producers brought to this classic is unmatched in modern titles. 




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About Bruno

chatelin bruno

This Blog in french, is managed by Bruno Chatelin

It covers the french film festivals circuit with ambience and news.
Videos and audio podcasts.

C'est qui Bruno?
HEC, publicitaire chez Intermarco Publicis, DMM et JWT puis distributeur chez Sony Pictures (Directeur Marketing) de 1987 à 1995 puis UGC FOX (Directeur Général de 95 à 97, à la création du GIE)

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