Director Martin Scorsese reunites with members of his GoodFellas
gang (writer Nicholas Pileggi; actors Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Frank Vincent) for a three-hour epic about the rise and fall of mobster Sam "Ace" Rothstein (De Niro), a character based on real-life gangster Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal. (It's modeled after on Wiseguy
and Pileggi's true crime book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas
.) Through Rothstein, the picture tells the story of how the Mafia seized, and finally lost control of, Las Vegas gambling. The first hour plays like a fascinating documentary, intricately detailing the inner workings of Vegas casinos. Sharon Stone is the stand out among the actors; she nabbed an Oscar nomination for her role as the voracious Ginger, the glitzy call girl who becomes Rothstein's wife. The film is not as fast paced or gripping as Scorsese's earlier gangster pictures (Mean Streets
), but it's still absorbing. And, hey--it's Scorsese! --Jim Emerson
Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci. Martin Scorsese Directed This Gangster Saga Of A Gambler Running A Casino For The Mob In Las Vegas, His Violent Sidekick And A Beautiful Prostitute. 1995/Color/179 Min/R.