“C” is for Casino (1995)
omparing gangster films featuring actor Joe Pesci, I have to side with Casino. I think most people would probably say Goodfellas, but I prefer the 1995 film starring Robert DeNiro as casino boss Sam Rothstein.
The film follows the story of how the mob controlled many of the Las Vegas casinos. It is also the story of how two best friends end up at war with each other over a number of matters, but mostly over the love of a woman, played here by Sharon Stone.
There is a very high level of violence in this movie. I will say that from the off. Funnily enough, most of it comes from the hands of Joe Pesci who plays mobster Nicky Santoro in pretty much a continuation of his character in Goodfellas, Tommy DeVito. Santoro also proves that the pen really IS mightier than the sword. I like how this film quickly gathers pace and then before you know it, you are in to deep yourself and can’t get out. Director Martin Scorsese has a habit of doing that with his films and although I haven’t liked everything he has made, Casino really stands out for me. It’s also based on true events from the 70s and early 80s.
I have seen most of the big gangster movies, The Godfather, Goodfellas, Scarface, Donnie Brascoe and Casino is still the best of them in my opinion. However, it was only ever nominated for one Oscar and Sharon Stone didn’t win that. It must have been a tough year that year.
Fun Fact: To avoid the continuity problems that accompany a chain-smoking movie character, Robert De Niro always held his cigarettes the same distance from the lit end so that their lengths never appear to change.