The movie Casino which was released in 1995 continues to remain one of the most popular movies for people interested in mob psychology and the casino gaming industry. The movie, starring Sharon Stone, Robert De Niro, and Joe Pesci, was directed by Martin Scorsese.
Guest author Jacek Michałski, shares 11 behind-the-scenes facts about the movie Casino. To find out more about Jacek Michałski, click here.
If you want to explore Las Vegas and understand the connection between mobsters and the gaming industry, you have to watch Casino. The following are some interesting behind-the-scenes facts.
Based on Real Life
Casino is based on the life of Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, who managed the Las Vegas casinos Hacienda, Stardust, and Fremont in the seventies and the eighties. The character of Sam “Ace” Rothstein in the movie is Frank while Ginger McKenna is his wife Geri McGee and Nicky Santoro is Anthony Spilotro.
True Casino Scenes
One of the Casino best scenes was the bombing of Sam’s car. In real life, Frank survived a car bombing because of a metal stabilization plate that was placed under the driver’s seat. The bombing scene, therefore, is quite valid.
Casino Movie Location – The Riviera
All the Casino scenes were filmed in the Riviera. The movie’s exterior scenes were filmed in front of Landmark Hotel, located in front of today’s Westgate Las Vegas.
All the interior scenes were filmed between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. so that the casino’s patrons could gamble undisturbed.
The filming of the Casino boosted business for the Riviera as it attracted customers by posting a banner stating that Pesci, Sharon Stone, and Robert De Niro were filming a movie on its gambling floors.
Real Pit Bosses and Dealers
As the movie was based on a casino, its producers had to create an authentic casino environment. They used real pit bosses and dealers whenever they could so that they didn’t have to train actors to deal with cards and manage the tables.
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Sharon Stone Specially Chosen for Ginger
Top actresses Melanie Griffith, Madonna, Nicole, Cameron Diaz, and Uma Thurman were considered for the role of Ginger and were rejected as unsuitable. The producers rightly felt that Sharon Stone was the best actress for Ginger. She proved them right when she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture.
Huge Costume Budget
Although the Casino was a 1995 movie, its costume budget was enormous. The producers spent $1 million on the wardrobe alone. Robert De Niro had seventy different customized outfits.
Sharon Stone too received a customized wardrobe, but she had to wear fewer costumes than Robert De Niro. She wore forty different costumes, and one of them, a beaded gown of white-and-gold weighing 45 pounds gave her back pain and re-activated one of her old injuries.
F Words Liberally Used
The Casino film used rough language. The actors used the F word 435 times, which means that someone in the movie said it at least once every 3 seconds.
Gamblers Refused to Reveal Secrets
The producers tried their hardest to get real-life gamblers to reveal their winning strategies. But no gambler wanted to reveal his/her secrets. They especially did not want to talk about how they cheated casinos. This is quite understandable as revealing such information would alert the casinos and make it difficult for the players to use their winning strategies.
Oscar Goodman – A Lawyer in Real Life
Oscar Goodman, who played the role of Sam’s lawyer in the movie, was a lawyer in real life too. He had defended several mobsters connected to the Las Vegas gaming industry, and in 1999, he became the mayor.
Sharon Stone’s Anxiety
Sharon Stone had anxiety during the phone booth scene. Scorsese remained close to her and held her hand during the filming to make her feel comfortable.
The Casino’s Fake Counting Room
The producers couldn’t use the Riviera’s counting room and had to create a fake one for their requirements. The actors and crew members weren’t permitted in the Riviera’s counting room. All the revenue generated by the casino in the movie was displayed in the fake counting room.
Conclusion – Arguably One Of The Best Gaming Movies
Do you want to peep inside the dark secrets of the gambling industry? Then you have to watch the Casino movie. It is available on several streaming services including Netflix.