Casino The Movie Based on a True Story? Image

The casino is a classic movie released in the year 1995. It’s an epic gangster flick about money, power, greed and murder.

The movie directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Nicholas Pileggi, features Robert De Niro (Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein), Joe Pesci (Nicky Santoro), Sharon Stone (Ginger McKenna), and James Woods (Lester Diamond) as the main cast.

The Story

The plot revolves around a mafia affiliate named Sam Rothstein (Ace). Sam is given an assignment by the Chicago Outfit mob to run the Tangiers casino. Meanwhile, the CEO of the establishment (frontman for the mafia) goes by the name Philip Green. While Sam puts in the effort and makes the casino much more profitable, the proceeds are pocketed by the mob before taxation.

Sam’s boss (Remo Gaggi) then assigns Sam a protection detail to protect him and the casino skimming operation. The protection detail includes Nicky Santoro (Sam’s friend from way back), Dominic Santoro (Nicky’s brother) and Frankie Marino.

Sam later falls for a stripper by the name Ginger McKenna. Ginger has a problematic past and an unhealthy relationship with her ex, Lester Diamond. The relationship between Lester and Ginger soon puts Sam’s relationship with Ginger on the rocks despite them having a daughter together. Sam later decides to divorce Ginger, who then flees with their daughter to England.

The movie ends with Sam surviving an assassination attempt by Nicky. Ginger dies of a drug overdose after a confrontation with Sam. Nicky and Dominic get attacked after orders from the mafia. They are roughed up and buried alive in shallow graves. Sam retires, and multimillion-dollar corporations acquire the casinos.

True story or fiction?

The movie, based on a true story, had its plot developed around the actual life of Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal who managed casinos for the Chicago. He managed three casinos; Stardust, Fremont and Hacienda between 1970 and 1980.

There are many facts in the movie that happened in real life as depicted.

Rosenthal was a mobster

Rosenthal was a gangster for the mafia and did not have a casino gaming license. He was planted by the mob in the casinos to aid their money skimming operations.

Rosenthal survived assassination

In the movie, Sam survives a car bombing. Frank Rosenthal did survive a car bombing in his 1981 Cadillac Eldorado. The only reason Frank survived was because of a metal plate in the model of his car that shielded him from the blast.

Geri died of an overdose.

Frank’s wife, Geri, did die from a drug overdose.

Geri portrayed as Ginger McKenna in the movie died after overdosing. She was found at the Beverly Sunset Hotel and passed on while in medical care three days later. The family of Geri believes that the mob orchestrated her death.

Anthony and Michael die together.

In the movie, Nicky Santoro and his brother Dominic Santoro are tortured and buried alive in a cornfield.

It happened as depicted factually in the movie. In June of 1986, Anthony and Michael Spilotro (Nicky and Dominic) disappear and found several days later buried in a cornfield in Indiana.

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  1. Joseph Alexandre says:

    You guys know where to find out more about the real story:)

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