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Interesting facts about Casino (1995) the movie

The character of Robert De Niro had a real Frank prototype of “Lefty” Rosenthal, who ran the Stardust, Fremont and Hacienda casinos from the 1970s to the early 1980s, writes Serg Dum.

The prototype for Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) was Anthony "Tony" Spilotro, a Chicago Syndicate cutthroat who was killed by boss order in 1986.

Filming, which took place mainly in Las Vegas, lasted five months from September 1994 to January 1995. According to producer Barbara De Fina, the construction of the necessary scenery would cost almost more than renting real premises as that was Las Vegas casino but not a King Billy free pokies in Australia or some other online establishment. So it was decided to abandon the pavilions. Moreover, genuine locations added the necessary realism.

The “role” of the fictional Tangiers casino was played by the real Riviera hotel-casino, chosen due to the neutral interior design (for the same reason they сreated Ocean's Eleven, the first Austin Powers and the Hangover). The group have been working at the hotel for six weeks due to the fact that they were allowed to film only for three hours - from one to four at night. Of course, management of the institution did not miss the extra chance to make money on the set - they placed an attractive banner at the front door: "Here, Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci play in the new film Casino. At the same time, the entrance to Tangiers in the picture is not Riviera, but the entrance of another building - the Landmark Tower, which was destroyed shortly after the filming. Other locations were found in downtown Las Vegas, including on Fremont Street main street, at McCarran International Airport.

The Casino script was written jointly by Scorsese and Pileggi for five months of 1994, and they made sixteen drafts. Despite such a careful study of the text, improvisations were often allowed on the site. For example, most replicas of the hero of James Woods were impromptu.

The total budget of Casino amounted to $ 52 million, of which more than $ 1 million was spent only on costumes. About 7000 actors were involved in the filming, for each of them a costume was made worth at least $ 150, which for Hollywood of those times was something out of the ordinary. Emphasizing the lavish lifestyle of the protagonists, costume designers Rita Rayek and John Dunn tailored or found seventy old-fashioned costumes for Robert De Niro and forty for Sharon Stone. Actors never appear in the same clothes in different scenes. Sharon Stone was literally hard about her sensual image of femme fatale. The fact is that some of her outfits, for example, the famous golden dress, weighed twenty kilograms. Wow!

Clothing was supposed to emphasize the evolution of characters. For example, De Niro's costumes, as the dubious nature of his success is revealed, become more and more flashy. The white dress of the heroine Sharon Stone at the beginning speaks of her purity and even innocence (as much as possible with her occupation), and the wild outfit at the end emphasizes a spiritual catastrophe.

Another interesting detail, also largely due to improvisation, is Casino is one of the most obscene films in history. Just the word "fuck" is used in it 422 times, that is, 2.4 times per minute. Over the past twenty years, the record has been broken just a few times, including by Scorsese himself - in The Wolf of Wall Street, heroes expressed it 687 times in different ways.

The film is based on the novel by Nicholas Pileggi and Larry Chandling's Casino (Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas, 1995).

The film and the novel of the same name are based on real events. An article in the Las Vegas Sun newspaper from 1980 about one of the scandals between Frank Rosenthal and his wife Jerry McGee, a former stripper, pushed to create a story about Nicholas Pileggi's casino…

* Serg Dum is a Chief Content Editor at King Billy Casino.

Published 13/12/19

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