Casino is a 1995 American epic crime film directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, and Joe Pesci. It is based on the nonfiction book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi, who also co-wrote the screenplay for the film with Scorsese. The two had previously collaborated on Goodfellas.
The film marks the eighth collaboration between director Scorsese and De Niro, following Mean Streets (1973); Taxi Driver (1976); New York, New York (1977); Raging Bull (1980); The King of Comedy (1982); Goodfellas (1990); and Cape Fear (1991).
In Casino, De Niro stars as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, a Jewish American gambling handicapper who is called by the Chicago Outfit to oversee the day-to-day operations at the Tangiers Casino in Las Vegas. His character is based on Frank Rosenthal, who ran the Stardust, Fremont, and Hacienda casinos in Las Vegas for the Chicago Outfit from the 1970s until the early 1980s. Pesci plays Nicholas “Nicky” Santoro, based on real-life Mob enforcer Anthony Spilotro, a “made man” who could give Ace the protection he needed. Nicky is sent to Vegas to make sure that money from the Tangiers is skimmed off the top and the mobsters in Vegas are kept in line. Sharon Stone plays Ginger McKenna, Ace’s scheming, self-absorbed wife, based on Geri McGee.
Casino was released on November 22, 1995, to a mostly positive critical response, and was a box-office success. Stone’s performance was widely praised, earning her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Running time 178 minutes