Synopsis: Mercurial sociopath romances starlet, founds gambling empire and goes apeshit at the mention of his nickname.
Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Warren Beatty and Annette Bening star in the incredible true story of Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel, the playboy mobster who betrayed the mafia for love.”
What Did I Learn?: The modern-day Las Vegas was apparently created only because Bugsy Siegel blew up at his mistress, stopped the car, and saw a vision of things to come during a walk through the desert.
You Might Like This Movie If: You never watched that [shudder] other “Bugsy” gangster movie.
Really?: If you had just ratted out a top-level mobster, would you really show up on the doorstep of one of his business partners to ask for a job? And if the dude suggests the two of you go out for a late-night drive (and he strongly discourages his girlfriend from tagging along), would really you take him up on that offer?
Rating: Bugsy is an interesting companion to Casino, as it’s set in the period right before Vegas became America’s gambling destination. It’s a good movie (and what a cast: Ben Kingsley, Harvey Keitel, Joe Montegna and Elliott Gould!) but the romance story doesn’t juxtapose well with the gangster stuff, in part because it’s tough to like a violent, screaming lunatic. (Great performance by Beatty, though). 7/10 stars.