Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Casino (1995)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Casino (1995)

In Martin Scorsese's mob film based on Nicholas Pileggi's non-fiction novel:

  • the opening pre-Saul Bass' credits sequence (his last work before he passed away) in which Jewish gambler Sam 'Ace' Rothstein (Robert De Niro) walked out of a casino and entered his parked car - and the slow-motion car explosion to Johann Sebastian Bach's Passion According to St. Matthew
  • the smooth sequence showing how everyone was watching everyone else: ("In Vegas, everybody's got to watch everybody else") in the casino from the players to the dealers, to the boxmen, to the floormen, to the pit bosses, to the shift bosses, to the casino manager, to the security camera ("the eye in the sky")
  • the introduction of sexy prostitute/hustler Ginger McKenna (Sharon Stone) at a roulette table and Ace's first look at her by spying through the security camera
  • the quiet, faithful hang-dog character of Ace's right-hand man Billy Sherbert (Don Rickles in a serious role)
  • the scene of violent mob enforcer "Nicky" Santoro (Joe Pesci) verbally threatening, intimidating, and denouncing banker Charlie Clark (Richard Riehle) - demanding to get his money back: "I think that you've gotten the wrong impression about me. I think in all fairness, I should explain to you exactly what it is that I do. For instance, tomorrow morning, I'll get up nice and early, take a walk down over to the bank, walk in and see and uh, if you don't have my money for me, I'll crack your f--kin' head wide-open in front of everybody in the bank. And just about the time that I'm comin' out of jail, hopefully, you'll be comin' out of your coma. And guess what? I'll split your f--kin' head open again. 'Cause I'm f--kin' stupid. I don't give a f--k about jail. That's my business. That's what I do. And we know what you do, don't we, Charlie? You f--k people out of money and get away with it."
  • the disintegrating relationship between Ace and violent mob hit-man/enforcer "Nicky" Santoro (Joe Pesci) including their tense desert scene: ("Normally, my prospects of comin' back alive from a meeting with Nicky were ninety-nine out of a hundred. But this time, when I heard him say, 'A couple a hundred yards down the road', I gave myself fifty-fifty")
Violent Sequences
Murder of Nicky and Brother Dominick
  • the film's four very memorable violent sequences:
    - the scene in which a scam artist running a blackjack racket was tortured
    - the eye-popping scene in which the head of rival mob tough Tony Dogs (Carl Ciarfalio) was crushed in a vise during torture
    - the scene of Nicky and his brother Dominick (Philip Suriano) beaten up with metal baseball bats and then buried alive by Frank Marino (Frank Vincent)
    - and the rub-outs to silence potential witnesses (when the mob leaders were arraigned) including the loyal Andy Stone (Alan King, also in a serious role)
  • also, Ace and Ginger's disintegrating marriage, especially when a jealous Ace had her pimp ex-boyfriend Lester Diamond (James Woods) beaten up
  • Ace's final eulogy for Las Vegas casino life: ("The town will never be the same...Today, it looks like Disneyland")

Slow-Motion Explosion During Title Credits

First Look at Ginger
(Sharon Stone)

"Nicky" Intimidating Banker

Ace's Eulogy for Las Vegas


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