The Movie Waffler Martin Scorsese’s Casino Turns 22 in November | The Movie Waffler

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Martin Scorsese’s Casino Turns 22 in November









From heads in vices to broken hands in backrooms, the violence of mob-ruled Las Vegas casinos in the 1970s is a matter of record. So, it might not surprise you to find out that, just as it claims in the opening credits, the movie Casino is actually based on real events.

Indeed, Martin Scorsese’s classic is based on the rea life of Frank Rosenthal.  Robert Di Nero plays the role of Sam Rothstein who plays out Rosenthal’s life.

The research for the film started when screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi read a report from the Las Vegas Sun in 1980 about a domestic argument between Frank Rosenthaland his wife Geri McGee. This led to him writing about the mob infringement in Las Vegas during the 1970s.

Rosenthal’s best friend from back home, Nicky Santoro, is based on Anthony Spilotro, who was Rosenthal’s friend in real life until their falling out. While it’s not 100% certain why, it's alleged that the affair between Nicky and Ginger is also based on reality

Ginger being Rothstein’s wife in the movie, who was based on Geri McGee, Rosenthal’s actual wife with who he shared an equally tumultuous relationship. As a movie about the mafia, it’ll come as no surprise that there’s a fair deal of violence (enough to get it heavily criticised when the film first came out in 1995), but what might surprise you is just how many of the vicious murders occurred in real life.

This includes Anna Scott, Dominick Santoro and, of course, the brutal murder of Nicky Santoro himself. It’s not just the murders, plenty of larger-than-life events are based in reality and the slideshow below goes into a few of the more incredible ones!



Of course, modern day gamblers are perfectly safe from this kind of brutality since they can just play online at a UK online casino, but it’s still an interesting time in history to see played out.

Casino is virtually three hours long and was released on 22 November 1995. Be sure to give the classic another watch again on its birthday later this year!


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