6.7/10
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The Neon Empire (1991)

R | | Drama | TV Movie 6 July 1991
This movie is about the New York Jewish mob building the first Vegas casino.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Junior Molov
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Frank Weston
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Lucy
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Vic
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Max
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Miranda
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Nick
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Burt Stone
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Tampa
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Vito
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Chief Bates
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Samantha
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Mildred (as Natalia Nogulich)
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Bridgit
Felice Orlandi ...
Luciano

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Storyline

This movie is about the New York Jewish mob building the first Vegas casino.

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two part tv movie | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

6 July 1991 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Neon - O Império da Máfia  »

Filming Locations:

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Guilty pleasure if ever there was one, Sharkey is great
17 February 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a guilty pleasure if ever there was one. For those of you who haven't seen him, Ray Sharkey made everything he was in great. If you look at the New York Times review that was written when this was new, it's actually pretty positive, but notes that the movie fades at the end because Sharkey isn't in it as much. Fortunately, he's in most of it.

For those of you who enjoyed the (probably greatest) story arc that Ray Sharkey starred in on the classic TV series WISEGY, this production was made around the same time. You don't get Ken Wahl, and it ain't WISEGUY, but Ray's performance is definitely reminiscent of the Sonny Steelgrave character.

I loved the sets and scenery, as they evoked the feel of a lost Vegas, drowsing in the sun and unaware of its destiny. Unfortunately, there also are "filler" scenes with narration and old footage that is painful to watch. Thankfully, that doesn't last long, and is probably to be expected from a production that was budgeted for late '80's premium cable rather than the big screen.

Gary Busey seems somewhat wooden and has a bit of a pot belly in this, but he's fun too. Martin Landau is very very good in this one. The story has elements of the real history of the founding of Las Vegas, but twists them around and makes no effort to be a historical drama. But--anybody who loves Ray Sharkey as much as me will consider this one a DO NOT MISS fun ride with a very much mourned and beloved actor.


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