7.6/10
100,897
295 user 102 critic

Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

Ben Sanderson, a Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his alcoholism, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera.

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Writers:

(based upon the novel by), (screenplay by)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 30 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Kim Adams ...
Sheila
...
Stuart Regen ...
Man at Bar
...
...
Albert Henderson ...
Man at Strip Bar (as Al Henderson)
Shashi Bhatia ...
Hispanic Prostitute
...
Bank Teller
Anne Lange ...
Business Colleague
...
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Storyline

Because his wife left him and took his son with her, screenwriter Ben Sanderson has started drinking, a lot. He's getting more and more isolated and he troubles women in bars because he wants to have sex with them. When he gets fired, he decides to leave everything behind and move to Las Vegas and drink himself to death. In Las Vegas he meets Sera, a prostitute with some problems as well who he moves in with. Written by Marco van Hoof <k_luifje7@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality and language, violence and pervasive alcohol abuse | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 February 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adiós a Las Vegas  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,600,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$31,968,347
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Digital)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The bartender at the breakfast/biker bar that wipes the blood from Ben's face is played by Julian Lennon, son of John Lennon. The dark-haired prostitute at the casino bar is played by Law and Order SVU's Mariska Hargitay, daughter of Jayne Mansfield. The last cab driver in the movie, who tells Sera she is a "pretty young lady who can get any man she wants," is played by legendary soul singer Lou Rawls. Another bartender is played by Danny Huston of the famous Huston actors family (brother of Anjelica Huston, son of John Huston and grandson of Walter Huston.) See more »

Goofs

Ben solicits a prostitute who steals his wedding band. Several scenes later when he is being fired, he is wearing it again. However, the opening scenes of the movie are not in chronological order. In the same scene where you see the ring again, you also see him receiving the severance check that he cashed at the bank in the previous scene. See more »

Quotes

Ben Sanderson: [to a woman at the bar] What's your name?
Terri: Terri.
Ben Sanderson: Terri, I am going to buy you a drink.
Terri: I'm OK, thanks.
Ben Sanderson: Bud, please. Buy the lady a drink and another one for you. I'm Benjamin. Ben. Benny Goodman, that's me. I think you're sexy. That's right. Look at those eyes. Sexy like a kitty cat.
[singing]
Ben Sanderson: You turn me on, bar-rum, you turn me on, bar-rum, you're not too long, you're not too short, you're not too round, bar-rum, you're like a cat, the cat in the hat. Look at those eyes. Honest to God. You're ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits do not appear until fifteen minutes into the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shark: Leaving Las Vegas (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Ben And Sera Theme
(uncredited)
Written by Anthony Marinelli & Mike Figgis
Performed by Anthony Marinelli & Mike Figgis
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Cage's Career Milestone
22 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

"Leaving Las Vegas" is an insightful, harrowing experience about the binding forces of true romance, the power of encouragement and compassion, and the tragic effects of alcoholism. The performances are absolutely astounding: Nicholas Cage delivers one of the most unforgettable, genuine, and human performances ever captured on film (a well-deserved Oscar for every reason), and Elisabeth Shue, as his soul provider and protector through the trauma of his alcoholic turmoil is sentimental, passionate, and definitely deserving of the Oscar for Best Actress in 1995, providing us with the eye of Ben Sanderson's heart and soul, as his equally troubled lover who has pledged to stay with him through tears and trials. Director Mike Figgis is intensely effective in following the many turmoils of Sanderson as he copes with terminal alcoholism, even going so far as to declaring he will "drink himself to death in Las Vegas", and the effects of his struggle upon his functions, health, and spirit, as well as the corresponding attributes of his loyal lover, Sara. I'm certain that anyone who has experienced the turmoil of alcoholism or has been deeply involved with such an abuser will gravely appreciate the realism and depth of this film to address the egregious effects of drinking constantly, and how this alcoholism tears many lives literally apart. I was horrified by Sanderson's dependence upon alcoholism as a substitute for happiness and control, and Nicholas Cage's uncanny human performance, with all of his appropriate, convincing twitches and erratic movements, enhanced the compassion and torment I felt for this character, who has literally surrendered his life to this terrible disease of alcoholism. We gasp in horror as we see Sanderson taking a shower with a bottle of gin in hand, and trembling to the refrigerator for a bottle of vodka: these are the true, tragic symptoms of alcoholism, and this film does an excellent job in addressing them. A brilliant, tragic, yet extremely essential study of the disease of alcoholism and how it can destroy every aspiration, every desire, and every state of consciousness we have within ourselves, when we are constantly craving "one more bottle of vodka" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week... Nicholas Cage delivers one of the most heartfelt and eerily convincing performances in the history of film, and this is one lamentable, subliminal look at one of the saddest and unnecessary addictions in humans: striving to either enhance, better, or in this case, destroy their lives in constantly drinking intoxicating and deadly substances. Sanderson to Sara: "You can never make me stop drinking"--- the sad, yet frighteningly real state of mind of a disparaged, hopeless, alcoholic. **** out of ****


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