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Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  9 February 1996 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 85,358 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 275 user | 114 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

Ben Sanderson, an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his drinking, 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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Title: Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 32 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kim Adams ...
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Stuart Regen ...
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Albert Henderson ...
Man at Strip Bar (as Al Henderson)
Shashi Bhatia ...
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Anne Lange ...
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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

Plot Keywords:

prostitute | sex | alcoholic | bar | love | See All (83) »

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  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,600,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$31,968,347 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mike Figgis:  The gangster staring down Ben at the gas station outside of Las Vegas. See more »

Goofs

Out at the pool at the desert motel, when Sera picks up the bottle and walks over to sit on Ben, the alcohol in the bottle goes from about half full as Sera is sitting, to three quarters full as she sits and drinks. Also, the label on the bottle is facing away as she starts to sit, yet is facing the viewer as she completes her sit. As she sits with her hands apart, arms spread wide, holding the bottle in one hand, it would be quite difficult for her to spin the bottle 180 degrees in the second or two it takes her so sit. See more »

Quotes

Ben Sanderson: Are you desirable? Are you irresistible? Maybe if you drank bourbon with me, it would help. Maybe if you kissed me and I could taste the sting in your mouth it would help. If you drank bourbon with me naked. If you smelled of bourbon as you fucked me, it would help. It would increase my esteem for you. If you poured bourbon onto your naked body and said to me "drink this". If you spread your legs and you had bourbon dripping from your breasts and your pussy and said "drink here" then I could ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

Lonely Teardrops
Written by Berry Gordy, Gwen Gordy and Billy Davis Jr. (as Billy Davis)
Performed by Michael McDonald
Courtesy of Giant Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Powerful Film About Loneliness And Acceptance
15 May 2005 | by (Seattle, WA) – See all my reviews

Remarkable. Touching. Riveting. Leaving Las Vegas is all of these and then some. I have not seen a film of this magnitude about loneliness and acceptance in such a while that I was in tears for much of the run time.

Nicholas Cage is Ben, a man who has lost his wife and child, throws his job away, and takes all of his remaining money to buy as much liquor as possible and "drink himself to death" in the city of Las Vegas. He has given up all hope, with no wish to live, but for one reason or another, wants a companion to share in his misery, but not try to save him. He finds this companion in a hooker, Sera, played by Elizabeth Shue. They immediately form a strong relationship based on one night of talking about their lives. Sera in particular quickly grows attached to Ben, for no other reason than she has been alone her whole life and wants nothing more than to feel that want and need by someone.

Cage won his first Oscar for his role as Ben, and how deserved it was. He was astounding, perfection, down to every single tick, the volume of his voice, the pain and tragedy buried in his eyes. I could not believe the extent of his role, the dedication and time he invested in bringing this character to life. Same goes for Elizabeth Shue, who with a simple glance at a person, she reveals her entire self, and no one even dares to notice except for Ben. This neediness is apparent, she wants to hold onto this relationship so badly, yet what makes their relationship work is total and complete acceptance of their respective decisions. He will not tell her to stop being a hooker, and she in return can never ask him to stop drinking. And it is in that factor that makes this film worth watching. To be totally accepted by those around them, to open themselves up to such an extreme.

Leaving Las Vegas is a sobering film about connections, loneliness, acceptance, and a small little island of hope that is Ben and Sera. They are two good people, depicted in a world full of sorrows and misdeeds, who latch onto each other and never let go. They were nothing but ghosts, till that chance encounter, and became each others worlds. Cage and Shue bring these good people to life in such an extraordinary way, making Leaving Las Vegas a film to be treasured and remembered for years to come. I highly recommend this film.


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i LOVE this film but HATED the soundtrack midnight_cinephile
Yuri yelling at Sera: Translation? Fist_Rothbone
After the rape scene... lisacamillek
Top 10 Movies of Your Loneliness Moments ColdenScence
Why did they choose Elizabeth Shue for this part? Winter23
Cage went on a real drinking binge while filming mr_polite_
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