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Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

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.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 30 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »



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


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:

alcoholic | prostitute | sex | bar | love | See All (102) »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

9 February 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adiós a Las Vegas  »

Box Office


$3,600,000 (estimated)


$31,968,347 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ben doesn't eat a single thing during the entire film. This reinforces his dependence on alcohol as chronic alcoholics usually forget to eat or can't force food down. During the restaurant scene he puts spaghetti on his fork but doesn't eat it. And when Sera fixes him rice, he eats an ice cube instead. See more »


Ben drinks from his beer when he is giving Sera the earrings. In the next shots the beer is full again. See more »


Peter: You're sick... that's all I have in cash. Now please, don't drink it in here.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


References Husbands and Wives (1992) See more »


I Won't Be Going South (For A While)
Written by Angelo Palladino
Performed by The Palladinos
Courtesy of Pangaea Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Amazing, and gritty performances
3 May 2003 | by (Mesa, Arizona) – See all my reviews

It's not a movie I could bear to watch very often, because it's sad to see people destroy themselves. But Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue are riveting to watch here. As a person who has a past involvement in alcohol and substance abuse, I found Cage's performance especially compelling, and after watching him in this one, I am sure glad that lifestyle is behind me!

The chemistry between these two is really great, two people that need each other in different ways, trying to cope with how screwed up their lives have become. Very real performances, if you're faint-of-heart be ready for some strong words, and not just obscenities. Wow! They really lay it on the line. Great performances by two of my favorites.

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