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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
See  »

Did You Know?


In one scene, Ben screams "Snake eyes" while throwing dices. Years later, Nicolas Cage would star in a film called Snake Eyes (1998). See more »


When Sera is performing oral sex on Ben in his motel room after he first meets her; you can clearly see her back visible with no scars on it. There's another scene with the two of them in bed after Ben's drunken rage at the casino - where he slides up her top to see the scar on her back (Which is not possible to be there at this spot). See more »


Sera: So why are you a drunk?
Ben Sanderson: Why am I a drunk? Is that really what you wanna ask me?
Sera: Yes.
Ben Sanderson: Well, then, this is our first date, or our last. Until now I wasn't sure it was either.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Featured in The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened? (2015) See more »


Ben And Sera Theme
Written by Anthony Marinelli & Mike Figgis
Performed by Anthony Marinelli & Mike Figgis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Leaving My Senses perhaps . . . but there's more here than meets the eye.
7 June 2005 | by (Tampa FL) – See all my reviews

I've seen this film 5 or 6 times. It occurred to me on the last viewing that it could be the ultimate Touched by an Angel – Ben's time in Las Vegas, that is. I believe author John O'Brien thought he was living through a hallucination in the final throes of his diseased life.

The possibility rises out of several conspicuous dynamics in the film.

First, that Ben's life was invested developing Hollywood drama prior to being dismissed by his boss, who will clearly miss his talent and personality in the office, a talent singularly broken by the ravages of alcoholism. He is good at inventing and developing "story". If his occupation had been Investment Banking or Teaching, I'd feel differently. But John O'Brien bore him with a Hollywood mind. That lit the flame for me.

That Ben repeatedly calls Sera his angel during his demise - as he enjoys the best of - and endures the worst of - Las Vegas living. It is possible that all of it is a hallucination during the final pathetic act of his life. The invention of Sera makes his passing bearable, doable, a possible goal for him.

That Sera endures the college team horrors, discuses her relationship with the off-camera therapist to whom she confesses her soul-deep love for Ben ... even the problems with her pimp and landlord constitute deep back story in the mind of a man with a talent for such invention, desperate to flesh out the reasons why this angel will escort him to the next world. In my last analysis, she is an angel divined in his fertile mind to embody all of the good people and events in his life (the wealth flashback memories, e.g.). Sera has come to take him out while steeling the love in his heart. She sees him for what he is, because that's what responsible angels do.

This is a work with metaphor far beyond the veneer of the surface dialog. It's a film demanding to be viewed more than once. Or perhaps, I'm just going nuts, have lost it and I'm hallucinating in my own right.

Either way, enjoy. 10 out of 10.

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