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Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  9 February 1996 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 81,072 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 272 user | 112 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)

Leaving Las Vegas (1995) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 34 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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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 Anderson 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 | death | sex | alcoholic | bar | See more »

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:

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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

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

The checks (casino chips) in play on the dice game in particular are unlabeled. Those are hard plastic play at home chips. Every joint has the name and denomination of their checks on a round label in the middle of their, usually, clay checks or sometimes a hard, slippery composite check with a metal insert about the size of a dime. The checks are labeled for obvious security reasons. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Rules of Engagement: Indian Giver (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Come Rain Or Come Shine
Written by Johnny Mercer & Harold Arlen
Performed by Don Henley
Courtesy of Geffen Records
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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