IMDb > Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
Leaving Las Vegas
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Leaving Las Vegas (1995) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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7.6/10   83,037 votes »
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Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
John O'Brien (novel)
Mike Figgis (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Leaving Las Vegas on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 February 1996 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 32 wins & 19 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(562 articles)
User Reviews:
Or, is killing myself a way of drinking? See more (275 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
Mike Figgis 
 
Writing credits
John O'Brien (novel)

Mike Figgis (screenplay)

Produced by
Lila Cazès .... producer
Marc S. Fischer .... line producer
Stuart Regen .... executive producer
Paige Simpson .... executive producer
Annie Stewart .... producer
 
Original Music by
Mike Figgis 
 
Cinematography by
Declan Quinn (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
John Smith 
 
Casting by
Carrie Frazier 
 
Production Design by
Waldemar Kalinowski 
 
Art Direction by
Barry Kingston  (as Barry M. Kingston)
 
Set Decoration by
Florence Fellman 
 
Costume Design by
Laura Goldsmith 
 
Makeup Department
Kathryn Bihr .... key makeup artist (as Katy Bihr)
Beatrice De Alba .... key hair stylist (as Beatrice DeAlba)
Linda Hardy .... hair stylist
Linda Hardy .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Marc S. Fischer .... unit production manager
Robin Le Chanu .... production supervisor (as Robin L. Green)
Michael Saxton .... post-production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Simone Farber .... second assistant director
Gary Marcus .... first assistant director
Joel Chernoff .... second unit director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Amy H. Abrams .... on-set dresser
Russell R. Anderson .... lead man (as Russ Anderson)
Michael R. Blaich .... lead scenic artist (as Michael Blaich)
Florencio Gelabert .... artwork
Bob Hawk .... carpenter
Jason Hedley .... swing gang (as Jason John Hadley)
Ghislain Mandon .... swing gang
Anmari Ollsson .... paintings in Sera's apartment
Charles Page .... construction foreman
Steve Pfauter .... swing gang (as Stephen Pfauter)
Charles Phillips .... construction coordinator (as Chuck Phillips)
Seth Phillips .... construction grip
Rodrido Pimentel .... artwork
Gustavo Ramos Rivera .... artwork
James Scott .... paintings: L.A. bank
Zeev Tankus .... property master
Rebecca Young .... art department coordinator
Anne Mari Ziecker .... assistant property master
Kevin Coyle .... set dresser (uncredited)
John Sparano .... assistant property master (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Andie Derrick .... foley artist
Henry Dobson .... dubbing mixer
James Feltham .... assistant sound editor
Nigel Heath .... supervising sound editor
Rod Howick .... foley editor
Mathew Knights .... dialogue editor
Danny Sheehan .... assistant dubbing mixer
Julian Slater .... sound effects editor
Jason Swanscott .... foley artist
Pawel Wdowczak .... sound mixer
Paul Coogan .... boom operator (uncredited)
Clifford 'Kip' Gynn .... sound mixer: video (uncredited)
John Hays .... boom operator (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Jules Findley .... special effects compositor
William D. Harrison .... special effects supervisor: Special Effects Unlimited, Inc. (as William Harrison)
Al Marangoni .... special effects: Special Effects Unlimited, Inc. (as Albert Marangoni)
Matthew Pope .... special effects: Special Effects Unlimited, Inc.
 
Visual Effects by
Aviv Yaron .... data operator: Cinesite (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Bruce Paul Barbour .... stunts (as Bruce Barbour)
Dick Hancock .... stunts
Jeff Smolek .... stunts
Diane Towery .... stunts
Russell Towery .... stunt coordinator
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Paul Birk .... best boy electric (as Paul R. Birk)
Bonnie Blake .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Richard Boyle .... best boy grip (as Rick Boyle)
James Davis .... electrician
Christian E. Dirkes .... dolly grip
Bernadette 'B.C.' Echohawk .... camera loader (as Bernadette Echo Hawk)
Flint Ellsworth .... electrician
Suzanne Hanover .... still photographer
Todd Heater .... electrician
Steve Irwin .... video playback operator
Toby Irwin .... gaffer
Sean McKelvey .... electrician (as Sean Mark McKelvey)
John Joseph Minardi .... grip
Marie Pedersen .... camera operator (as Marie Pederson)
Stephen Pizzo .... first assistant camera
Kevin Smyth .... key grip
T.J. Tollefson .... grip
Larry Markart .... video playback operator (uncredited)
Dylan Rush .... grip (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Stacey Rosen .... casting associate
Chris Gray .... extras casting (uncredited)
Terrence Harris .... casting associate (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Vickie Brinkford .... set costumer (as Vickie Brinkkord)
Jean Davis .... assistant costumer
Leesa Evans .... costume supervisor
Vivienne Westwood .... wardrobe: Ms. Shue
 
Editorial Department
Colin Coull .... color timer
Jinx Godfrey .... assembly editor
Paul Knight .... assistant editor
Dana Padgett .... post-production coordinator
Robert Pond .... Negative assembly supervisor: 35mm neg cutting
Annette Williams .... assistant editor
Vaughn Mullady .... negative cutter (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Tony Coe .... musician: tenor saxophone and clarinet
Ed Deane .... musician: electric guitar
Gemma Dempsey .... music supervisor
Mike Figgis .... musician: trumpet and keyboards
Isobel Griffiths .... musician's contractor
Dave Hartley .... musician: piano
Austin Ince .... original score engineer
Chris Laurence .... musician: double bass
Maggie Nicols .... featured musician: vocalist
Sting .... featured vocalist
Ian Thomas .... musician: drums
Ray Warleigh .... musician: alto saxophone
Anthony Marinelli .... musician (uncredited)
Anthony Marinelli .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Jennifer A. Blum .... driver (as Jennifer Blum)
Steve Earle .... driver
Don Feeney .... driver
Scotty Goudreau .... driver (as Scott Goudreau)
Brian Kahn .... driver: insert car
Kathy L. MacMillan .... driver
Seth Phillips .... driver: construction department
Derek Raser .... transportation coordinator
Todd Rowland .... driver: Mr. Cage
J.T. Thayer .... transportation captain
Earl Thielen .... driver
Tracy Thielen .... driver
Mark Willis .... driver
Paul Burlin .... driver (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Kevin Beard .... set production assistant (as T. Kevin Beard)
Valerie Burnley .... craft service: Laughlin/Las Vegas
James Capp .... assistant production coordinator (as James A. Capp)
Richard Davenport .... documentary team: "The Making of"
Peter Evangelatos .... craft service
Eddie Fickett .... set production assistant (as Eddie Ficket)
David Haldiman .... location manager
George T. Hayum .... legal services: Armstrong Hirsch Jackoway Tyerman & Werthheimer
Janee Hull .... script supervisor (as Janee Hull-Page)
Marco Kyris .... stand-in: Mr. Cage
Martee La Comette .... stand-in: Ms. Shue
Jeff Levine .... assistant: Mr. Cage
Mark Anthony Little .... set production assistant
Harvey Malkin .... production accountant (as Harve K. Malkin)
Carl Mastromarino .... assistant production accountant
Adam Moos .... completion bond: Film Finances
Mark Morgan .... clearance
Leonard Morpurgo .... unit publicist
Ty Pennington .... set production assistant
Shannon E. Reilly .... office production assistant
L.M. Soble .... assistant: Mr. Cage
Geoff Teagardin .... set production assistant (as Geoffrey Teagardin)
Romany Turner .... documentary team: "The Making of"
Romany Turner .... set production assistant
Craig W. van Gundy .... assistant location manager
Jill Naumann .... location scout (uncredited)
Silenn Thomas .... intern (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Claudia Buchanan .... special thanks
Brigid Buckman .... special thanks
Miles A. Copeland III .... special thanks (as Miles Copeland)
Elaine Davis .... special thanks
Tony Dingman .... special thanks
Arlen Figgis .... special thanks
Lois Kay .... special thanks
Anthony Marinelli .... special thanks
Simon Osborne .... special thanks
Randolph Pitts .... special thanks
Holly Simpson .... special thanks
Cecilia Skjorten .... special thanks
Sting .... special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for strong sexuality and language, violence and pervasive alcohol abuse
Runtime:
111 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
A well known drink manufacturer objected to a man drinking himself to death so every shot that had a bottle of their product clearly visible the negative was electronically changed to mask the label on the bottleSee more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When supposed to be playing blackjack, Ben and Sera are sitting at a Caribbean Stud Poker table.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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Angel EyesSee more »

FAQ

What are the differences between the R-Rated and Unrated Version?
See more »
63 out of 75 people found the following review useful.
Or, is killing myself a way of drinking?, 3 February 2005
Author: Andy (film-critic) from Bookseller of the Blue Ridge

To me, this is one of the best romantic films that you can get your hands on. If you are interested in seeing a pure love, one that is not focused purely on sex, but instead emotional and mental connectiveness, then this is the film for you. While others will argue that this is not the best date film, I would beg to differ. Leaving Las Vegas would be a perfect choice for a first date film over anything that Meg Ryan or the recycle bin of Hollywood has to offer. It is a gripping story of realistic love, and the dramatic consequences of giving your heart to someone. It is about dreams, companionship, and the hurdles of everyday romance. This is a film that proves that the darker underbelly of our society still has a shimmering light of hope and love. Director Mike Figgis has done an outstanding job of giving these two rich characters the right elements to build upon the "classic" love-story moments, while giving it a flavor uniquely his own. Figgis' mixture of gritty Vegas with the beautiful jazz sounds really created the ambiance of love and pushed these two ugly ducklings closer towards their transformation into love. I think that is what really captured me on this film, was that it was similar to the love stories that Hollywood continually releases, except it gave us two tragic characters instead of these bubbly, money isn't everything, characters that seem to be repetitive cogs in the Hollywood machine.

Let me explain this further. When you think of a love story, what are the elements that you consider? You have a guy and a girl (normally), they have this coincidental moment where they find their common bond, they are held back by either an internal or external dilemma, there is a factor of insecurity, and finally the dramatic ending where the two rush together at a predisclosed location (normally an airport). Does that sound familiar in any way? These are all elements that you can find in LLV. I have seen this film at least a dozen times, and for some odd reason it was this viewing that it just seemed to click for me. This is the perfect American love story told with a darker tone. While most will see this as nothing more than the story of a drunk trying to kill himself and a graphic scenes with a prostitute, I saw it as the classic story of love. All the elements are present. Ben and Sera coincidentally meet one night, both seeking companionship and without the pressures of sex, they immediately form this bond that will never be broken. Through Ben's drunkenness, he remembers her and continually wants to see her. They both have internal factors that hold them back, Sera's is prostitution while Ben's is his drinking. Even through there are these factors, they still find themselves together. That feeling of insecurity is even there when Sera arrives home one night to find Ben with someone else. It all seems to fit. Then there is the amazing ending that will either have you in rapture or in awe. These two are in love, and it isn't this bubbly love between Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, it is truths of America finding the dream of compassion.

The only unnecessary moments that I felt could have been fine-tuned were those involving Julian Sans. I just couldn't capture his character. I needed a bit more back-story or perhaps more interactions between him and Sera. Something was missing that distracted from the scenes that they shared. Outside of this one element, the rest of the film was purely flawless and even at times carnal. For example, when Sera has the opportunity to be on her own, she chooses to forgo her independence and be with Ben. Shue and Figgis both demonstrate that perhaps Sera is not in love with Ben, but instead the concept of a man wanting to be with her because of who she is. It is obvious that Sera seeks companionship, and probably has never had it all her life, when suddenly Ben struts into the picture. This may explain why she continues to work when she doesn't have to. She is used to the job, she thrives for the intensity, and perhaps uses it to fall deeper in love with Ben. Figgis doesn't come out and give you a reason why Sera continues along her path, but instead leaves it up to your imagination and enjoyment. Leaving Las Vegas felt like a combination Breaking the Waves, Love Liza, and All the Real Girls. This is a love story with so many different human elements coming to you at once that the average viewer would probably ignore the signs and see this as a depressing film. While it isn't the lightest film of the ages, it does prove that "Love is a very splendid thing".

I cannot end this review without at least mentioning the amazing acting done by both Nicolas Cage and Elizabeth Shue. The chemistry between them is rare in Hollywood. I felt that these two really made this film and were just not placed in their roles to sell tickets. Cage really felt comfortable and understood his character while Shue fit perfectly with her secrets and heart. It is obvious why Cage won the Oscar for his role in this film, and while I am sure we will never see him take a role like this again (thanks to summer blockbusters), it was good to see him take a role that really redefined the romance genre. The same goes for Shue. While she hasn't really made another film like this one in a very long time (outside of Adventures in Babysitting), it is good to know that she can take on roles like this and have the guts to follow through.

Overall, this was a very powerful and emotional film for me.

Grade: ***** out of *****

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
When Ben cheated on Sera Adebesi
Top 10 Movies of Your Loneliness Moments ColdenScence
Yuri yelling at Sera: Translation? Fist_Rothbone
Those creeps that raped Sera blondcutie1972
After the rape scene... lisacamillek
Who was Sera talking to? BWC
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