Leaving Las Vegas (1995) Poster


Author John O'Brien, on whose novel this movie is based, committed suicide two weeks after the movie went into production. Director Mike Figgis contemplated abandoning the project, but decided the film would make a good memorial for O'Brien.
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To get ready for his role, Nicolas Cage would film himself drunk to study his speech patterns.
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.
Nicolas Cage researched his character by binge drinking and visiting many hospitalized career alcoholics. Elisabeth Shue associated with prostitutes and interviewed them on the strip in Las Vegas.
The Rolex that Ben wears in the film is John O'Brien's actual watch.
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 bottle.
The "supermarket sweep" with Ben whistling his suicide death note scene was voted Empire magazines eighth greatest drunk scene in movie history (2005).
Permits were not issued for some street scenes. Hence, some scenes were done in one shot, to avoid any police contact.
In at least two scenes taxis are shown with an advertisement on the roof hoarding depicting a brand called "Red Mullet" - the name of Mike Figgis's production company and it's his face in the ad.
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.)
Besides composing the score for the film, Mike Figgis also played the trumpet and keyboards on the film's soundtrack.
The movie that Ben and Sera are watching when they lie by the pool at the Desert Hotel is The Third Man (1949).
The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
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Naomi Campbell had appearances in the film that were edited out before its release.
Ben Sanderson's character was named one of the Top 10 Sloppiest Movie Drunks in Time Magazine (April 2011).
Sera's name is reminiscent of the song "Que sera, sera"(Whatever will be, will be).
Director Bob Rafelson plays the man at the escalator at the mall.
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Valeria Golino and Lucinda Jenney previously appeared in Rain Man (1988).
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In one scene near the start of the film set in a Los Angeles restaurant, two film producers (maybe agents) are having dinner with two actresses. One of the actresses, played by Emily Procter, says "I think the nicest thing about the film actually is that we get to handle guns, and I had never done that before". Years later, she would portrays a ballistics expert on CSI: Miami (2002).
The cast includes several directors and/or actors turned directors: Bob Rafelson, Mike Figgis, Vincent Ward, and Nicolas Cage.
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During Cage's Oscar acceptance speech for Best Leading Actor role in the film, he thanked his "gorgeous wife" Patricia Arquette whom he married just a year prior to the ceremony. The two finalized their divorce in 2001.
In one scene, Ben screams "Snake eyes" while throwing dices. Years later, Nicolas Cage would star in Snake Eyes (1998).
With reference to the electronic label changing on the drink bottles only the 35 mm blow up internegative and interposative had the changes cut in to them The Super 16mm original negative was never re cut.
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Director Cameo 

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


The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

In the hotel room scene where Yuri tells Sera to leave and never come back, he is fully dressed but barefoot, symbolic of being prepared for death and burial.

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