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.
The unluckiest man in Vegas - a guy whose bad luck is contagious - is used by the last of the old time mob run casinos to kill high rollers' action. That is, until he falls in love with a cocktail waitress and gets "lady luck," which throws the situation into reverse. Things turn nasty when the casino director tries to break up the romance. Written by
The entire film was shot in Reno over three weeks, mainly inside a Reno Hotel Casino, The Golden Phoenix, that was being remodeled. The Golden Phoenix is on Sierra Street. The hotel was previously the Flamingo Hilton Reno, and prior to that was Del Webb's Sahara Reno Hotel. See more »
As the extras turn from the payout window when Bernie is in love and becomes "lucky", the dolly track can be seen on the floor and the actors are very consciously stepping through the rungs and looking down at it so they don't trip. See more »
Where's Bernie, they're killing us. Yeah, we need him right away.
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This film directed by Wayne Kramer has a more realistic approach to what goes on in casinos and other seedy gambling places, a far cry to the new Disneylike-Las Vegas of today.
Just to think that this poor loser Bernie can attract the gorgeous Natalie is enough for him to think: Gee, what's wrong with this picture?...Bernie hasn't scored with a babe in quite a while, so when he gets so lucky in bed, it's the moment to call it quits and take the next Greyhound out of town because things like that can only happen to schmucks, or in this case, to this 'cooler', as his boss calls him. One has to really have an open mind to even think this Natalie will fall in love with Bernie.
The idea of how people can be jinxed by these casino reptilians is a thing not to be believed. If it exists, I don't know, not being into gambling, but then, the world of gamblers are full of superstitions.
William H. Macy is an actor that is always interesting to watch. His Bernie is a flawed character, but inside he is a decent person who wants to get out of his present occupation. Maria Bello is excellent as the woman who will stand by her man.
The real surprise of the film is Alec Baldwin. This is, without a doubt, the best role in quite a while for him. His Shelly is a man without scruples who is ruthless with those that dare to cross him. He actually deserves better material where he can excel.
This film was a pleasant surprise because of the acting that Mr. Kramer has elicited from his cast.
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