Love Ranch (2010) Poster

(2010)

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  • The screenplay for Love Ranch was written by American writer Mark Jacobson. It is loosely based on the story of Joe and Sally Conforte, owners of the Mustang Ranch in Storey County, Nevada, the first legal brothel in the United States.

  • On December 25th, 1970, prostitution became legal in Nevada.

  • 1976.

  • Since the movie is not about the Confortes per se, the names of the characters have been changed. Joe Conforte is now Charlie Bontempo (Joe Pesci), and his wife Sally is now Grace Bontempo (Helen Mirren). However, the major events in the movie, like the shooting of boxer Armando Bruza (Sergio Peris-Mencheta) (in real life, his name was Oscar Bonavena), rumors of an affair between Bonavena and Sally, Conforte being convicted of tax fraud and fleeing to Brazil, and the IRS shutting down the Ranch, are all recorded events. Everything else has been dramatized.

  • Lorazipam (benzodiazipine), a sedative used for short-term treatment of anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and sedation. The pill label says that Bruza was taking it for insomnia.

  • Bruza returns to the Ranch where he is met by Charlie, Charlie's bodyguard Warren Stamp (M.C. Gainey), and the cop-on-the-take Johnny Cortez (Gil Birmingham). Bruza calls out for Grace, just as she drives up in her car. Grace tries to get Bruza to leave with her, but Charlie isn't about to let her go. As Charlie tries to convince her to stay, Bruza calls for her to leave with him. Charlie pulls out a gun and shoots Bruza in the heart, killing him instantly. The cop claims that Charlie shot him in self-defense, which Grace knows is a lie. In a voiceover, Grace explains that she testified before a grand jury, but it was Charlie's word against hers and Warren and Johnny backed up Charlie. Warren took the fall for the shooting. Bruza's body was shipped back to Argentina, where he received a hero's funeral. The IRS closed down the Ranch after seeing the real ledger sent to them by Grace. Grace did two years in the federal pen in Phoenix, and Charlie skipped the country, ending up in Brazil where they don't extradite tax cheats. While in jail, Grace signed up for raditation treatments, and her cancer went into remission. When she got out of jail, she rebuilt the Ranch. In the final scene, Grace is shown eating dinner with the Ranch's "family". In her mind, she quietly remembers the love she and Bruza shared for that brief period of time.

  • The Mustang Ranch was located about 10 miles east of Reno, Nevado, off I-80. It was forfeited to the federal government in 1999 following Conforte's convictions for tax fraud and other crimes and reopened five miles to the east under the same name but different ownership. The new Mustang Ranch is now located in Sparks, Nevada.

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