6.8/10
23,075
68 user 56 critic

Bugsy (1991)

The story of how Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel started Las Vegas.

Director:

Barry Levinson

Writers:

James Toback, Dean Jennings (book)

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Barry Levinson
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Warren Beatty ... Bugsy Siegel
Annette Bening ... Virginia Hill
Harvey Keitel ... Mickey Cohen
Ben Kingsley ... Meyer Lansky
Elliott Gould ... Harry Greenberg
Joe Mantegna ... George
Richard C. Sarafian ... Jack Dragna (as Richard Sarafian)
Bebe Neuwirth ... Countess di Frasso
Gian-Carlo Scandiuzzi Gian-Carlo Scandiuzzi ... Count di Frasso
Wendy Phillips ... Esta Siegel
Stefanie Mason Stefanie Mason ... Millicent Siegel
Kimberly McCullough ... Barbara Siegel
Andy Romano ... Del Webb
Robert Beltran ... Alejandro
Bill Graham ... Charlie Luciano
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Storyline

New York gangster Ben Bugsy Siegel takes a brief business trip to Los Angeles. A sharp-dressing womaniser with a foul temper, Siegel doesn't hesitate to kill or maim anyone crossing him. In L.A. the life, the movies, and most of all strong-willed Virginia Hill detain him while his family wait back home. Then a trip to a run-down gambling joint at a spot in the desert known as Las Vegas gives him his big idea. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Glamour Was The Disguise.

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 December 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bagsis See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$140,358, 15 December 1991, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$49,114,016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended edition)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | Dolby (as Dolby Stereo)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cinematographer Allen Daviau lit the scenes like the Hollywood films of the 1940s. See more »

Goofs

After Siegel (allegedly) murders Greenburg, and as the car containing him and Virginia Hill begins to pull away, you can see in the right rear fender the reflections of two people. One is easy to identify as a human figure, the other looks like someone is possibly hunched over. See more »

Quotes

"Bugsy" Siegel: We are gonna build a garden of Eden in the desert! A hotel! But not a hotel! You know what it is? It's an oasis. It's an oasis with a casino. It's legal, it's Nevada. We're gonna have palm trees and pools, we'll have rose gardens more beautiful than Versailles, and we're gonna design them all ourselves!
Virginia: Get away from me!
"Bugsy" Siegel: We're gonna have the greatest entertainers in the world! We'll have Jolson, Kantor, and Durante, we'll have Gary Cooper, Victor Mature, all of 'em, honey, we'll have Dana ...
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Soundtracks

ON A SLOW BOAT TO CHINA
(1947)
Written by Frank Loesser
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Underrated, yes; epic, not quite.
20 December 2011 | by bmcd10See all my reviews

Bugsy is a typical gangster/mob movie; it has got the wise guys, the families, the family problems, and a tragic flaw in the protagonist. It is also 2 1/2 hours long, which you should expect with any biopic anyway, but I think it can get a little tedious in some areas. First off, Warren Beatty is brilliant, and there is no question in my mind that it was anything less than perfection. His supporting cast's performances were excellent as well including those of Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley, and Annette Bening. The film probably deserved all the Oscar nominations it received, but, with the exceptions of Beatty's performance and a couple technical awards, nothing deserved the Oscar. However, I do not want to give a bad impression of this film because it does deserve some approbation.

The story of Bugsy Siegel is indeed a true story. Siegel was a New York Jewish gangster, who moved out to L.A., and one thing led to another and resulted in Bugsy building the Flamingo hotel and casino in the middle of the desert. This is the man who put Las Vegas on the map. Bugsy (by the way, don't call him Bugsy to face) is very insane. Also, Kingsley's character gets to introduce Bugsy's tragic flaw: he doesn't "respect" money. This combination makes one very unique mobster that I can not compare to any other. Just wait for the scene relating to dogs and pigs; I don't want to reveal anymore because this is where Beatty shines.

Virginia Hill (Bening) is a cookie cutter actress going steady with one of Siegel's or somebody else's soldiers. Bugsy starts to look fondly on her, and thus starts the romance. There should be no surprise whatsoever since they're married in real life, but Beatty and Bening do have great chemistry on screen. Their relationship brings out a lot of fun in the film.

Again, Bugsy is a tragedy. I don't think that's spoiling it since you can learn that somewhere on the Internet, but I do want to let you know what you're getting into. It is a very interesting story with a few laughs and some irony here and there. Barry Levinson made a well-constructed film that flows very nicely and only lacks where I assume the screenplay does. I would not say it is at the caliber of Goodfellas or The Godfather Trilogy, but, all in all, it is a pretty decent movie.

I highly recommend that you definitely see it.


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