6.8/10
23,573
69 user 56 critic

Bugsy (1991)

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

Director:

Barry Levinson

Writers:

James Toback, Dean Jennings (book)
Reviews
Popularity
4,856 ( 267)

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended edition)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | Dolby (as Dolby Stereo)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This marks the first time that James Toback and Harvey Keitel have only collaborated as writer and star. Previously Toback wrote and directed Fingers (1978), Exposed (1983), and The Pick-up Artist (1987), films that starred Keitel. Although Toback wrote the screenplay with the intention of directing it, it was Barry Levinson who ended up calling the shots. See more »

Goofs

In Virginia's "fear of flying" scene at the airport, there is an airplane hangar with a sign for "Mobil" attached to it. The "Mobil" design seen was not introduced until the late 1950s. The movie is set in the mid-1940s, and the design that would have been used at that time was Mobil's logo of a white shield with large red Pegasus (flying horse) trademark and the name "Mobilgas" in black. See more »

Quotes

Mickey Cohen: Hey, this conversation is beneath me.
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Alternate Versions

The 2006 DVD features fifteen minutes of extra footage that Barry Levinson had to cut from the 1991 theatrical version. See more »


Soundtracks

COME RAIN OR COME SHINE
(1946)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Performed by Margaret Whiting
Courtesy of Capitol Records
By Arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

This Could Be the Start of Something Big.
11 January 2003 | by tfrizzellSee all my reviews

Highly emotional and vastly outstanding film from director Barry Levinson (Oscar-nominated) follows the true start of Las Vegas as a gambling mecca due to the role of the titled character (Warren Beatty in an Oscar-nominated performance and arguably his finest cinematic turn). The gangster is bad news in the mid-1930s in New York. He takes a business trip to Los Angeles and quickly falls in love with the weather, the surroundings and of course a beautiful woman who is little more than a high-class prostitute (Annette Bening). His wife and kids will just have to take a backseat now to his new-found life. One day Beatty takes a long road trip to a small desert town in Nevada called Las Vegas with Bening and West Coast mafia syndicate Harvey Keitel (Oscar-nominated) to check on a nickel-and-dime casino and something happens. Beatty gets a vision of something, something extraordinary. This is the beginning of an idea to build the kind of gambling facility we think about today. Beatty's dedication and want leads to the creation of The Flamingo, but it comes at an astronomically high personal, economic and spiritual cost. Beatty may lose it all, but then again he may do something truly unforgettable. "Bugsy" is one of those productions that dominates due to its unforgettable elements. This is an amazing love story that is heart-warming, heart-breaking and heart-wrenching all at the same time. Based on actual events, the film-makers took a few liberties in the production but the majority of the running time is pretty accurate as to what actually took place in real life. Supporting actors Ben Kingsley (Oscar-nominated), Joe Mantegna and Elliott Gould all do good work in small, well-calculated roles. "Bugsy" is one of the best films of the 1990s. It stood tall in 1991 as it had more Oscar nominations than any other movie that year. Beatty and Bening's chemistry is exceptional and their love for each other in real life just seems to glisten brightly on the silver screen. An excellent production that should be discussed and praised much more than it is. 5 stars out of 5.


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