6.8/10
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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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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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
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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the late 1970s, Jean-Luc Godard became obsessed with the story of Siegel, and planned to make a movie about him. He wrote a screenplay called, simply, "The Story", and planned to cast Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton in the Siegel and Hill roles. He dropped this plan when Keaton lost interest, and then turned his attention to Every Man for Himself (1980) as his return to commercial filmmaking. An excerpt from his draft of the script can be found in the 1985 edition of the book "Godard on Godard". See more »

Goofs

Virginia shoots all the ammo in Bugsy's .45 pistol; when the last round is fired the slide should stay in the "open" position rather than the "closed" position which it stays in. --This is factually one of the most common malfunctions on a semi-automatic pistol, that the slide stop fails to correctly lock the slide back on the pistol when the magazine is empty.-- See more »

Quotes

Virginia: Do you always talk this much before you do it?
"Bugsy" Siegel: I only talk this much before I kill someone.
[they kiss]
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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 »

Connections

Featured in The 64th Annual Academy Awards (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

CANDY
(1944)
Music by Alex Kramer
Lyrics by Mack David and Joan Whitney
Performed by Johnny Mercer and Jo Stafford
Courtesy of Capitol Records
By Arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Definitive Biopic
25 April 2006 | by jane_e1See all my reviews

Winner of two Oscars (and nominated for many more), Bugsy is a tour DE force in the area of biography on film. It is the definitive film of it's genre for the 1990s and on.I love the biographical film genre for many reasons. First of all, they offer a glimpse of what life was for people we all know, and in many cases wish we could be. Secondly, most of the time you know the outcome of the story. The main character dies, makes millions, goes to jail etc. With out the pressure of guessing the ending, the viewer is free to concentrate on the film as a whole, and thus, enjoy it totally. Bugsy Seigel's world holds film appeal for two reasons. First, and most obvious, is that he was a gangster. Gangster movies have held the attention of the movie going public since the 1920s. Secondly,he was in Hollywood in the 1940's, possibly the most glamorous decade Tinseltown ever saw.Director Barry Levinson managed to take these two very different, yet very intoxicating styles and stories to create a heady blend that produced what may be the best biopic made. Levinson's and writer James Toback's genius was in the decision to forgo the usual hodgepodge of life events, in favor of making what is essentially a love story.The focus of the film is essentially the tempestuous love affair between Siegel and Virginia Hill, with the secondary plot being the creation of Vegas as we know it today from Benny's vision of the Flamingo.The best acting by far was by Benning. She was so into her character that if I had not known before hand who she was, I would never had known. Her sassy,passionate and jealous personality creates fireworks on the screen. It is easy to see that this is where Benning and Beatty met and fell in love. They have a chemistry that I have not seen equaled since Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy were still making movies. Beatty's performance is stellar as well,he seems at ease in the personification of the first celebrity gangster, and is completely believable in his desperation near the end. All the supporting players, Keitel, Kingsley and Gould especially were amazing as the famous crime figures they portrayed. My one complaint on the casting side is Joe Montagna's George Raft. Why he is continually allowed to appear as and thus insult the memory of famous screen personalities is beyond me. (All though he is not nearly as horrible here as he was as Dean Martin in "The Rat Pack"). To compliment the intense fireworks both romantic and violent, a bright visual style is incorporated. The sleek look is total 1940's, and the cinematography is genius (notably the shot with Benny and Virginia's first kiss.) Everything meshes together beautifully to create a gem among films. This is a film about a man of extreme vision and passion, and it is a must to see if only to appreciate the beauty of a job well done.


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