6.8/10
23,126
68 user 56 critic
The story of how Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel started Las Vegas.

Director:

Barry Levinson

Writers:

James Toback, Dean Jennings (book)

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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
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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

Sir Ben Kingsley and Annette Bening appeared in What Planet Are You From? (2000) and Mrs. Harris (2005). See more »

Goofs

The film takes several key historical liberties, especially with the Flamingo and Bugsy's dealings with his fellow mobsters. See more »

Quotes

Harry Greenberg: [Ben "Bugsy" Siegel is taking the train from New York to LA. Harry Greenberg, among those seeing him off, stayed behind to ask Ben for $50,000. Train starts in motion] You ain't gonna kill me Ben, are you?
"Bugsy" Siegel: [Ben gives him money] I'm going to try very hard to forget that this ever happened.
Harry Greenberg: I owe you my life, Ben.
"Bugsy" Siegel: I'd say that's a fair assessment.
Harry Greenberg: God bless you Ben.
"Bugsy" Siegel: Bend your knees, Harry.
Harry Greenberg: Bend my knees?
"Bugsy" Siegel: When you jump from the train, bend your knees to soften the impact.
Harry Greenberg: Bend my knees. OK Ben. Sure...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Honest Trailers: Beauty and the Beast (1991) (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

AC-CENT-TCHU-ATE THE POSITIVE
(1944)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Performed by Johnny Mercer
Courtesy of Capitol Records
By Arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
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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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