69 user 56 critic

Bugsy (1991)

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


Barry Levinson


James Toback, Dean Jennings (book)

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





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


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


Glamour Was The Disguise.


Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

20 December 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bagsis See more »


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$140,358, 15 December 1991, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (extended edition)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | Dolby (as Dolby Stereo)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Michelle Pfeiffer dropped out of the role of Virginia Hill. A year later when Bening became pregnant and dropped out of Batman Returns (1992), Pfeiffer took over her role. See more »


The smoke coming from the candles on the birthday cake disappears and reappears between shots. See more »


Cab Driver: That's Bugsy Siegel's house.
Harry Greenberg: He doesn't like that name.
Cab Driver: Everybody calls him that.
Harry Greenberg: Not to his face, they don't.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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


Featured in 1992 MTV Movie Awards (1992) See more »


Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Performed by Johnny Mercer
Courtesy of Capitol Records
By Arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Gangster, Murderer, Lover, Dreamer...and quite a colorful fellow!
18 July 2010 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Warren Beatty is impeccable as 1940s New York-based gangster Ben Siegel (don't call him Bugsy!) who infiltrated Hollywood in its golden era, making friends with celebrities, entering into an alliance with adversary Mickey Cohen, dreaming up a glamorous, heroic life for himself while falling madly in love with volatile starlet Virginia Hill. A car-trip to Nevada to check out a mobster-run casino gave Siegel his biggest epiphany: a gambling palace in the desert called the Flamingo, which he believed would become a vacation hot-spot for the high-rollers of the world. This may be director Barry Levinson's most accomplished picture yet; it does feel semi-soft and overly glossy in the beginning but, with many thanks to James Toback's unflinching and hard-boiled screenplay, the movie flows effortlessly along, introducing (and sometimes dispatching with) various colorful figures from gangland history with aplomb. Annette Bening is a bit uneven as Hill (particularly in a later prison sequence), but Harvey Keitel is an amazingly gentleman-like Cohen, Ben Kingsley a marvelously low-keyed Meyer Lansky, and Elliott Gould sympathetic as stoolie Harry Greenberg. What initially looks like a romanticized portrait actually bristles with anger and bloodletting, yet Siegel (as played by Beatty) remains an affable guy. He's vain, he's jealous, he's hot-tempered, he's unforgiving--and yet he's a pushover for loyal friends, a softy for his estranged family in Scarsdale, a lover of big, impossible dreams. Levinson sweeps the audience up in this glittering tale, which is a lot more than just nostalgia and dazzle. It's the story of a man whose dreams were too big for his own era. *** from ****

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