7.6/10
101,888
296 user 102 critic

Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

Ben Sanderson, a Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his alcoholism, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera.

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Writers:

(based upon the novel by), (screenplay by)
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Popularity
2,038 ( 168)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 30 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Ben Sanderson
... Sera
... Yuri
... Peter
... Marc Nussbaum
Kim Adams ... Sheila
... Debbie
Stuart Regen ... Man at Bar
... Terri
... L.A. Bartender
Albert Henderson ... Man at Strip Bar (as Al Henderson)
Shashi Bhatia ... Hispanic Prostitute
... Bank Teller
Anne Lange ... Business Colleague
... Mr. Simpson
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Storyline

Because his wife left him and took his son with her, screenwriter Ben Sanderson has started drinking, a lot. He's getting more and more isolated and he troubles women in bars because he wants to have sex with them. When he gets fired, he decides to leave everything behind and move to Las Vegas and drink himself to death. In Las Vegas he meets Sera, a prostitute with some problems as well who he moves in with. Written by Marco van Hoof <k_luifje7@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality and language, violence and pervasive alcohol abuse | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM [United States]

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 February 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adiós a Las Vegas  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,600,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$31,968,347
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Digital)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Rolex that Ben wears in the film is John O'Brien's actual watch. See more »

Goofs

During their first "real" date in a restaurant, a guy with a blue and white shirt passes them in the same direction twice in within three seconds. See more »

Quotes

Ben Sanderson: I don't know if I started drinking 'cause my wife left me or my wife left me 'cause I started drinking, but fuck it anyway.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits do not appear until fifteen minutes into the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.223 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

I Won't Be Going South (For A While)
Written by Angelo Palladino
Performed by The Palladinos
Courtesy of Pangaea Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The dignity of love and the depths of despair
3 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

If Mike Figgis never made another film, and Nick Cage and Elizabeth Shue retired after making Leaving Las Vegas, they would have done so with impunity. Both actors are superb, and bring the excellent screenplay to life with the help of some masterful dramatic cinematography.

Cage plays a suicidal alcoholic who has come to Las Vegas to drink himself to death, and Shue plays the unexpected problem - a prostitute who falls in love with him. The only reason this film did not receive a ten from me is the voice-over technique which was tastefully minimal, but, in my opinion, the only mistake the director made. It does help to provide closure, but I felt that closure was an unnecessary compromise here.

This is not an entertaining film, and in truth, I am surprised by its popularity among typical audiences. It is a serious film, and a work of art, but fun is not to be found here. DO NOT see this film if you dislike feeling emotionally drained and ethically challenged, and DO NOT see it if you are very prone to boredom, or easily offended by sexual violence, substance abuse and the horror of daily life on the street.

This is an intensely sad film about love shared by people who are caught in the gravity of their lives and can not escape. It is also a story of redemption and respect, found in improbable places. It is NOT a fun-filled frolicking romantic comedy, but rather, the opposite, and it achieves a beauty, dignity and power almost unique among films treating such starkly real and disturbing subjects.


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