7.6/10
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298 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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1,870 ( 383)

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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 opening scene, which features Ben dancing through the liquor aisle of supermarket, was originally meant to be much later in the film, but was moved because director Mike Figgis felt that it underpinned the character perfectly See more »

Goofs

Ben drinks from his beer when he is giving Sera the earrings. In the next shots the beer is full again. See more »

Quotes

Sera: You can fuck me in the ass. You can cum on my face. Just keep it out of my hair. I just washed it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: 2012 Teachers Tournament Semifinal Game 3 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Ben And Sera Theme
(uncredited)
Written by Anthony Marinelli & Mike Figgis
Performed by Anthony Marinelli & Mike Figgis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Unconditional love in an alcoholic haze.
17 June 2009 | by See all my reviews

Ben Sanderson is an alcoholic, who after getting released from his well paid screen writing position, heads to Vegas with his severance pay. Where he seriously plans to drink himself to death. But whilst cruising down the strip he meets Sera, a nicely turned out prostitute, and both troubled souls come together in an unlikely romance.

Based around the semi-autobiographical novel by John O'Brien, an alcoholic who committed suicide before the film made it to the screen, this is a sad, dark and deeply upsetting picture. Sanderson and his plight has no motive, we are not fed reasons for his nihilistic behaviour. We find him at the beginning of the film joyously hurtling thru a liquor market isle, promptly filling his shopping cart with bottles of liquor. From here on in we know that this is no ordinary film about an alcoholic trying to get off the booze, we are on a train to Bleakville, stops at Love and Liberation seem a very long way away.

Enter Sera, the sweet and wholesome prostitute, who having escaped the abusive and borderline psycho pimp, Yuri, is herself in need of liberation. But can she carry the burden of both as this unlikely and almost certainly doomed romance starts to become significant? Nicholas Cage as Sanderson is terrific, very compelling, realistic and segueing from zany wired comedy to the desolation of Sanderson's death wish descent within a heart beat. Elisabeth Shue as Sera is also incredibly potent, if perhaps guilty of looking too pristine, and prompting questions of why she would be drawn to Ben's world anyway?

Shue none the less works her socks off to make Sera sensitive and believable. Directed by Mike Figgis, who shot it beautifully in Super 16 film, the film won a Best Actor Academy Award for Cage, and garnered nominations for Best Actress {Shue} & Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay {both Figgis}. Massively popular and praised on release, it has lost none of the impact that it had back then. 8/10


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