Television, Movie and Play Reviews

Reviewed by Rick McMahan


I must say, after seeing CASINO, that Joe Pesci has the sociopathic mobster role down pat. CASINO, based upon Nicholas Peliggi's book by the same name, also stars Robert DeNiro and Sharon Stone, who plays a former hustler, now DeNiro's love object.

CASINO chronicles the rise and fall of the Mafia's influence and control of Las Vegas casinos. DeNiro is a gambler who nows how to make a buck, so the Mob hires him to go to Las Vegas and take over running a casino, and to keep sending back their part of the take. Before long, the Mafia sends Joe Pesci to Las Vegas to keep an eye on their investment.

However, Pesci sees Las Vegas as virgin territory -- a town wide open, his for the taking. Not one to lose an opportunity, Pesci brings members of his crew into town and starts to wreak havoc, or as the Mob would say, "business as usual." And here lies the rub, once Pesci begins pulling heists, scams, shakedowns, and generally kicking up dust and attracting attention, it isn't long before the public (and law enforcement) spotlight begins to shine on Pesci and his Mob connections and, in turn, his associate DeNiro the "legitimate" businessman. All of which goes to causing the casino's operation to come under scrutiny. Attention is the last thing the Mob and DeNiro wants.

Since DeNiro and Pesci are both in this film, there will obviously be comparisons of CASINO to GOODFELLAS. The comparison of the two films is valid, but more for style of presentation and setting, instead of the actors in the leading roles. Though the movie is a little on the long side, it is well worth the time of viewing.

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