The thing I've always loved about Martin Scorsese is that the man lives to tell you a story. He piles on the details and approaches every angle -- and as a result he creates living breathing people -- and thanks to him, his crime flicks are about as close to the mob as I need to get. When Casino was released in 1995, it was considered Scorsese's return to the world of crime after taking a little diversion with films like Age of Innocence and Cape Fear. But, the comparisons between Casino and Goodfellas were inevitable, and unfortunately Casino was branded the inferior film. Now I'm not denying the genius of Goodfellas, but I stand by the fact that Casino is a kick-a** film in its own right.
Every frame of Casino is probably worthy of its own entry in the Scenes We Love category, but for me the introduction to the criminal better known as Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) is one of many personal favorites. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's the combination of The Stones' Can't You Hear Me Knocking in the background and the camera's graceful movements while Nicky deals out the rapid-fire details about his criminal enterprise that sums up everything I have come to expect from a Scorsese flick.
Casino Fun Facts (via IMDB)
- The character played by Joe Pesci, Nicky Santoro, was based on the real-life gangster Tony "The Ant" Spilotro.
- Madonna, Nicole Kidman, and Michelle Pfeiffer were considered for the role of Ginger. Melanie Griffith was almost cast, but Sharon Stone convinced director Martin Scorsese to give her the role.
- Is to this date (early 2007) the last movie to be censored by Swedish authorities. The scene cut is the infamous "head in the vice" scene.