Retro Vegas

Did you all watch the series premiere of “Vegas” this week?  I did and loved it.  I’ve always been fascinated by the Vegas of old…where it was mafia run, and the city was run on comps and who you knew.  It’s definitely like that anymore.  Watching the show reminded me of one of my all-time favorite films, “Casino.”  It’s been on AMC a lot lately, and hopefully you’ve had a chance to see it.  If you haven’t, please trust me, and watch it!  Here’s some fun trivia about the film:

The word “fuck” is said 422 times, including in the narration – 2.4 times per minute on average. The film also holds the Guinness world record for the most swearing in a film.

Sharon Stone spent many long workdays in agony while filming scenes for this film. She has back trouble due to an old injury, and the gold & white beaded gown she wears during a casino scene weighed 45 pounds. 

Jamie Lee CurtisMadonnaNicole KidmanCameron DiazJodie Foster and Michelle Pfeiffer were considered for the role of Ginger. Traci Lords was seriously considered after an excellent audition. Sean Young turned down the role due to pregnancy. Melanie Griffith was almost cast, but Sharon Stone convinced director Martin Scorsese to give her the role. 



The blackjack “cheats” were using a technique known as “spooking”. Nevada courts have mostly ruled it to be legal because it merely takes advantage of hold card information exposed by sloppy dealers. 

To avoid the continuity problems that accompany a chain-smoking movie character,Robert De Niro always held his cigarettes the same distance from the lit end so that their lengths never appear to change.

Martin Scorsese stated before the film’s release that he created the “head in the vise” scene as a sacrifice, certain the MPAA would insist it be cut. He hoped this would draw fire away from other violent scenes that would seem less so by comparison. When the MPAA made no objection to the vise scene, he left it in, albeit slightly edited. 


Casino was filmed entirely in the Las Vegas Valley. The casino and office scenes were filmed in the famed Riviera Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip and the driving scene in the beginning of the movie was filmed on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas, which is no longer open to automobile traffic. 

The casino scenes were shot at the Riviera between 1:00 am and 4:am so as not to get in the way of the real gamblers. Although the casino didn’t want the shoot to interrupt its business, that didn’t prevent it from trying to lure more punters inside by putting up a large banner that said, “Robert De NiroSharon Stone, and Joe Pesci Filming the New Movie ‘Casino’ Inside!” 

When James Woods heard that Martin Scorsese was interested in working with him, Woods called Scorsese’s office and left the following message: “Any time, any place, any part, any fee.” 

While the movie begins by stating it is based upon a true story, it never names the actual casino involved. The Tangiers casino is fictional. The story is actually based upon the history of the Stardust casino, a fact well documented in the Vegas history books.Martin Scorsese discreetly documents this fact via the soundtrack, in which the song “Stardust” is heard three different times. An instrumental version plays during Ace and Ginger’s wedding and a vocal version is heard during the scene where Remo asks Marino if Nicky and Ginger are having sex and also during the very end of the final credits.



The costume budget for the film was $1 million. ‘Robert de Niro’ had 70 different costumes throughout the film, Sharon Stone had 40. Both actors were allowed to keep their costumes afterwards. 

In the original script, Lester was supposed to be shot in the desert by Nicky as a favor for Sam. 

All photos courtesy of Google
Trivia courtesy of IMDB

Have you had a chance to wish my amazing friend Veronika a Happy Birthday?  Visit her blog and say hello!

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