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5.0 2
Director: Barry Levinson

Cast: Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel


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Bugsy is a character study of mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel wrapped up in a gangster movie. Siegel (Warren Beatty in a flashy performance) arrives in California in the Forties, assigned to oversee the L.A. rackets. He is quickly seduced by both the glamour of Hollywood and actress Virginia Hill (Annette Bening), whom he romances despite being unable to leave


Bugsy is a character study of mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel wrapped up in a gangster movie. Siegel (Warren Beatty in a flashy performance) arrives in California in the Forties, assigned to oversee the L.A. rackets. He is quickly seduced by both the glamour of Hollywood and actress Virginia Hill (Annette Bening), whom he romances despite being unable to leave his wife and children. Siegel soon has a vision to transform a barren stretch of Nevada desert into an oasis of gambling and entertainment -- the seeds from which Las Vegas was sown. Funded by his gangster bosses, including Meyer Lansky (Ben Kingsley), the flamboyant Siegel sees his budget soar past its original $6 million, a problem compounded by the fact that Virginia has embezzled $2 million of it. In trouble with his superiors, Siegel flies back to L.A. to face the music, telling Virginia to keep the money. He would not live to see his dream of Las Vegas come true. The film is fast-paced and well-directed by Barry Levinson, with an intelligent script by James Toback and excellent support from Kingsley and Harvey Keitel as gangster Mickey Cohen.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Barry Levinson's biopic dazzles with glitter but lacks gold. The film deals primarily with Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel's obsessive quest to turn a Nevada desert wasteland into the American gambling mecca of Las Vegas. While this is an engaging enough subject, no attention is paid to Bugsy's New York background and rise through the gangland ranks, making his character interesting but ultimately one-dimensional. Within the film's narrow scope, compelling plot lines are drawn, including Bugsy's torrid romance with femme-fatale Hollywood starlet Virginia Hill (Annette Bening). However, the film drags on for over two hours, making the resolution more welcome than scintillating. The grit and darkness of the Godfather-style gangster flick is absent, replaced by Hollywood gloss. However, the direction is fairly plush and the gangster American Dream theme is fleshed out poignantly. Moreover, Warren Beatty gives an inspired performance in the title role and Harvey Keitel as Mickey Cohen and Ben Kingsley as Meyer Lansky give solid supporting performances. The end result is an entertaining film that works, but unfortunately its epic length is not matched by epic quality.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Warren Beatty Bugsy Siegel
Annette Bening Virginia Hill
Harvey Keitel Mickey Cohen
Ben Kingsley Meyer Lansky
Elliott Gould Harry Greenberg
Bebe Neuwirth Countess di Frasso
Joe Mantegna George Raft
Wendy Phillips Esta Siegel
Richard Sarafian Jack Dragna
Lewis van Bergen Joey Adonis
Bill Graham Charlie Luciano
Andy Romano Del Webb
Robert Beltran Alejandro
Gian-Carlo Scandiuzzi Count di Frasso
Stefanie Mason Millicent Siegel
Kimberly McCullough Barbara Siegel
James Toback Gus Greenbaum
Albina Boccicchio Ciro's Singer
Ellen Chenoweth Actor
Joseph Spallina Roman Moe Sedway
James Zahnd Actor
Don Carrara Vito Genovese
Carmine Caridi Frank Costello
Don Calfa Louie Dragna
Robert Glaudini Dominic
Bryan Smith Chick Hill
Ray McKinnon David Hinton
Eric Christmas Ronald the Butler
John Moskoff Sulka's Salesman
Ralph Tabakin Elevator Operator
Debrah Farentino Girl in Elevator
Anthony Russell Jerry the Bookie
Wendie Malick Woman on Train
DeVera Marcus Fan at Train Station
Ksenia Prohaska Marlene Dietrich
Peter Giuliano "Manpower" Assistant Director
Austin Kelly "Manpower" Maitre D'
Michael Kenner "Manpower" Clapper Boy
Bruce Morrow District Attorney McWilde
Clive Rosengren Dep. District Attorney
Gary McGurk Tony the Waiter
Gerard Joseph McKenna Ciro's Photographer
Paul Roache Taxi Driver
Tommy Townsend Federal Marshall
Steven D. Maines Federal Marshall
Traci Lind Natalie St. Clair
David H. Hebble Cadillac Driver
Michael Sollenberger Bond Rally Speaker
Jamie Angell Courthouse Guard
Julie Christensen Ciro's Singer
Susan Rumor Ciro's Singer
Lloyd Baskin Ciro's Singer
Fred Lehto Ciro's Singer
Kal David Ciro's Singer
Cathleen Crone Ciro's Singer
Hal Melia Ciro's Singer
Joe Baker Lawrence Tibbett

Technical Credits
Barry Levinson Director,Producer
Warren Beatty Producer
Rob Bottin Makeup Special Effects
Billy Burton Stunts
Willie D. Burton Sound/Sound Designer
Ellen Chenoweth Casting
Allen Daviau Cinematographer
Marvin Gardner Special Effects
Dennis Gassner Production Designer
Nancy Haigh Set Decoration/Design
Lawrence Hubbs Set Decoration/Design
Mark Johnson Producer
Kathryn Miles Kelly Makeup
Stu Linder Editor
Leslie McDonald Art Director
Ennio Morricone Score Composer
Matthew Mungle Makeup
Charles James Newirth Co-producer,Production Manager
Dennis Scott Stunts
James Toback Screenwriter
Albert Wolsky Costumes/Costume Designer


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Bugsy 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Ulysses30 More than 1 year ago
I love this movie. I dont,or have never really liked Warren Beatty as an actor. Maybe its been the films he chose to be in. But, this movie has a really good story:we have to truely appreciate the story and the times. Doing so, we will appreciate the characters and believe in their actions and dilemas. All the actors did their part to the "T", Beatty, Bening, Kingsley, Keitel and the others. As this is based on true events, it makes it more real. I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE WHO SAY "ITS BASED ON A TRUE STORY" WITH EXCITEMENT. There are movies out there that I don't like, but many others do, which are based on true events. Open Water, Schindlers List, Shakespear in Love(somewhat true), and others, that I find uninteresting. Bugsy, is a story that moves along just fine. It does'nt stop, or even pause, in the telling. It excites you, and you want to know more. And, you get more. Like I said, the movie moves, the story builds and we get two hours well worth our time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this movie. Beattie gives a genius, subtle, comedic performance as the mobster who, while in 1940's LA, gets caught up in Hollywood while putting into action his plan for opening a casino (The Flamingo) in the desert. He falls in love with actress wannabe Virginia Hill (Annette Bening) in the process; and, in a minor, but truly hilarious subplot, he tries to formulate a plan to assassinate Mussolini.In the scene where Mayer Lanskey (Ben Kingsley)tells him that someone has beat him to it, Beattie's underated comedic talents shine. Bening & Beattie have enormous screen chemistry; she, and the rest of the cast give great, supporting performances. Everything about this film is perfect from the cinemetography to set designs, dialogue, fashion etc. The filmakers (Beattie was a major behind the scenes player)did a perfect job recreating the 40's gangster style, old Hollywood, and the desert now known as the Las Vegas strip. I love everything about this movie.