Casino Jack and the United States of Money

Casino Jack and the United States of Money

Director: Alex Gibney

Cast: Alex Gibney

     
 

Lobbyists have long played a powerful role in American politics, but it wasn't until Jack Abramoff became the center of a 2006 corruption scandal with ties to leading members of Congress (and even the White House) that many became aware of just how deep and pernicious their influence truly was. The son of a wealthy businessman, Abramoff became a Republican activist in… See more details below

Overview

Lobbyists have long played a powerful role in American politics, but it wasn't until Jack Abramoff became the center of a 2006 corruption scandal with ties to leading members of Congress (and even the White House) that many became aware of just how deep and pernicious their influence truly was. The son of a wealthy businessman, Abramoff became a Republican activist in college, involved in programs to raise funds for GOP candidates and supporting political movements in Angola and South Africa that he believed promoted a free-market ideology. In 2001, Abramoff took control of a profitable gaming empire after the murder of casino owner Gus Boulis, while also operating a lobbying business that curried political favor among Republican politicians through money and expensive gifts (one of his leading allies was GOP party whip Tom DeLay). However, when Abramoff was discovered to have defrauded a number of Native American groups hoping to open gambling casinos with promises of political favors that could be obtained for the right price, his empire came crashing to the ground, taking a number of important reputations along with it. Filmmaker Alex Gibney chronicles the rise and fall of Jack Abramoff and the often bizarre story of how his political and financial ambitions took root in the documentary Casino Jack and the United States of Money, which includes interviews with a number of his associates and rare newsreel footage of his early years as a political gadfly. Casino Jack and the United States of Money was an official selection at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Alex Gibney remains on top of his game with Casino Jack and the United States of Money, but some of the urgency can't help but seem lost on this particular outing. That's an admittedly strange comment, given that 2010 also saw the release of a feature film about Jack Abramoff, George Hickenlooper's Casino Jack. Yet even Gibney's usual thoroughness and incisiveness can't create the same impact as his previous documentaries, particularly Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and Taxi to the Dark Side -- which could result from our collective need to move on from Bush-era malfeasance more than a year after George W. left office. Whether Gibney's film was timely or merely an historical footnote, there's no doubt it captures an intricate network of culpability, which may have started out as merely stretching the spirit of the rules, but resulted in outright corruption on a broad scale. Demonstrating his usual commitment to following every lead wherever it takes him, Gibney interviews numerous characters involved in some way with Abramoff's lobbying schemes. Through this he paints a picture of naïfs who didn't recognize that Abramoff was inducing them into wrongdoing, crooks who clearly did, and a lot of folks who fell into the gray area in between. Perhaps the most interesting thing that emerges is the personal narrative of Abramoff himself. Before his lobbying days, his roles were as diverse as chairman of the College National Republicans and producer of Red Scorpion, the anti-Soviet Dolph Lundgren action movie. Even as The United States of Money buries a stake in the heart of Bush-era entitlement, Gibney ends on a note of sardonic irony. With an image of disgraced former congressman Tom DeLay waltzing across the stage on Dancing With the Stars, Gibney seems to wonder, "Who really got the last laugh?"

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/14/2010
UPC:
0876964003131
Original Release:
2010
Rating:
R
Source:
Magnolia
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:58:00
Sales rank:
9,177

Special Features

Deleted scenes; Extended interviews; New York premiere q&a; A conversation with Alex Gibney; Webisodes; "I'm Just a Bill"; Lobbying 101; Commentary with director Alex Gibney

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits

Technical Credits
Alex Gibney Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Maryse Alberti Cinematographer
Bill Banowsky Executive Producer
Zena Barakat Producer
Sam Black Associate Producer
Mark Cuban Executive Producer
Alison Ellwood Editor,Producer
Benjamin Goldhirsch Executive Producer
Alexandra Johnes Co-producer
John McCullough Musical Direction/Supervision
David Robbins Score Composer
Jeff Skoll Executive Producer
Todd Wagner Executive Producer
Diane Weyermann Executive Producer
Tim Wheeler Editor

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Casino Jack and the United States of Money
1. Jack Who? [7:11]
2. The College Republicans [9:01]
3. Freedom Fighters [6:21]
4. Christian Coalition [9:51]
5. Treasure Island [10:25]
6. Saipan Rescue [10:08]
7. Indian Country [9:51]
8. Gimme Five [9:58]
9. E-mail [13:25]
10. SunCruz [16:06]
11. Tangled Web [12:36]
12. End Credits [3:18]

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