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Secret Movie Club Presents: Scorsese's Casino

November 20, 2021

8 PM / Showtime

The Million Dollar Theater / Event Location


"A stunningly pointed drama about horrible life decisions guised as a gangster movie, Scorsese's high point Casino provides all the gangster style you'd expect from the maker of Goodfellas then surprises you with a bad relationship/divorce melodrama a la Godard's Contempt or a Cassavetes' movie.

There's probably a reason we're showing Casino after two subversive Douglas Sirk melodramas because Scorsese's movie also works on two levels.

On the first level of course, we get a cinema fireworks display of 1970's Las Vegas and the gangsters and bookkeepers who secretly ran everything.

Set at the fictional Tangiers hotel, Casino follows mob trusted Ace Rothenstein (Robert De Niro in one of his most controlled, unsettling performances) who is amazing at running casinos. Not so great at choosing whom he marries. Whom he marries is Ginger (a career best Sharon Stone) who is upfront from the beginning of their relationship that she loves someone else. But Ace tries to somehow get her to love him.

The third wheel is Ace's best friend, gangster Nicky Santoro (the always great Joe Pesci), who initially comes to Vegas for the scores and muscle, then finds himself in an affair with Ginger that threatens all three of them.

As with many moviemakers, Scorsese appears to be making a veiled autobiography here of his feelings and regrets about his numerous broken marriages (he went through four divorces before finally marrying Helen Morris with whom he has a daughter and with whom he's been married for 20+ years).

A stunning example of both cinematic and personal filmmaking, Casino is Scorsese at his best. . .and most brutal."


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