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Bugsy
Bugsy
Actors: Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley, Elliott Gould
Director: Barry Levinson
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     1999     2hr 16min

Bugsy represents an almost miraculous combination of director, writer, and star on a project that represents a career highlight for everyone involved. It's one of the best American gangster movies ever made--as good in its...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley, Elliott Gould
Director: Barry Levinson
Creators: Warren Beatty, Allen Daviau, Barry Levinson, Charles Newirth, Mark Johnson, Dean Jennings, James Toback
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 01/26/1999
Original Release Date: 12/20/1991
Theatrical Release Date: 12/20/1991
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 2hr 16min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French
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Member Movie Reviews

Jason C. (JJC) from NEWARK, NJ
Reviewed on 1/30/2008...
A gangster flick I'm quite fond of is "Bugsy," a very well-done film about legendary gangster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel in his later years when he meets an instantly falls in love with Virginia Hill, a would-be singer/actress who "got around in Hollywood."

The film starts off with Bugsy, still in league with his childhood street-buddies Charley "Lucky" Luciano and Meyer Lansky, en route to Hollywood on a business meeting which then turns into his official base of operations when he takes over a gambling operation from crime boss Jack Dragna. While there, he meets Virginia Hill, the woman that would change his womanizing ways forever, and introduce him to the world of true love.

Bugsy was known for being a handsome and charming thug, very popular amongst the ladies; even putting them above all things including money and power. Always wore the best wardrobe and made sure things were in order. The film really gets into the charming side of the man, the well-spoken side, and of course the notorious, insane side; especially when you called him 'Bugsy' to his face.

The film also gets into what Bugsy was best known for, the creation of Las Vegas as we know it today. Of course I'm talking about The Flamingo, the hotel/casino that Bugsy had constructed in the middle of the Nevada desert. The construction went severely over budget which had a hand in the fate of Ben Siegel.

Lavishly classy sets, top-notch costumes and beautiful cinematography make this a class A piece of film, directed by Barry Levinson ("Rain Man", "Diner"). Warren Beatty gives, what I think to be, the performance of his career...as well as solid support by, well the whole cast!!

"Bugsy" is a different kind of gangster film, but it works and it's very true to the real-life events!!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Snake Eyes
Dark Mechanicus JSG | Fortified Bunker, USSA | 05/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Bugsy Siegel: mobster lunatic visionary, poet, prophet, a mercurial monster and marketing supergenius, a living contradiction, a man known to fly into a wild rage if a stranger called him "Bugsy" to his face, who simultaneously encouraged his Nom De Guerre among his friends, his enemies, and his publicists.

Bugsy Siegel, who revelled in his gangster image, even had screen-tests shot of himself with a Tommy-gun looking hard and "blazing" away at the screen---this hardboiled felon worked slavishly at English diction to erase traces of his Brooklyn brogue.

A suave wildman and visionary who made water---and money---flow in the middle of the desert, and even volunteered his services to put a bullet through Mussolini's heart. '

Now: to crawl over the crater-pocked landscape of cinematic exposition here would be a bore and a waste, compared to the embarrassment of riches that is Barry Levinson's masterpiece "Bugsy", a flick that will go down with "Scarface", "The Godfather", "Goodfellas", and "Heat" as one of the greatest gangster classics of all time. This is a gorgeous, sumptuous, lush, seductive movie. Watch it.

You're in competent hands here, Gangster. Check that Tommy-gun and let's add up the bar tab on this piece of work---you remember things from "Bugsy", forever, seared into memory because that's just how good this movie is:

*Bugsy (Warren Beatty, at an effortless best) catching the scent of a woman and waking up with her hours later, setting the stage;

*Bugsy kicking the tar out of a mobster who lewdly insults new gangster moll Virginia Hill (played winsomely by an insanely delectable Annette Bening), kicking the thug into yesteryear---and still checking his hair in the glass;

*Bugsy, eyes covered in cucumber-slices, lounging in terry-cloth with crony mobster Mickey Cohen (the incomparable Harvey Keitel, underplaying it masterfully) by the pool;

*Cohen and Bugsy, framed against the bleak Nevada desert, suits crisp, sky searing cobalt blue, plotting a gambling Sin-iverse, Virginia Hill stealing off to LA in a steely dorsal-finned Cadillac;

*Bugsy and a pauncy, childish, confused Harry Greenberg (Elliott Gould, packing lots of flesh) going for a 'ride';

*Bugsy, eyes cloaked in stylish tech-noir shades, fulminating against Meyer Lansky's (Ben Kingsley, in fine form) accountants, who serve as the vanguard of the Mob protest against the Flamingo's ever-skyrocketing cost overruns, the sand, the silt, the callousness;

*Bugsy forcing a mobster to crawl on the floor of his office, barking like a dog---and Virginia Hill, realizing the blood of a cruel monster that flows through her mercurial lover's veins, passionately kissing his hand---

*Virginia Hill and Bugsy parting, at the biplane. This is a scene seared in my memory: a classic, like the "We'll always have Paris" Bogey line. Fog. Mist. Merciless Weather. The Mob, moving in for the Kill.

Bugsy Siegel was a shark in human skin, the American Dream made flesh. He deserved a great cinematic biography: Levinson delivers in spades. Watch this one, it's for the Ages: if you don't love it, you don't have a pulse.

JSG

"
A gangster movie with style
scherf.com | Las Vegas, NV USA | 10/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The story about Bugsy Siegel is well documented in this motion picture, although not historically accurate in details, but it doesn't matter as the character and the story of Bugsy comes across very well. The notorious gangster who is credited with bringing high-class gaming to Las Vegas, is played by Warren Beatty. We think it's Beatty's best role so far ... he really plays very good, and so does Annette Bening as Virginia Hill. Siegel was a dreamer, a visionary and a ladies' man no doubt. The movie is inspiring about pursuing your vision, but it is also a warning against wrong affiliations. The set and styling (cars, clothes, etc.) are just great and they look absolutely authentic. The script is also very well written, the cinematogrpahy is excellent, and the soundtrack fits perfectly, and it's certainly one of the best gangster movies ever made."
A cinematic masterpiece! It's what movies should be.
John K. Reed | Harrisburg, PA United States | 11/17/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The sets, costumes, cars, clothes, hairstyles, and music were perfectly chosen to take you back to Los Angeles in the 40's. Nuff said.The dialogue was absolutely brilliant and Ms. Benning's performance is reminiscent of the glamour, style, and crassness that i'm sure was characteristic of many of the Hollywood actresses of the day. I remember thinking when I saw her... Now that's a movie star! And her delivery of many of the classic one liners was fabulous. Unfortunately I couldn't repeat the vulgarity online but it was classic.Barry Levinson's direction is as always fabulous. His use of camera angles, lighting, depth of field, setup, and overlays was perfect. The scene where Ms Benning first comes over to Bugsy's house was beyond perfectly shot. I would also highly recommend Avalon and Mr Levinson's television work Homicide for quality viewing.Warren Beatty's performance as Bugsy Siegel was masterful. It's hard to imagine that someone as complex as apparently Bugsy was could be personified so flawlessly. Bugsy was a man of many passions. How one man could be so brutal yet compassionate, stylish yet crude, brilliant but foolish, selfish yet concerned is amazing. And Beatty brings all those elements to his portrayal of Bugsy. An incredibly complex individual.Just check it out. You won't be disappointed. One of my 10 favorite films of all time!"