Warren Beatty and Annette Bening star in the incredible true story of Benjamin Bugsy Siegel, the playboy gangster who betrayed the Mob for love. A cold-blooded killer who dreamed of Hollywood stardom, a crazed patriot who ... more »plotted against Mussolini, and the brilliant visionary who carved Las Vegas out of the dry Nevada desert, Bugsy had it all. Until he fell for the one woman who wanted more. A critical masterpiece, BUGSY is a remarkable collaboration of Hollywood's best: director Barry Levinson, screenwriter James Toback, and an all-star supporting cast that includes Harvey Keitel, Oscar®-winner Ben Kingsley (Best Actor, Gandhi,1982), Joe Mantegna, and Elliott Gould. But at the center of itall is the white-hot romance between Bugsy and the insatiable starlet, Virginia Hill.« less
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.
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!"
What Can I Say? It's Perfect!
Alex Udvary | chicago, il United States | 05/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't remember the last time I rented a movie sat down and enjoyed a picture as much as I did with this one. Just renting it yesterday I'm left with one thing to say: ABSOLUTELY PERFECT! I'm not really a Warren Beatty fan. I enjoy his work in some films but not all of them. While I thought he turned in a good performance I have to admit I was much more taken with the performances by Annette Benning,Harvey Keitel,Joe Mantegna,and of course Ben Kingsley. A perfect ensemble of characters all directed very stylishly by Barry Levinson. Not to mention a screenplay equally as effective. This movie just isn't for fans of "mob" movies,but more so for people who enjoy watching great movies in general. Keep your eyes on the prodution and costumes designs which deservingly won Oscars. A feast for the eyes of movie lovers!"
One Of My Favorite Movies
Jeffrey Timko | 03/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Bugsy" will always draw unfair comparison to "GoodFellas", that other classic gangster film of the 1990s, but everyone must realize that they are as different as night and day. "Bugsy" is an old-fashioned gangster movie, set during the glorious old days of Hollywood. It has more in common with "The Public Enemy" than with "GoodFellas". Barry Levinson seems to be a chameleon as a director. There are his personal films - his Baltimore trilogy ("Diner", "Tin Men", and "Avalon"). Sometimes he seems like nothing but a hired hand - "Good Morning Vietnam", "Disclosure", and "Sphere". Other times he's made good films when he's been a hired hand, like "The Natural" and "Rain Man". He made those better films than they may have been if they had been directed by someone else. I'm not sure if Levinson or someone else deserves most of the credit for how great "Bugsy" is. I might want to say James Toback does, since he wrote the incredible script for "Bugsy" which is filled with one great scene after another and an endless string of great dialogue. The performances in "Bugsy" are all wonderful. Warren Beatty and Annette Bening in the leads, it's easily Beatty's best performance ever. Harvey Keitel has the kind of role he can play in his sleep. Ben Kingsley is great, as usual. He should have won Supporting Actor Oscars for "Bugsy" and "Schindler's List". And, in smaller roles, Elliot Gould and Wendy Phillips shine. The cinematography, costume design, and production design all contribute to a glowing production and Ennio Morricone contributes a great music score, as usual. "Bugsy" is the ultimate Hollywood gangster movie. Funny, violent, and romantic - something for everyone. I've watched it many, many times and prefer it far more than "The Silence of the Lambs" which beat it out for Best Picture."