Action / Biography / Crime / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 84% · 64 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 69% · 10K ratings
IMDb Rating 6.8/10 10 31055 31.1K


Top cast

Annette Bening as Virginia Hill
Wendie Malick as Woman on Train
James Toback as Gus Greenbaum
Elliott Gould as Harry Greenberg
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU 720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.22 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 16 min
Seeds 9
2.51 GB
English 5.1
23.976 fps
2 hr 16 min
Seeds 21
1.22 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 16 min
Seeds 8
2.51 GB
English 5.1
23.976 fps
2 hr 16 min
Seeds 15

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by AlsExGal 7 / 10

It's a great story, a shame so much of it is fiction

This highly fictionalized account of Ben "Bugsy" Siegal's life looks and sounds great. I wish that films actually made in the 1940s looked this good. The ballroom scenes and the big bands are all perfect, the automobiles long and shiny. When Warren Beatty made a period piece, it usually looked very good, so this was not a surprise.

So Beatty portrays Ben Siegal as a sociopathic gangster whose curse is that he is a dreamer who is careless with money. He somewhat dreams of being in pictures and enjoys the glamor of Hollywood, but ultimately dooms himself when he falls in love with an idea - building a casino in the middle of nowhere in Nevada, where prostitution and gambling are legal. He argues to his mob investors that they can be 100% legitimate. And if they decide to be less than 100% legitimate, he figures controlling the gambling interests in a state where it is legal and at that point - the 1940s - unexploited, he can eventually control the state.

The other decision he makes that dooms himself is getting involved with Virginia Hill (Annette Bening), a kindred spirit in all the wrong ways. They fight violently, make up violently, and she ultimately gets grabby with the mob money that is the construction funds for the Flamingo. This was a very versatile role for Annette Bening as Hill, and is probably the best thing she ever did. She was slated to be Cat Woman in a film the following year, but she managed to do something much more remarkable - actually get Beatty to enter into matrimony - an institution he had skillfully avoided up to that point - in a union that yielded four children. And she also appears to be the model for the Columbia Lady with a Torch - although everybody denies it in spite of Beatty's heavy investment in Sony/Columbia.

Other interesting performances - Ben Kingsley as the low key Meyer Lansky. In spite of being a Best Actor Oscar winner, that honor never really paid off for him in break-out roles. Elliott Gould as the hapless Harry Greenburg. Honestly, you rat on the mob and another member of the mob asks you to go for a ride and you say you love riding in the night air? The underrated Joe Mantagna as just "George". Since "George" was starring in the film "Manpower" that was shooting as Bugsy looks on, that had to be George Raft. Were they afraid the Raft estate would sue, and who exactly is the Raft estate since Raft never had any kids?

Finally, not so much an interesting performance but an interesting vignette - Bugsy walks up to singer/actor Lawrence Tibbett's house and pays him sixty thousand in cash for it. Like so much of the movie, this never happened. But Tibbett's kids did object to the portrayal of their dad as a short elderly overweight wimpy guy. But somehow, the film makers were NOT afraid of the Tibbett estate!

The one thing that annoyed me about this film - the score by Ennio Morricone. It never breaks out into any particular kind of mood, and it sounds enough like one of Morricone's other scores - the one for The Untouchables - that it sounds like if it were to take off it would sound exactly like that score.

Reviewed by DICK STEEL 7 / 10

A Nutshell Review: Bugsy (DVD, 1991)

After staying at the Las Vegas Flamingo, and spending a substantial amount of time browsing through the artifacts of old Vegas at the Las Vegas History Museum at the Tropicana Hotel, this is one movie I wanted to watch when I got back. Not that I'm a fan of Warren Beatty (I only watched his Dick Tracy movie), but I'm interested in the Hollywood retelling of Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel's story.

For the uninitiated, Siegel was a gangster, who loves his family, but is as horny as he can get. He falls in love with the Hollywood glamour and life, and comes to know his new mistress, a starlet called Virginia Hill (Annette Bening), who's known in some circles as the village bicycle - everyone's had a ride.

Seigel shares a love-hate relationship with Hill, and it is always bumpy. And little does he know that this love will ultimately cause his downfall and demise. Love aside, there's also plenty of scenes that shows Siegel's violent nature (hey, he's a gangster), and scenes too that highlights his disregard for money - he spends lavishly. There's a subplot about Mussolini too, which highlights Seigel's eccentricity.

But he does have a vision, and that was having the foresight of predicting how Las Vegas would become as important as can be, with the erection of the Hoover Dam to provide it with electricity. He's the one with the vision of creating something in the middle of the desert, which we know today as the Strip, with casinos, hotels, and entertainment from class acts. His vision started off as The Flamingo hotel, which over blew its budget by almost 5 million dollars (at that time). Of course, when you're dealing with mob money, you'd better be careful, as they become impatient with his grander vision of controlling a casino, city, state, and ultimately having the power to influence presidential elections.

Directed by Barry Levinson, Bugsy is the tale of that one man's vision. It's well acted, with a superb supporting cast. Keeping true to the finale, watch out for that flying eye too. And yes, Beatty and Bening met on set, and married thereafter.

Sadly, this Code 1 DVD contains no special extras.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 9 / 10

"He Has No Respect For Money"

Though Bugsy is hardly the real story of Benjamin Siegal, the criminal mastermind who turned Las Vegas into a desert pleasure town, Warren Beatty has captured the essence of the man. Bugsy got several Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Beatty. Unfortunately it came out during the year of Silence of the Lambs which was the Best Picture in 1991 and Anthony Hopkins beat Beatty for Best Actor.

Certainly Ben Siegal was at the top of the racketeering profession, he was shrewd, he was connected to the rightest people there were in that world, Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky, he had it all. He was also a compulsive womanizer and had as Ben Kingsley who played Meyer Lansky put it, no respect for money. When he met Virginia Hill those two elements of his character destroyed him.

Annette Bening is Virginia Hill and I'm wondering why Beatty and director Barry Levinson didn't give her a trace of southern accent since the real Virginia Hill was born in Alabama. Of course after the film, Bening became Mrs. Wareen Beatty and the off screen romance certainly added to the portrait of the totally obsessed Siegal with Hill.

Harvey Keitel plays Mickey Cohen who was Siegal's number one lieutenant and took over eventually the west coast territory for the syndicate and does a good job as the tough as nails street kid who Siegal allies himself with in a gangland power play. Keitel and Kingsley both were nominated for Best Supporting Actor, but lost to Jack Palance in City Slickers.

One character who isn't mentioned much in talking about this film is George Raft as played by Joe Mantegna. Raft who was born and grew up in Hell's Kitchen got his start in mob owned speakeasies during Prohibition and knew every one there was of importance in the underworld. It's probably the reason that the story of Ben Siegal was not brought to the screen until eleven years after Raft died.

Bugsy only took home one Oscar, for Costume Design and the players sure do have a Forties look about them. Bugsy is one of Warren Beatty's best films and should not be missed.

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