Casino Movie Facts For True Fans

Casino Movie Facts For True Fans

Every casino regular has probably seen the classic Casino movie starring Robert De Niro and Sharon Stone. However, only true fans of both casinos and cinema know the following facts about the movie and its production. 

Not surprisingly the movie is based on a true story that took place in Las Vegas, the capital of American gambling. Unlike today when you can enjoy casino games at leading sites like, this movie takes us back to the classic era of gambling, the mob, and Las Vegas in all its glory. When casinos still had a hint of mystery about them.

Casino Movie Fact – The Movie Wouldn’t Have Been Made If Not for the “Sam Rothstein”

Here’s one little Casino movie fact that only true fans know, the real guy the movie is based on is not Sam Rothstein. His name was Frank Rosenthal, also known as “Lefty” in the casino circuit. Surprisingly, Frank was not interested in having his life made into a movie. That is until she found out that Martin Scorsese would direct, and Robert De Niro would star in it.

It turns out that Frank was a huge fan of both De Niro and Scorsese. 

It Was Filmed in a Real Casino

To make the Casino movie as true to life as possible, Scorsese wanted to film in a real-life casino. We have to admit, a fake casino just wouldn’t have been the same. The only problem was that a casino that size never closes. 

Therefore, the crew had to work outside of peak hours and only take up a corner of the casino. Another thing that makes it so realistic is that instead of hiring actors, they used real dealers and pit bosses whenever they could. 

Throughout the filming of the movie, people were enjoying the games on the other side of the casino floor. They surely didn’t know they would become a part of classic movie history!

Legal Ramifications

Studios are always nervous about making movies that concern the mafia. In this case, Universal Studios lawyers were the ones who suggested calling Frank Rosenthal “Sam Rothstein” and using the nickname “Ace” instead of “Lefty”.

You’ll also notice they never mention Chicago as being the headquarters of the Las Vegas Mob. Rather, they used “back home”. Additionally, saying the movie was “adapted from a true story” rather than “based on a true story” gave them much more freedom creatively. However, Scorsese himself confirmed that most of the movie is based on facts.

Frank Rosenthal Died Without Seeing the Final Cut of the Movie

Frank Rosenthal admitted that he only saw the rough cut of the movie once. According to the screenwriter Pileggi, his response was positive. However, later on in an interview, Frank stated that the film “lacked many details” of who he was. And that certain aspects of the movie made him seem silly and inarticulate. 

This was all Frank said about the film, but sadly, we will never know if he really liked or disliked the final cut of the movie. 

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