Years before Martin Scorsese developed a brilliant working relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio, the legendary filmmaker was making classic movies with Robert De Niro.
While many regard Goodfellas as the greatest film the pair made together, the hard-hitting Casino, made five years later in 1995, is widely remembered as one of the best gangster movies ever in its own right.
The film, which also starred Joe Pesci, Sharon Stone and James Woods, marked the eighth and final time that De Niro worked with Scorsese, following the likes of Raging Bull, The King Of Comedy and Taxi Driver.
It’s regarded as a classic of its kind, but how much do you know about Casino? Discover eight incredible facts about the movie below:
The film held the record for the most times the word “fuck” is said on screen upon its release in 1995. It’s used 435 times over the course of the film, which works out at 2.4 a minute. The record was later matched by Spike Lee’s 1999 film Summer of Sam. Fittingly, the record was broken by Scorsese’s 2013 film The Wolf Of Wall Street, which features the word a staggering 600 times.
Sharon Stone won a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her performance as Ginger. However, she wasn’t always necessarily the first choice for the part. Nicole Kidman, Melanie Griffith, Rene Russo, Cameron Diaz, Uma Thurman and Michelle Pfeiffer were all considered for the role before Stone, but they were eventually all discounted. Traci Lords and Madonna both came very close to landing the part too.
The Casio owned by De Niro’s Ace in the movie is called The Tangiers, which is based on the real-life Vegas casino The Stardust. Scorsese hints at this on the film’s soundtrack, which features three different versions of the song Stardust.
The ‘head in a vice’ scene is one of the most infamous sequences in the film, but Scorsese didn’t expect it to make the final cut. The director created the scene thinking that it’d be pulled by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). By submitting the film with the scene included, he’d detract from some of the other violent scenes that he wanted to keep in the final edition. To his surprise though, the body had no objection to the scene, and features in the theatrical release.
Funnily enough, it didn’t escape censorship completely. Casino also remains the last theatrical movie to be censored by Swedish authorities, after the vice scene failed to make it past regulators.
Filmmakers spent over $1m dollars on the costume department for the movie. De Niro wore a total of 70 outfits during the movie, and Stone appeared in 40. Both stars got to keep the costumes afterwards – just think of all the suits!
Joe Pesci actually broke a rib while filming his death scene. He’s rolled into a pit in the Nevada desert in the sequence, and the fall resulted in a painful breakage. Strangely, Pesci broke exactly the same bone 15 years later when he was thrown through a glass door by De Niro during filming for Raging Bull.
Such was the reputation of Scorsese at the time, that when James Woods heard he was interested in working with him he left a message at the director’s office, saying: “Any time, any place, any part, any fee.”
The film, which clocked in at over three hours long, was a massive production. The movie featured over 7,000 extras, ranging from gamblers, to strippers and hotel staff. The huge ensemble cast also included a total of 120 speaking parts.