Casino (film)

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Casino is a Academy Award Nominated 1995 crime drama film. Sam "Ace" Rothstein is called by the mob to oversee the day to day operation at the Tangiers Casino in Las Vegas. Nicky Santoro, an enforcer, is sent by the mob to make sure the money is skimmed off the top, and that other mobsters and the casino are kept in line.

Directed by Martin Scorsese. Written by Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese.

No One Stays At The Top Forever (taglines)

Sam "Ace" Rothstein[edit]

  • When you love someone, you've gotta trust them. There's no other way. You've got to give them the key to everything that's yours. Otherwise, what's the point? And for a while, I believed that's the kind of love I had.
  • [About Nicky] No matter how big a guy might be, Nicky would take him on. You beat Nicky with fists, he comes back with a bat. You beat him with a knife, he comes back with a gun. And you beat him with a gun, you better kill him, because he’ll keep comin’ back and back until one of you is dead.
  • In the casino, the cardinal rule is to keep them playing, and keep them coming back. The longer they play, the more they lose. In the end, we get it all.
  • Meeting in the middle of the desert always made me nervous. It's a scary place. I heard about the holes in the desert and for all I know, there could have been a hole nearby with my name on it.
  • [to Ginger, about her and Lester planning to run away with Amy] I know that lousy moron had a good time. On my money. You might as well have slept him, which you probably did, anyway. You're looking at me a certain way. You're teary-eyed, I get it. You're a good actress, you know that? Good damn actress. You can't really get that pity out of people. I'm not a John, you understand? You always thought I was, but I'm not. I'm not a sucker. That filthy pimp con artist. He's lucky I didn't kill him last time. Lucky he's living. And if you had stayed with him, and you would have run away, you would have been dead, both of you. Dead. Dead.
  • After all the threats and all the garbage, it turned out Ginger didn't tell them anything. But by then, the Feds didn't need her, anyway. They had all the pieces they needed. And everybody began to after the other, just like dominoes. Between Piscano complaining on a wire, between Nicky, Ginger, me and my license, paradise. We managed to really mess up a good thing.
  • After Ginger took off, she wasn't much help to anybody. Ginger is in a fleabag motel grasping for life She found some pimps, lowlifes, druggies and bikers in L.A.. And in a few months, they went through all the money and all the jewels. Ginger falls over and dies After they found her body, I paid my doctor $50,000 to do another autopsy. He said they gave her a hot dose. In the end, all she had left was $3,600 in mint condition coins.
  • No matter what the Feds or the papers might've said about my car bombing, it was amateur night; you could tell. Whoever it was, they put the dynamite under the passenger side. But what they didn't know, what nobody outside the factory knew, was that that model car was made with a metal plate under the driver's seat. It's the only thing that saved my life. The bombing was never authorized, but I suspect I know who lit the fuse...and so did the powers that be.
  • The word was out. The bosses had enough of Nicky. They had enough. How much were they gonna take? So they made an example of him and his brother. They buried them while they were still breathing. They had other ideas for me.
  • The town will never be the same. After the Tangiers, the big corporations took it all over. Today, it looks like Disneyland. And while the kids play cardboard pirates, Mommy and Daddy drop the house payments and Junior's college money on the poker slots. In the old days, dealers knew your name, what you drank, what you played. Today, it's like checkin' into an airport. And if you order room service, you're lucky if you get it by Thursday. Today, it's all gone. You get a whale show up with four million in a suitcase, and some twenty-five-year-old hotel school kid is gonna want his social security number. Tangiers ad other classic casinos are show being detonated and demolished, then being replaced with newer, gaudier attractions such as the Luxor pyramid After the Teamsters got knocked out of the box, the corporations tore down practically every one of the old casinos. And where did the money come from to rebuild the pyramids? Junk bonds. But in the end, I wound up right back where I started. I could still pick winners, and I could still make money for all kinds of people back home. And why mess up a good thing? And that's that.

Nicky Santoro[edit]

  • [About the bosses] These old greaseballs may not look it, but believe me; these are the men who secretly control Las Vegas. Because they managed the Teamsters Union. The Teamsters Union was who you had to go to in order to borrow money to build a casino. And no one got approved for a loan from the Teamster's pension fund unless these guys in the room knew they were going to get their little suitcases.
  • [about Anthony Dogs' interrogation] To be truthful with you, I had to admire this fucking guy. He was one of the toughest Irishmen I ever met. This son of a bitch was tough. For two days and two fucking nights, we beat the shit out of this guy. I mean, we even stuck ice-picks in his balls. But he never talked. In the end, I had to put his fucking head in a vise.
  • Listen to me, Anthony. I got your head in a fucking vise. I'll squash your fuckin' head like a grapefruit if you don't give me a name. Don't make me have to do this, please. Don't make me be a bad guy, come on.
  • "Charlie M"? "Charlie M"?! You make me pop your fucking eye out of your head to protect that piece of shit?! "Charlie M"?! You dumb motherfucker!
  • I think that you've gotten the wrong impression about me. I think in all fairness, I should explain to you exactly what it is that I do. For instance, tomorrow morning, I'll get up nice and early, take a walk down over to the bank, walk in and see and uh, if you don't have my money for me, I'll crack your fucking head wide-open in front of everybody in the bank. And just about the time that I'm comin' out of jail, hopefully, you'll be comin' out of your coma. And guess what? I'll split your stinking head open again. 'Cause I'm fuckin' stupid. I don't give a fuck about jail. That's my business. That's what I do. And we know what you do, don't we, Charlie? You fuck people out of money and get away with it!
  • Hey, you fat Irish prick. You put my fucking money to sleep. You go get my money or I'll put your fucking brain to sleep.
  • You know I'm tryin' to put somethin' really big together out here. You know what I'm talkin' about, huh? You know! If you're actin' like this now, how can I depend on you?
  • You know, I don't wanna bring this up but you've been treating a lot of people with a lot of disrespect, even your own wife.
  • [Chewing out Sam in the Nevada desert] Get this through your head, you Jew motherfucker, you. You only exist out here because of ME! That's the ONLY reason! Without me, you, personally, every fucking wiseguy still around is gonna take a piece of your fuckin' Jew ass! THEN where you gonna go?! You're fucking warned – don't ever go over my fuckin' head again! You motherfucker, you!
  • I used to send Marino back home with a piece of what I made. Not a big piece, but what did they know? They were 1500 miles away, and I don't know anyone who can see that far.
  • As much as they liked him, he wasn't one of us; he wasn't Italian. As far as they knew, he could've talked. Otherwise, Stoney might still be alive. The first one to skip was John Nance. He found a nice warm secluded place in Costa Rica. He thought nobody would find him there. But then his kid got nabbed by the Feds for drugs. And so, naturally, the bosses were afraid he'd come out of hiding just to save his kid and give 'em all up. So... [Two men come behind a bleeding John Nance and shoot him in the head] But anyway, they… you know, they all had to follow. Everybody went down. Before you knew it, anybody who knew anything wound up gettin' whacked.
  • It took months for everything to calm down. But finally, my guys got out on bail and the bosses wanted me to send my brother Dominick out to Vegas. Always the dollars. Always the filthy dollars. I mean it was still way too hot for me to go near Vegas. So I set up a meeting with the guys way out in the sticks. I didn't want my brother to get pushed around. I mean what's right is right; they don't give a fuck about–URGGHH!!


Sam "Ace" Rothstein: [as narrator] Before I ever ran a casino or got myself blown up, Ace Rothstein was a helluva handicapper, I can tell you that. I was so good that when I bet, I can change the odds for every bookmaker in the country. I'm serious. I had it down so cold that I was given paradise on earth. I was given one of the biggest casinos in Las Vegas to run: the Tangiers, by the only kind of guys that can get you that kind of money. Sixty-two million seven hundred thousand dollars. I don't know all the details.
Nicky Santoro: [as narrator] Matter of fact, nobody knew all the details. But it should have been perfect. I mean he had me, Nicky Santoro, his best friend watching his hide. And he had Ginger, the woman he loved on his arm. But in the end, we fucked it all up. It should have been so sweet, too. But it turned out to be the last time that street guys like us were ever given anything that fuckin' valuable again.

Nicky Santoro {as narrator}: Keeping Remo happy with money was the strongest insurance policy.
[Sam hands Remo his gambling winnings]
Remo Gaggi: Son of a gun, how in the world did you get Michigan-Oklahoma?
[Sam shrugs his shoulders]
Remo Gaggi: Protects his craft, that is what I admire about this man! Listen, what do you have on for next week?
Sam Rothstein: It is too soon for me to tell, but if you come around Thursday, I ought to have an answer for you.
Remo Gaggi: Thanks a lot, Ace.
Sam departs but Remo motions Nicky to be spoken to in private
Remo Gaggi: Listen Nicky, your boy Sam there is a real asset. Not like those other friends of yours with rocks for heads. Would you please ensure no harm comes to him.
Nicky Santoro: Sure thing, Remo.
Remo Gammi: At a boy!
Nicky Santoro {as narrator}: Now, on top of everything else, I need to make sure no one messes with the Golden Jew.

Sam Rothstein {as narrator}: I hired an old friend of mine, Billy Sherbert as the casino manager and we got to work. Of course, I had to guarantee employment for a few juiced-in local cowboys. They were blood relatives of the local politicians, and I did not want to make waves. Without us, these men would still be shoveling manure.
Sam Rothstein: What is this mess? Ward, you have to keep a cleaner station. If you need Mr. Clean, just page him, all right?
Don Ward: Will not happen again, Sam.
Sam Rothstein: You call me Mister Rothstein!
Don Ward: Sorry, will not happen again, Mr. Rothstein. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
Sam Rothstein: Do not apologize, just do it right!
Sam and Billy depart slot machine area
Sam Rothstein: Is it just me or is that just another dumb WASP?
Billy Sherbert: We have to keep him on board. Or else we will anger the natives.
Sam Rothstein: I would not give this bum a mop job if I had my way.

[A local cowboy with connections to the mob has been gambling in Sam's casino, ignoring the casino's rule against guests putting their feet up on the table.]
Sam Rothstein: I don't give a shit who he's connected to. Tell him to take his fucking feet off the table. What does he think this is, a goddamn sawdust joint?
Billy Sherbert: Sir, would you mind taking your feet off the table and put your shoes on, please?
Cowboy: (sighs) Yeah, I would mind. I'm having a bad night.
[Billy returns to Sam, who is watching from across the room.]
Billy Sherbert: Fucking asshole won't budge.
Sam Rothstein: Call security. [Billy leaves to call casino security; Sam approaches the cowboy himself.] How are you?
Cowboy: Good. How are you?
Sam Rothstein: Good. You want to do me a favor? You want to take your feet off the table and put your shoes back on?
Cowboy: Fuck you.
Sam Rothstein: [Pauses, then turns to the arriving security guards] I want you to exit this guy off the premises and I want you to exit him off his feet and use his head to open the fuckin door.
Security Guard: Sir, you're going to have to leave. You mind accompanying us outside?
Cowboy: Bullshit, I ain't going anywhere with you.
Security Guard: Bullshit, you're outta here, Cowboy!
[Four security guards grab the cowboy and carry him outside, ramming his head into the door to open it as Sam instructed.]
Cowboy: Fuck you! Fuck you!
Security Guard: Yeah?
Cowboy: Do you know who you're fucking with?! Huh?!! Do you?!
Security Guard: Now, move along.
Cowboy: [to Sam Rothstein] You fuckin' faggot! Do you know who you're fucking with?! [to security guards] Leave me alone!
Security Guard: Here we go.
Cowboy: You've gotta be kidding me!
Sam Rothstein {as narrator}: Sure enough, an hour later, I get a call.
Nicky Santoro: Ace, what happened over there? I mean, did you know that guy you threw out was with me?
Sam Rothstein: No, I didn't know that. But you know what he did?
Nicky Santoro: No.
Sam Rothstein: He insulted Billy. then I walked over to him politely, and he tells me to go fuck myself.
Nicky Santoro: What?
Sam Rothstein: Then he called me a faggot. So what do you think I'd do? I threw that cocksucker out.
Nicky Santoro: What? Ho--. [puts down phone and addresses cowboy] Hey, come here. You called my friend a faggot? You tell him to go fuck himself?
Cowboy: Nicky, I did--.
Nicky Santoro: Is that what you did?
Cowboy: I did--, I didn't--.
Nicky Santoro: Tell him to go fuck himself? [hits cowboy on the head with the phone] You fucking hick! Fuckin', You big fuckin' hick, you. Come here. Come here. Get him up. Come here.
Frank Marino: Get up, Get up.
Nicky Santoro: Come here. Come here. You go over there right now and you apologize. You better hope he lets you back in. If you ever get out of line over there again, I'll smash your fuckin' head so hard, you won't be able to get that cowboy hat on. You hear me? Fucking hick. [resumes phone conversation] Sammy, listen. This guy obviously doesn't know who he was talking to. You understand? He doesn't know that... we're dear friends. I mean, he's already very sorry. But... if you could do me a favor and let him back in, I swear to you he'll never get out of line again. I promise you that.
Sam Rothstein: If he does it again, he's out for good. I don't care what it is, Nick, I'm gonna ha-- I'll never let him in the place again.
Nicky Santoro: I'm sorry about this. Really. All right, Ace?
Sam Rothstein: Okay.
Nicky Santoro: Thanks, pal. [hangs up the phone and turns to cowboy] You took your boots off? You put your feet on the table... You shit-kicking, stinky, horse-manure-smelling motherfucker you! You fuck me up over there, I'll stick you in a hole in the fuckin' desert! You understand? [slaps cowboy in the face] Go over there and apologize. Go! Get the fuck out of--!
Cowboy: Nicky, I'm sorry.

Sam Rothstein {as narrator}: Well, it wasn't long before what I was afraid was going to happen, happened. Nicky managed to get himself banned from every casino in Las Vegas. And from that moment on I couldn't be seen with him in Vegas or anywhere near it.
Nicky Santoro: What the fuck is that supposed to mean? [reads letter] "Detrimental to gaming and he will be ejected from any casino in Las Vegas. And the casinos can be fined as much as $100,000 every time he shows up." Do you believe this?
Sam Rothstein: Yeah I believe it. You got banned.
Nicky Santoro: [reads letter again] "Because of unsavory reputation..." [gets angry, crumples the letter and throws it away] Fucking morons! Is there any way around this?
Sam Rothstein: No, there's no way.
Nicky Santoro: Let's say, for instance, I want to go in a restaurant that happens to be inside a casino, to get one of those sandwiches I like?
Sam Rothstein: Forget it. You cannot so much as set foot in the parking lot. That is how serious this is.
Nicky Santoro: In other words, I'm finished?
Sam Rothstein: In so many words, yes.
Sam Rothstein {as narrator}: It just didn't sink into Nicky's head about what it meant. I mean, not being able to go inside a casino is one issue, but having your name in the black book is another. That is like sending your dossier to every state trooper and FBI agent in the United States. I mean, you are listed there alongside Al Capone. But Nicky did not care, he just didn't get it.
Nicky Santoro: They ain't gettin' rid of me. They ain't gettin' rid of me; I'm stayin' here. Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em.

Commissioner Webb: Thanks for seeing a humble public servant Mr. Rothstein. You run a nice business here. House is doing very well for itself. Now, I have come to personally smooth over a fracas that happened, the firing of a Don Ward. Now, you may not realize this, but Don Ward is a well-liked and respected man in this town, from an old money family. Now, friends vote. Families vote, and money votes. That is important to guys like me, and it is also important to guys like you.
Sam Rothstein: Mr. Ward's employment was terminated due to his failure to detect a rigging in the slot machines. That gives credence to him participating.
Commissioner Webb: Before you point the dirty end of the stick at Old Don, you better damn well be sure you can back up those charges.
Sam Rothstein: Oh, believe me, if I could prove those charges he would be behind bars.
Commissioner Webb: I would not be so quick to throw other men in jail. Do you, for example, really want the Gaming Control Board eyeballing your record and your realtionship to your gangster pal Nicky Santoro?
Sam Rothstein: What you are saying is libelous and you are in no position to make those accusations. Point is, Mr. Ward is unfit to work at the Tangiers Casino. He is weak, slow to learn and incompetent. I went way out of my way to be helpful to that kid and he goofed.
Commissioner Webb{chuckling}: Welp, I am afraid you have me checkmated, pardner. Old Don is about as useless as teats on a boar! That being said, it does not change the fact he still is my brother-in-law and I would deeply appreciate it if you considered some more about hiring him back. Could there, say, be a position further down the trough?
Sam Rothstein: Forget it. I know who you are and I like to help people. The bottom line is, I cannot have a man like that working for me. Sorry this cannot be more favorable.
Commissioner Webb: Mr. Rothstein, you people never fail to amaze me. You are all our guests in Nevada. But you behave like you are at home. Let me tell you something. Buddy, you ain't home. But that is where we are going to send you if this harelips the Governor.

Nicky Santoro {as narrator}: No matter what problems were outside the count room, it was all worth it. The cash kept rolling in, and the suitcases made their way to Kansas City. The only problem was after a while, the bosses noticed the suitcases were getting a little light Count room employee pockets a wad of cash.
Kansas City. Bosses are enraged at news
Tuffy: Wait a minute, you mean to tell me the money we are robbing is being robbed? We went to all that trouble and someone is stealing from us?!
Remo: Eh?
Nicky Santoro{as narrator}: Even John Nance, the one who acted as courier, he knew there was nothing he could do about it.
John Nance: It is called leakage, it is part of the business.
Tuffy: Leakage my ass! I want the man who is robbing us!
Remo: Eh?
Nicky Santoro{as narrator}: You need to understand that a man who helps you steal, even if you take very good care of him, he is going to want to grab a little extra for himself. Makes sense, right? But you try and make those hardheaded old greaseballs understand that.
John Nance: I only let them take this money because they are my guys. So you need to give them a little leeway.
Nicky Santoro{as narrator}: But the bosses never believed in leeway, so do you believe what these dingbats did next? They put Artie Piscano, the underboss of K.C., in charge of making sure no one skimmed the skim. The only problem was, Piscano was a disaster. This dodo bird could mess up a cup of coffee. And if anyone had any clue where this would lead to, they would have been better off composing novenas.

Sam has made an enemy in County Commissioner Pat Webb for firing his brother-in-law from the Tangiers. An inoppurtune moment occurs when Sam is made to admit he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Tangiers, which is publicized by the media. Webb is holding up a newspaper headline.
Commissioner Webb: It says here that Samuel Rothstein, the Midwest bookmaker with mob ties has asserted that he is the boss of the $100 million Tangiers casino empire.
Gaming Agent #1: Did he really say that?
Commissioner Webb: Why of course he said that. It is all right here. Has that man even filed for a casino license yet?
Gaming Agent #2: I don't know, Sir. We will have to check.
Commissioner Webb: Well, without gettin' your shorts in a knot, would you kindly do check, and check carefully, because we may just have to kick him out of town. Thank you.

Remo Gaggi: What is he going to do now?
Andy Stone{sighing}: I don't know.
Remo Gammi: What on Earth was he thinking when he ranted and raved in the courtroom? He knew better than that! He realized all the guys he yelled at were friends of ours.
Andy Stone: Maybe he could run things with a different job. Would not be the best but hey, what can we do?
Remo Gaggi: Let him hide in his office like a monk; call himself a janitor, I don't give a shit. But...whatever job he takes...make sure it is something quiet.
Cut to a TV show
Woman announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, the Tangiers Casino is pleased to present, courtesy of its new entertainment director Sam Rothstein, the all-new in-house program, Aces High!

Remo Gaggi: Frankie, the little guy, he wouldn't be fooling with the Jew's wife, would he? Because if he is, then it's a problem.
Scene freeze-frames
Frank Marino {as narrator}: What could I say? I knew that if I gave the wrong answer, Nicky, Ginger, Ace, all of them could've wound up getting killed. Because there's one thing about these old timers: they don't like any messing around with the other guys' wives. It's bad for business. So I lied. Even though I knew that by lying to Gaggi, I could wind up getting killed, too.
Scene resumes
Frank Marino: No. No, I didn't see anything like that.
Remo Gaggi: Are you sure?
Frank Marino: I'm positive. Remo, things are very fouled up down there.
Remo Gaggi: I know; that's why I'm asking. You see, my main concern is Nicky.

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