BUGSY
1991, Sony Repertory, 136 min, USA, Dir: Barry Levinson

Warren Beatty leads an all-star cast as the titular tough guy who turned the desert town of Las Vegas into an oasis for gamblers. Sent to California in the late 1930s, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel falls hard for actress Virginia Hill (Annette Bening) as he works to expand the criminal empire of East Coast mobster Meyer Lansky (Ben Kingsley). Harvey Keitel and Elliott Gould costar in this stylish drama, which earned 10 Academy Award nominations and two wins, for Best Art Direction and Costume Design.


THE GAMBLER
1974, Paramount, 111 min, USA, Dir: Karel Reisz

James Caan plays Axel Freed, a college professor precariously juggling his academic life with a severe gambling addiction in this riveting character study. James Toback's acclaimed script melds Dostoyevsky's 1866 novel with the screenwriter's own preoccupations and obsessions to create a triumph of personal filmmaking, expertly anchored by Caan's dynamic performance, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination.


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