Thursday, August 06, 2015

Bugsy - The Original Gangster

I was catching up on some old issues of the Wall Street Journal that I had not read yet, when I saw a full page ad for what they called The Original Gangster, Bugsy. For the 15th anniversary, Tri-Star released an all-new unrated, extended cut, completely remastered and loaded with new special features. If that sounds like an ad, it is because I pulled it right from the paper. I had forgotten that Bugsy won a Golden Globe for Best Drama and had been nominated of Best Picture at the Oscar's along with 9 other nominations. Hence, I have an updated preview on the DVD.

This is the 1991 movie in which notorious ladies man Warren Beatty finally met his match in his feisty co-star Annette Bening. The pair sparred on set and off -- and have been happily married ever since.

Beatty needed a strong foil for his ferocious performance as Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel, the real-life, brutal New York gangster who aimed for the big time after moving to Los Angeles in the 1930s.

After pursuing and conquering sexy Hollywood starlet Virginia Hill (Bening), a one-time prostitute who had also worked for the Chicago mob, Siegel dreamed of making millions from gambling in a then-small desert town called Las Vegas. He built the original Flamingo Hotel, but enraged his eastern crime bosses when the project ran millions over budget. He was killed by mob hitmen in 1947, just a few years before Vegas started generating billions.

Beatty and Bening make a terrific pair, but Bugsy also features a notable performance from Ben Kingsley as Siegel's childhood friend and later crime associate Meyer Lansky.

A powerful and evocative film, Bugsy gets the two-disc treatment here to include some great documentaries and extra features.

Thanks to Andy Cooper

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