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Bugsy is a 1991 film which tells the story of mobster Bugsy Siegel. It stars Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley, Elliott Gould, Joe Mantegna, Bebe Neuwirth and Bill Graham.

The movie was written by James Toback from research material by Dean Jennings. It was directed by Barry Levinson.

Plot Summary

Gangster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel (Warren Beatty) who works for the New York mob goes to Californiamarker and instantly falls in love with Virginia Hill (Annette Bening), a Hollywoodmarker starlet. He buys a house at Beverly Hillsmarker, planning to stay while his wife and two daughters remains at New Yorkmarker suburb of Scarsdalemarker. On a trip to Nevada he comes up with the idea for a casino in the desert. He enlists the help of gangster Mickey Cohen (Harvey Keitel) and acquires funding from head mobster Meyer Lansky (Ben Kingsley) and other New York mobsters who approve the deal for $1 million. Bugsy puts Virginia in charge of accounting and begins construction of the Flamingo Las Vegasmarker Hotel Casino, Las Vegas, Nevadamarker but has no sense of control and the budget soon rises to $6 million. Bugsy tries everything to ensure it gets made even selling his share of the casino and most of his belongings. Upset about the costs, the fact that the casino is a failure and that $2 million of the budget is unaccounted for Meyer Lansky asks Bugsy to meet him in Los Angeles. Bugsy discovers that Virginia stole the money but tells her to "keep it and save it for a rainy day" rather than return it. He then calls Lansky and tells him never to sell his share of the casino and that he'll live to thank him someday. While in his home back in L.A. later that night, Bugsy is killed by several gunshots (presumably from an assassin hired by Lansky or one of the other mobsters). Virginia is told the news back in Las Vegas and becomes upset, rushing out of the casino. The final text before the credits states that she returned the missing money a week later and committed suicide at some point after that. It also states that by 1991 (the film's release year) the $6 million invested in Bugsy's dream of Las Vegas had generated revenues of over $100 billion.



It won Academy Awards for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration and Best Costume Design. It was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Warren Beatty), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Harvey Keitel), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Ben Kingsley), Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Music, Original Score, Best Picture and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. It received 8 Golden Globe nominations and won for Best Picture - Drama. The Silence of the Lambs won many categories where Bugsy received nominations in 1991.

Following their meeting while making this movie, Warren Beatty and Annette Bening were married.


Despite its good reviews, Bugsy faced considerable controversy over its portrayal of Siegel. The film omits Siegel's long history of violent crime, including rape and murder, and glossed over his infamously short temper.

Extended Version

In the USA an extended cut has been released. It offers nine additional scenes with a total running time of 764 seconds .



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