Bugsy


2h 15m 1991
Bugsy

Brief Synopsis

The famed gangster running the mobs in Los Angeles tries to turn Las Vegas into a vacation paradise.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Romance
Drama
Crime
Historical
Biography
Period
Release Date
1991
Production Company
Robert Wayne Harris
Distribution Company
TriStar Pictures
Location
Mojave Desert, California, USA; Los Angeles, California, USA; Culver Studios, Culver City, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 15m

Synopsis

Story about former mob boss Bugsy Siegel, whose love for Virginia Hill motivated him to create the Flamingo Hotel and, later, the gambling mecca of Las Vegas.

Crew

Henry Alvarez

Special Makeup Effects

C J Appel

Adr Editor

Harold Arlen

Song

Kevin S Arnold

Electrician

Steve Arnold

Assistant Art Director

Paige Augustine

On-Set Dresser

Craig B Ayers

Other

Paul Babin

Camera Operator

Mike Balker

Costumes

George Bamber

Assistant Director

Mario Bauza

Song

Warren Beatty

Producer

Richard Beggs

Rerecording

Richard Beggs

Sound Designer

Laurie Bernard

Sound Designer

Juel Bestrop

Casting Associate

John Blackburn

Song

Martin Block

Song

Rube Bloom

Song

Thomas Bookout

Dolly Grip

Gloria S Borders

Sound Editor

Rob Bottin

Special Makeup Effects

Christopher Boyes

Foley Recordist

Jack Brooks

Song

Billy Burton

Stunts

Billy Burton

Stunt Coordinator

Willie Burton

Sound Mixer

Norman Arthur Burza

Costumes

Randy Cantor

Transportation Captain

Hoagy Carmichael

Song

Linda Cathey

Swing Gang

Ellen Chenoweth

Casting

James Clark

Special Makeup Effects

Allegra Clegg

Production Coordinator

Joseph Cosko

Assistant Camera Operator

Elise Couvillion

Camera

Michael A Crowley

Other

Hallie D'amore

Makeup Artist

Blair Daily

Assistant Editor

Mark Daily

Editorial Assistant

Kate Davey

Assistant Director

Allen Daviau

Director Of Photography

Mack David

Song

Michael Davison

Assistant

B G Decurtis

Song

Ernesto Decurtis

Song

Sara B Dee

Assistant

Enrico Demelis

Music

Robert E Denne

Other

Robert Deschane

Adr Mixer

Alberto Dominguez

Song

Tommy Dorsey

Song Performer

Phil Downey

Color Timer

Eric Engler

Camera Operator

Jennifer Erskine

Assistant

Redd Evans

Song

Charles Faithorn

Swing Gang

Noreen Farrell

Assistant Sound Editor

Fernando Favila

Special Makeup Effects

Robert Fechtman

Assistant Art Director

Dennis Fill

Costumes

Kelley Finn

Other

Jim Flamberg

Music Producer

Jim Flamberg

Editing

Stacey Foiles

Dialogue Editor

Cindy Franke

Assistant Production Coordinator

Clare Freeman

Foley Editor

Jodi Fuchs

Production Assistant

Justin Garcia

Other

Marvin Gardner

Special Effects

Dennis Gassner

Production Designer

Claire Gaul

On-Set Dresser

Ira Gershwin

Song

Jay Gianukos

Production Assistant

Rosario Giuliani

Music

Peter Giuliano

Assistant Director

Robert J Goldstein

Location Manager

Tom Griep

Visual Effects

Joseph F Griffith

Production

Rainer Gruetzmacher

Other

Scott Guitteau

Assistant Sound Editor

Lynda Gurasich

Hair Stylist

Michael Gurasich

Production Assistant

Nancy Haigh

Set Decorator

William G Hall

Other

Cynthia Hamilton

Assistant Costume Designer

Larry Hand

Production Accountant

Robert Wayne Harris

Cable Operator

William Harrison

Special Effects Foreman

Christine Hebble

Production Assistant

J. Roy Helland

Hair Stylist

Tim Holland

Sound Effects Editor

Kelly Householder

Production Assistant

Lawrence Hubbs

Set Designer

Ian Hunter

Visual Effects

Richard Jeffries

Electrician

Dean Jennings

Book As Source Material

David Jobe

Adr

Mark Johnson

Producer

Tom Johnson

Sound Re-Recording Mixer

David Katz

Video Playback

Douglas Keith

Other

Kathryn Miles Kelly

Makeup Artist

Michael Kenner

Key Grip

Jerome Kern

Song

Hael Kobayashi

Assistant Sound Editor

Martin Kohn

Art Department Coordinator

Kim K Kono

Electrician

Alex Kramer

Song

Rande Laiderman

Caterer

Carol Larkin

Casting Associate

Christopher B Lawrence

Costumes

Peggy Lee

Song Performer

Milton Leeds

Song

Barry Levinson

Producer

Marvin E. Lewis

Boom Operator

Stu Linder

Editor

Tinker Linville

On-Set Dresser

Carlane Passman Little

Costume Supervisor

George L. Little

Costume Supervisor

Frank Loesser

Song

Thomas L Lupo

Stunts

Guy A Maclaury

Construction Coordinator

David Mann

Song

Dan Marrow

Transportation Captain

Joel Marrow

Transportation Coordinator

Robert Marty

Assistant Sound Editor

Allan Mason

Music Supervisor

William R Mayberry

Best Boy

Joe Mccoy

Song

Leslie Mcdonald

Art Director

James Mcgeachy

Visual Effects

Shawn Mckay

Hair Stylist

Johnny Mercer

Song Performer

Johnny Mercer

Song

Cheri Minns

Makeup Artist

Carolyn Mock

Accounting Assistant

Gary Moglovkin

Accounting Assistant

Marnie Moore

Foley Artist

Ennio Morricone

Music

Aimee A Morris

Production Assistant

John P Morris

Grip

Jennifer Morrison Holyfield

Costumes

Jerry Moss

Property Master

Matthew W. Mungle

Makeup Artist

Amanda Nelligan

Assistant

Amy Ness

Location Manager

Charles J. Newirth

Coproducer

Charles J. Newirth

Production Manager

Reggie Newkirk

Assistant Camera Operator

Deborah Newman

Props Assistant

Phil Olbrantz

Assistant Sound Editor

Grant Osborn

Other

James J. Passanante

Other

Franco Patrignani

Sound Engineer

Jane Payne

Assistant

Dr. Leroy Perry

Special Thanks To

Bruton R Peterson

Electrician

Ken Peterson

Assistant Property Master

Flip Phillips

Song Performer

Arthur Pimentel

Special Makeup Effects

Clay Pinney

Special Effects Supervisor

Julie Pitkanen

Script Supervisor

Willie Radcliff

Craft Service

Dennon Rawles

Choreographer

Sayhber Rawles

Choreographer

Phil Read

Construction Coordinator

Russell J Reilly

Grip

Paul M Rohrbaugh

Other

Claire Sanfilippo

Assistant Sound Editor

Francesco Santucci

Other

Paige Sartorius

Dialogue Editor

Gerald Scaife

Other

Laurel Schneider

Production Coordinator

Scott Schneider

Visual Effects

Dennis R. Scott

Stunts

James R Shelton

Dolly Grip

Russell Shinkle

Special Makeup Effects

Robert Shoup

Sound Effects Editor

Beth Siegel

Production Assistant

Robin Skelton

Continuity

Sunny Skylar

Song

Loren Soman

Special Makeup Effects

Peter Sorel

Photography

Chris Spellman

Swing Gang

Robert Spurlock

Miniatures

Deborah Squires

Costumes

Jo Stafford

Song Performer

Mark A. Stetson

Miniatures

Dianna Stirpe

Assistant Sound Editor

Robert Stradling

Assistant Camera Operator

Karl Suessdorf

Song

Mark Sullivan

Matte Painter

Russ Tanaka

Other

Dennie Thorpe

Foley Artist

James Toback

Screenplay

Pam Uzzell

Assistant Sound Editor

Tom Valentine

Other

Ethan Van Der Ryn

Foley Editor

Don Vargas

Costumes

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Romance
Drama
Crime
Historical
Biography
Period
Release Date
1991
Production Company
Robert Wayne Harris
Distribution Company
TriStar Pictures
Location
Mojave Desert, California, USA; Los Angeles, California, USA; Culver Studios, Culver City, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 15m

Award Wins

Best Art Direction

1991
Dennis Gassner

Best Costume Design

1991
Albert Wolsky

Award Nominations

Best Actor

1991
Warren Beatty

Best Cinematography

1991

Best Director

1991

Best Original Screenplay

1991

Best Picture

1991

Best Score

1991

Best Supporting Actor

1991
Harvey Keitel

Best Supporting Actor

1991
Ben Kingsley

Articles

Bugsy


Richard Levinson's rich-looking Bugsy (1991) tells the story of Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel: mobster, killer, father of Las Vegas and lover of Virginia Hill. A man of humble and criminal beginnings, Siegel also had a pathological desire for respect and wealth. This version of the story is lavishly told, the glamour of Siegel's milieu far upstaging the violence of his real life, while the romance of the picture resonates most strongly for what it created off-screen: the famous pairing of Beatty and Bening.

In many minds, Bugsy redeemed Beatty's career, rescuing it from the disaster of Dick Tracy (1990). Bugsy's noir is far richer and more complex, a nice complement to what James Toback, who wrote the script for Beatty, saw as the actor's own duality: "Warren combines an elegant and well-cultivated charm with a tensely impacted psychosis. The role gave him a historical person through whom he could express his wild extremes," he said in Suzanne Finstad's biography Warren Beatty.

"I honestly believed until the last minute that he wouldn't do the movie. The script is so far out, so excessive...he went all the way with it," said Toback. The film's camera operator, Joseph Cosko, Jr. recalls that Beatty was ''really involved with it. Who knows, maybe he related to Bugsy Siegel? He was the character."

As in other films that he's produced, Beatty inserted some of his own idiosyncrasies into his role, having Siegel use a tanning reflector and put cucumber slices over his eyes. He also took liberties with certain events in the film, such as the scene where Siegel offers to buy the not-for-sale Beverly Hills mansion of opera singer Lawrence Tibbett. The fictitious event is based on a story that the granddaughter of opera star Lauritz Melchior told about Clark Gable trying to by her grandfather's home on Mulholland. Beatty inserts Melchior's name into the dialogue as a homage to the original source of the scene.

For Beatty, what made Bugsy work was Siegel's love for Virginia Hill: "'Romance runs through most of my movies,' Beatty reflected at the time, 'even going back to Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), which I sort of co-wrote, and Heaven Can Wait (1978) and Reds (1981). Because I believe that love can conquer all,"' he said in Finstad's biography.

By all accounts, Hill's and Siegel's relationship was a tumultuous one. A paramour of many organized crime figures, Hill was no shrinking violet and gave Siegel as good as she got. Whether she was working for Siegel or against him is left open to interpretation at the film's end, as in real life. In either case, their pairing was explosive, and the task for Bugsy producers was to find an actress who could create that chemistry with Beatty.

In 1990, when Toback and Levinson were assembling possible choices to play Hill's character, Michelle Pfeiffer was at the top of the list. But Bening's star was on the rise that year, fresh from her successes in a small but memorable role in Milos Forman's Valmont (1989). Beatty would later recall seeing her on the screen in that film and thinking, "That is an amazing woman."

A role in Postcards from the Edge (1990) and her breakthrough performance in The Grifters (1990) sealed the deal. The latter film previewed in Los Angeles just as Beatty was closing in on the final pick for Virginia Hill, and Bening's "it" girl status made her a natural choice for the part, as well as the fact that he had fallen in love with her by their first meeting. According to the biography Warren Beatty by Finstad, the actor declared himself to Bening on the day that they shot their characters' first encounter (at the time, she was linked romantically to Ed Begley, Jr.). Beatty told her, "As much as I'd like to have some sort of relationship with you, I'm not going to bother you with that while we're making the movie."

It didn't exactly turn out that way, but by all accounts the on-set romance between the two stars was incredibly discreet, so much so that director Levinson had no idea, stating "Everybody thinks that's impossible, but it's true. And we were together all the time, the three of us, on the set. But they were never hanging around, kind of whispering in one another's ear, kissing in the corners and stuff, holding hands. They didn't do any of that stuff."

The relationship turned out to be a keeper and the two went on to marry and have four children together. The fate of Bugsy, however, was not as long-lived. Although box-office receipts and acclaim for the film were modest, it did manage to score two of its ten Oscar® nominations: Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design. Beatty, Harvey Keitel and Ben Kingsley all received nominations for their roles, as did Barry Levinson, James Toback and Ennio Morricone for his distinctive score. The film was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Cinematography.

Producers: Warren Beatty, Mark Johnson, Barry Levinson
Director: Barry Levinson
Screenplay: James Toback; Dean Jennings (book "We Only Kill Each Other: The Life and Bad Times of Bugsy Siegel") (research source)
Cinematography: Allen Daviau
Art Direction: Leslie McDonald
Music: Ennio Morricone
Film Editing: Stu Linder
Cast: Warren Beatty (Ben 'Bugsy' Siegel), Annette Bening (Virginia Hill), Harvey Keitel (Mickey Cohen), Ben Kingsley (Meyer Lansky), Elliott Gould (Harry Greenberg), Joe Mantegna (George Raft), Richard Sarafian (Jack Dragna), Bebe Neuwirth (Countess di Frasso), Gian-Carlo Scandiuzzi (Count di Frasso), Wendy Phillips (Esta Siegel), Stefanie Mason (Millicent Siegel), Kimberly McCullough (Barbara Siegel), Andy Romano (Del Webb), Robert Beltran (Alejandro)
C-134m. Letterboxed.

by Emily Soares
Bugsy

Bugsy

Richard Levinson's rich-looking Bugsy (1991) tells the story of Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel: mobster, killer, father of Las Vegas and lover of Virginia Hill. A man of humble and criminal beginnings, Siegel also had a pathological desire for respect and wealth. This version of the story is lavishly told, the glamour of Siegel's milieu far upstaging the violence of his real life, while the romance of the picture resonates most strongly for what it created off-screen: the famous pairing of Beatty and Bening. In many minds, Bugsy redeemed Beatty's career, rescuing it from the disaster of Dick Tracy (1990). Bugsy's noir is far richer and more complex, a nice complement to what James Toback, who wrote the script for Beatty, saw as the actor's own duality: "Warren combines an elegant and well-cultivated charm with a tensely impacted psychosis. The role gave him a historical person through whom he could express his wild extremes," he said in Suzanne Finstad's biography Warren Beatty. "I honestly believed until the last minute that he wouldn't do the movie. The script is so far out, so excessive...he went all the way with it," said Toback. The film's camera operator, Joseph Cosko, Jr. recalls that Beatty was ''really involved with it. Who knows, maybe he related to Bugsy Siegel? He was the character." As in other films that he's produced, Beatty inserted some of his own idiosyncrasies into his role, having Siegel use a tanning reflector and put cucumber slices over his eyes. He also took liberties with certain events in the film, such as the scene where Siegel offers to buy the not-for-sale Beverly Hills mansion of opera singer Lawrence Tibbett. The fictitious event is based on a story that the granddaughter of opera star Lauritz Melchior told about Clark Gable trying to by her grandfather's home on Mulholland. Beatty inserts Melchior's name into the dialogue as a homage to the original source of the scene. For Beatty, what made Bugsy work was Siegel's love for Virginia Hill: "'Romance runs through most of my movies,' Beatty reflected at the time, 'even going back to Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), which I sort of co-wrote, and Heaven Can Wait (1978) and Reds (1981). Because I believe that love can conquer all,"' he said in Finstad's biography. By all accounts, Hill's and Siegel's relationship was a tumultuous one. A paramour of many organized crime figures, Hill was no shrinking violet and gave Siegel as good as she got. Whether she was working for Siegel or against him is left open to interpretation at the film's end, as in real life. In either case, their pairing was explosive, and the task for Bugsy producers was to find an actress who could create that chemistry with Beatty. In 1990, when Toback and Levinson were assembling possible choices to play Hill's character, Michelle Pfeiffer was at the top of the list. But Bening's star was on the rise that year, fresh from her successes in a small but memorable role in Milos Forman's Valmont (1989). Beatty would later recall seeing her on the screen in that film and thinking, "That is an amazing woman." A role in Postcards from the Edge (1990) and her breakthrough performance in The Grifters (1990) sealed the deal. The latter film previewed in Los Angeles just as Beatty was closing in on the final pick for Virginia Hill, and Bening's "it" girl status made her a natural choice for the part, as well as the fact that he had fallen in love with her by their first meeting. According to the biography Warren Beatty by Finstad, the actor declared himself to Bening on the day that they shot their characters' first encounter (at the time, she was linked romantically to Ed Begley, Jr.). Beatty told her, "As much as I'd like to have some sort of relationship with you, I'm not going to bother you with that while we're making the movie." It didn't exactly turn out that way, but by all accounts the on-set romance between the two stars was incredibly discreet, so much so that director Levinson had no idea, stating "Everybody thinks that's impossible, but it's true. And we were together all the time, the three of us, on the set. But they were never hanging around, kind of whispering in one another's ear, kissing in the corners and stuff, holding hands. They didn't do any of that stuff." The relationship turned out to be a keeper and the two went on to marry and have four children together. The fate of Bugsy, however, was not as long-lived. Although box-office receipts and acclaim for the film were modest, it did manage to score two of its ten Oscar® nominations: Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design. Beatty, Harvey Keitel and Ben Kingsley all received nominations for their roles, as did Barry Levinson, James Toback and Ennio Morricone for his distinctive score. The film was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Cinematography. Producers: Warren Beatty, Mark Johnson, Barry Levinson Director: Barry Levinson Screenplay: James Toback; Dean Jennings (book "We Only Kill Each Other: The Life and Bad Times of Bugsy Siegel") (research source) Cinematography: Allen Daviau Art Direction: Leslie McDonald Music: Ennio Morricone Film Editing: Stu Linder Cast: Warren Beatty (Ben 'Bugsy' Siegel), Annette Bening (Virginia Hill), Harvey Keitel (Mickey Cohen), Ben Kingsley (Meyer Lansky), Elliott Gould (Harry Greenberg), Joe Mantegna (George Raft), Richard Sarafian (Jack Dragna), Bebe Neuwirth (Countess di Frasso), Gian-Carlo Scandiuzzi (Count di Frasso), Wendy Phillips (Esta Siegel), Stefanie Mason (Millicent Siegel), Kimberly McCullough (Barbara Siegel), Andy Romano (Del Webb), Robert Beltran (Alejandro) C-134m. Letterboxed. by Emily Soares

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Barry Levinson was nominated for the Directors Guild of America's 1991 Outstanding Directorial Achievement Award.

Harvey Keitel was named best supporting actor of 1991 by the National Board of Review for his performances in "Bugsy" (USA/91), "Thelma & Louise" (USA/91) and "Mortal Thoughts" (USA/91).

Voted Best Picture of the Year (1991) by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Also cited for Best Director and Best Screenplay. Warren Beatty was 1st runner-up in the category of best actor.

Warren Beatty was named best actor of 1991 by the National Board of Review.

Limited Release in United States December 13, 1991

Released in United States February 1992

Released in United States on Video July 1, 1992

Released in United States Winter December 13, 1991

Wide Release in United States December 20, 1991

Shown at Berlin Film Festival (in competition) February 13-24, 1992.

Received a Golden Globe for Best Film (Drama) from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Began shooting January 21, 1991.

Completed shooting May 31, 1991.

Release expanded in USA February 21, 1992.

Released in United States February 1992 (Shown at Berlin Film Festival (in competition) February 13-24, 1992.)

Limited Release in United States December 13, 1991

Released in United States Winter December 13, 1991

Wide Release in United States December 20, 1991

Released in United States on Video July 1, 1992