Episode #3: Bugsy
Updated: Apr 25, 2021
Listen to Episode 3 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.
SUMMARY - Ben “Bugsy” Siegel (played by Warren Beatty) is a notorious gangster in New York who heads out to Los Angeles in order to expand the reach of his mob syndicate. While there, he becomes enraptured with an actress named Virginia Hill (played by Annette Bening). He not only wants to conquer the city and the girl, however. Siegel has grand ambitions of building one of the first hotels in a little known, isolated desert town called Las Vegas.
Screenplay by James Toback; Directed by Barry Levinson and released in limited cities on December 13, 1991.
Bugsy as a character - he starts more subdued then anger grows and becomes more visible and exaggerated
The movie is well directed and flashy, but not overly so as we saw with "Cape Fear" which probably led to its award nominations.
We question the tone and purpose of the zany madcap scene where Ben bounces between birthday cake, a phone call, and a discussion with an angry mob, all while wearing a chef's hat
The movie doesn't do a great job of explaining things, like why Ben doesn't like being called Bugsy, or why he keeps repeating "20 Dwarves took turns doing handstands on the carpet."
We talk about the predictably poetic ending where our lead is shot dead, sort of like in "Bonnie and Clyde."
How many of the performances were worthy of their awards and nominations?
We "Pause on the Credits" to briefly talk about the life and legacy of Bill Graham who played Charlie Luciano and died in Oct. 1991 in a helicopter crash.
Awards talk - The movie won two Oscars for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration and Best Costume Design. It was nominated for several more, which we outline on the episode. Surprisingly (at least to us), Bugsy won the Golden Globe for Best Picture. Another surprising nomination came from our favorite award show, the MTV Movie Awards, because this third episode ending up having our third Best Kiss nominee featured on the podcast, which was completely unplanned.
TRUE CRIME & POP CULTURE
We usually try to tie some true crime information into the movie or week of release. This time, Nikki provided some more insight and details about the real life story of Bugsy and Virginia Hill. Please consider also listening to the podcasts that Nikki used as sources for this segment: "You Must Remember This Podcast" and "Female Criminals Podcast."
The Top Song of the Week was:
Black or White by Michael Jackson - I wonder how many times we'll end up saying that?
Meanwhile, the top song in the UK was:
Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me by George Michael & Elton John
TV Listings - This week's TGIF listing and the shows on the other channels too
RANKINGS & RATINGS
Nikki 1-5 star scale - 2 out of 5
Jon 0-4 star scale - 2 out of 4
Would you watch again? - We agreed that while the movie looks good visually, it was a little too boring and there are far better gangster movies worth that time.
If you want to watch Bugsy, as of this recording in February 2021, it’s available on FuboTV, Showtime, Digital Rent, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings
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