O.) Before I ever ran a casino or got myself blown up, Ace Rothstein was a hell of a handicapper, I can tell you that. I mean, he had me, Nicky Santoro, his best friend, watching his ass... NIGHTCLUB - NIGHT Vignette of GINGER MCKENNA a dazzling thirty-one-year-old blonde seated by a small fiery pool. O.) ..he had Ginger, the woman he loved, on his arm. And who knows who's gonna be comin' along in that time? LAS VEGAS STRIP, 1973 - NIGHT TITLE IN: 'THE STRIP', 'LAS VEGAS', 'TEN YEARS EARLIER' ACE is greeted by a casino exec and walked through the brightly lit entrance to the Tangiers Casino. BAR, LAS VEGAS - NIGHT Vignette of NICKY SANTORO standing at a bar with DOMINICK SANTORO, his brother, and FRANK MARINO, his right-hand man. O.) ...nobody knew all the details, but it should'a been perfect. TANGIERS SPORTSBOOK/ACE'S OFFICE - NIGHT ACE looks over the casino he rules. Otherwise you're talkin' about a half-hour or forty-five minutes of diggin'. Anywhere else in the country, I was a bookie, a gambler, always lookin' over my shoulder, hassled by cops, day and night. COUNTER #2 rapidly counts the cash and announces: COUNTER #2 Five thousand. O.) I mean, to them everything looked on the up and up. Piscano dips a piece of bread into a pot of tomato sauce. O.) Because they controlled the Teamsters' Union, and that's where you had to go if you wanted to borrow money to buy a casino. FORLANO gets up from the table and walks toward NANCE. O.) Guys like this antique here [FORLANO], out of Detroit. On ANDY STONE, a middle-aged man at a podium giving a speech while GREEN, seated at a table, looks on. ACE and SHERBERT, sitting next to GREEN, also watch the photo op ceremony. O.) As far as the world was concerned Andy Stone, the head of the Teamsters' Pension Fund, was a legitimate guy. PISCANO'S MOTHER (Carrying a plate of food to the table where BORELLI and FORLANO are seated.) Here you are, gentlemen. O.) And nobody got a Teamsters' loan, unless the guys in this room knew they were gonna get their little suitcases. ANDY STONE (Off-screen, from following scene) I know it's a little early for Las Vegas... TANGIERS EXECUTIVE OFFICE PRESS CONFERENCE/BANQUET ROOM - DAY Camera tilts down a model of the Tangiers Hotel and Casino, then reveals the cover of Business Week magazine with a drawing of PHILIP GREEN, a young corporate type, smiling out under the headline: 'Philip Green, Vegas Wunderkind'. S.) ..I do want to welcome the ladies and gentlemen of the gaming industry. ACE (Approaching the DEALER) Where the hell did you learn how to deal? He made his first bet when he was fifteen years old, and he always made money. A DEALER is sliding chips, tossing them on to a craps table. O.) You know, havin' some fun with it, shit like that.
The camera pans across the room to another table manned by a COUNT ROOM EXECUTIVE who repeats the figure and writes it down on a master list. We move back to NANCE opening a cabinet full of stacks of 0 bills. RESTAURANT PARKING LOT, LAS VEGAS, 1983 - DAY SAM 'ACE' ROTHSTEIN, a tall, lean, immaculately dressed man approaches his car, opens the door, and gets inside to turn on the ignition. O.) When you love someone, you've gotta trust them. You've got to give them the key to everything that's yours. Flames, smoke and metal rise into the sky covering the view of the Las Vegas casinos and their signs. Camera swish tilts up to ACE, then swish pans to boxman, dealers and players watching him, trying to act calm. O.) They wanted him because Ace ate, slept and breathed gambling. (He reaches down, stacking and arranging the chips.) NICKY (V. ACE (To the chastised DEALER) Place the checks properly.
His body twists and turns through the frame like a soul about to tumble into the flames of damnation. I was given one of the biggest casinos in Las Vegas to run, the Tangiers... SAN MARINO ITALIAN GROCERY/BACK ROOM, KANSAS CITY - NIGHT Vignette of MOB BOSSES sitting at a table surrounded by food and wine like the gods of Olympus. O.) ..the only kind of guys that can actually get you that kind of money: sixty-two million, seven-hundred thousand dollars.