Tagged: Sam “Ace” Rothstein

Casino – De Niro Wears Pink for a Car Bombing

Robert De Niro as Sam "Ace" Rothstein in Casino.

Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein in Casino.

Vitals

Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, Vegas casino manager and mob associate

Las Vegas, October 1982

Background

Anyone standing outside Tony Roma’s restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip 31 years ago today would be in for years of ringing ears. On the morning of October 4, 1982, ousted casino manager, fringe mob associate, and gambler extraordinaire Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal left the restaurant and headed for his car, a silver 1981 Cadillac Eldorado coupe with the distinctive V8-6-4 engine, the failed experiment that only last one year. In this case, the failed experiment saved Rosenthal’s life as an extra metal sheet placed under the driver’s seat to offset the weight of this engine protected him from the initial blast of a devastating car bomb placed on his Cadillac.

Rosenthal lived for nearly thirty years after, immortalized as Sam “Ace” Rothstein in the 1995 film Casino, played by none other than Robert De Niro. The bombing bookends the film, so our first glimpse of Rothstein shows him exiting the restaurant and immediately being blown up in a Cadillac. After the film, we discover that he did indeed survive.

I’ll admit that his pink jacket, shirt, and tie combination is one of the more ridiculous and flamboyant oufits on here, but De Niro pulls it off as much as any man could. Also, to be frank, I’m scared of criticizing anything about Robert De Niro. He may be 70 years old, but he’s still more of a bad ass than most men out there.

What’d He Wear?

Rothstein’s real life counterpart “Lefty” Rosenthal was known for his sharp style, ranging from earthtones to pastels. This was the ’70s and ’80s, when pastels were basically a free ticket to a woman’s heart and bedroom. Casino pays fair homage to Rosenthal, with an impressive 52 suits and jackets created and purchased for De Niro’s Rothstein, all in various fabrics and colors that Rosenthal himself said he would’ve proudly worn.

One of the most memorable of Rothstein’s outfits is the first one we see. There is something poetic about a tough guy like De Niro wearing a pink blazer and white slacks. It’s a look more associated now with Palm Beach than Las Vegas, which has succumbed to printed t-shirts, cargo shorts, and – God help me – fanny packs.

Rothstein’s jacket is a loud salmon pink single-breasted linen blazer. The wide notch lapels are more distinctive than the usual notch, with a narrower “V”-shaped notch that almost resembles a cran necker lapel as seen on Don Corleone’s dinner jacket in The Godfather. The breast and hip patch pockets are all square-shaped with exposed stitching. The buttons are wide, with two to fasten in the front and one on each cuff. I can’t tell, but the cuffs may actually be functioning surgeon’s cuffs. Of course, this doesn’t matter as much when one of the sleeves gets burned off, but let’s hope you avoid this predicament.

casinobomb-coat1

Since this is Vegas, it still gets warm during the way, whether it’s October or not, with an observed high of 84°F just yesterday. Thus, a jacket wearer would be well advised to pick a lightweight material and an airy design. Rothstein’s, being linen, is lightweight enough to withstand the Vegas heat. The jacket is additionally airy with two long double rear vents adding comfort and mobility. Mobility is especially helpful when you need to leap from your ticking time bomb of a car. Again, I sincerely hope you can avoid having to worry about this.

As a final touch, Rothstein wears a yellow handkerchief the breast pocket of his blazer. It looks casually tossed, like Hugh Grant’s late 1990s hair, but was likely delicately folded and crumpled that morning by Rothstein to achieve the perfect “casual” five-point look.

"I hope the car doesn't blow up this time.. aw fuck-"

“I hope the car doesn’t blow up this time.. aw fuck-”

Rothstein’s light pink shirt is more of a traditional pink than the blazer. The material is soft and smooth, possibly silk or – given the intended time period – a silky polyester. The shirt has large point collars, squared-off button cuffs, and a chest pocket. It buttons down a plain, placket-less front. Rothstein pairs the shirt, as he is wont to do, with a necktie the exact same color. Rothstein ties his pink silk necktie with a four-in-hand knot.

Perhaps sensing that pink pants would’ve been just a bit too much here, Rothstein wears a pair of white flat front slacks with this outfit, lending more of a “casual eccentric millionaire” look. The trousers have a fitted waistband with an extended tab. They may also be linen like the blazer, but I can’t tell. Linen trousers tend to be uncomfortable in warm weather, but the flared leg and larger fit would keep them airy. Given the era, they have slightly flared legs and plain-hemmed bottoms with almost no break.

I wonder if the casino advertising "live entertainment" across the street realizes that the most entertaining thing its patrons will ever see is a silver Cadillac blowing up outside.

I wonder if the casino advertising “live entertainment” across the street realizes that the most entertaining thing its patrons will ever see is a silver Cadillac blowing up outside.

The no break in the trousers allows Rothstein’s well-chosen footwear to shine. Rather than going with white socks to continue his pant line into his shoes, Rothstein decides to let the shirt color pop and wears thin light pink socks. His shoes are, as they would have to be with this outfit, a pair of white leather loafers.

Rothstein’s accessories, as most gamblers prefer, are gold. Even his cigarette holder is gold. He wears a gold pinky ring on his right hand as well as a mixed metal wristwatch in gold, silver, and what appears to be rose gold. The watch has a square diamond-studded case that runs flush with the expanding bracelet. As he is left-handed, he wears the watch on his right wrist.

2013-08-06 03.55.12 am watch

The suit is on display, as I’ve seen from photos online. On display are both a “pristine” version from his walk to the car and a “burned” version from after he jumps out.

Have you ever seen the suits in person? I found these pictures on some shady Russian website, so if you're the one who took these, let me know so I can give credit where it's due.

Photographs taken by Anthony Maddaloni from New Jersey. (Thanks, Roman!)

Go Big or Go Home

It takes a lot of chutzpah to wear something like this. Even Nicky, his former best friend played wonderfully by Joe Pesci, comments earlier in the film:

I lost control? Look at you, you’re fucking walking around like John Barrymore! A fucking pink robe and a fucking cigarette holder?

De Niro proves that if you’re gonna go dandy, you gotta go full dandy. Rothstein is a more modern version of Beau Brummell; he goes around dressing and acting flamboyantly because he knows he can back it up by having the shit kicked out of someone. I’m not too sure if the original Beau Brummell was that into kicking the shit out of the people, but he was in the military, so let’s assume he was tougher than he looked.

It helps to look badass when you're grimacing and cynically chain-smoking. Yes, even when wearing a pink blazer.

It helps to look badass when you’re grimacing and cynically chain-smoking. Yes, even when wearing a pink blazer.

Finally, if we can learn anything from De Niro’s Rothstein – be careful getting in your car! You may not have reason to think anyone wants to bomb your car, but it never hurts to be safe. Unless you leap out of your car every time you get into it, then it literally will hurt to be safe. We already covered Christopher Moltisanti’s Guide to Surviving a Drive-By Shooting; now let’s see the Ace Rothstein Guide for Surviving a Car Bombing.

1) Look around as you walk to your car. If anyone suspicious is lurking and watching you, maybe don’t get in. Or, if you’re a meth-dealing fried chicken restaurant chain owner, see if anyone is watching from a building across the street. If the sunlight reflects off of his glasses, he probably stuck a homemade bomb under your Volvo station wagon. If you don’t get this very specific reference, you have some TV to catch up on.

2) Leave your car door slightly ajar. If you feel warm, notice fire coming out of your vents, or burst into flames, it may be a good idea to evacuate your car sooner rather than later. You don’t want to have to fumble for your door handle (or worry about unlocking it!) while your face is melting like the Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The worst part about if this scene took place today? The iPhone he plugged into his auxiliary cable port would be burnt to a crisp...

The worst part about if this scene took place today? The iPhone he plugged into his auxiliary cable port would be burnt to a crisp…

3) Only drive 1981 Cadillac Eldorado coupes with the infamous V8-6-4 engine. Sure, it may be a shitty engine, but the extra sheet of metal under the driver’s seat will save your life from an amateur car bomber.

If you really like watching older men get into Cadillac while wearing white pants and shoes, you should seriously consider a move to Florida.

If you really like watching older men get into Cadillac while wearing white pants and shoes, you should seriously consider a move to Florida.

Good luck!

How to Get the Look

It's not necessary, but it helps if the jacket has a very garish red and black lining that you can just see in this cap.

It’s not necessary, but it helps if the jacket has a very garish red and black lining that you can just see in this cap.

If you get your hands on this very specific outfit, don’t burn it.

  • Salmon pink single-breasted linen blazer with distinctive notch lapels, 2-button front, 1-button cuffs, long double rear vents, and square stitched patch pockets on the breast and hips
  • White flat front trousers with an extended waistband, slightly flared legs, and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Light pink silky polyester button-down long-sleeve shirt with large point collars, a breast pocket, and buttoned square cuffs
  • White leather loafers
  • Light pink thin dress socks
  • Mixed metal gold-silver-rose gold wristwatch on an expanding bracelet with a diamond-studded square face, worn on the right wrist
  • Gold pinky ring, worn on the right pinky
  • Yellow handkerchief, worn in the jacket’s breast pocket

Do Yourself A Favor And…

Buy the movie.

Also, please try to take better care of your clothing than Robert De Niro does.

Also, please try to take better care of your clothing than Robert De Niro does.

The Quote

No matter what the feds or the papers said about my car bombing…it was amateur night, and you could tell.

I want so badly to start a story this way and just watch everyone’s faces.

Poolside De Niro in Casino

Robert De Niro as "Ace" Rothstein in Casino.

Robert De Niro as “Ace” Rothstein in Casino.

Vitals

Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, Vegas casino manager and mob associate

Las Vegas, Summer 1973

Background

With tomorrow marking the first official day of summer, people will be flocking to the pool. It’s a nice place to catch some sun, but maybe you’re not in the mood for swimming. Who knows why – maybe you’re afraid of water, or maybe you have lice. Still, you’ll want to make sure you look cool while sitting poolside, puffing away on a cigarette while dealing with your city’s major power brokers and delegating control of your turf.

The white lower half (pants, shoes, and socks) is often associated with old men. De Niro was not young when he made Casino, but that doesn’t mean the look only has to be for old men. Try telling De Niro he’s an old man anyway. See where that gets you.

What’d He Wear?

He may wear some slick dark suits in the casino, but Ace knows how to combat the dry Vegas heat with light colors. Other than the infamous Gatsby pink suit, this may be the brightest attire covered yet on BAMF Style.

Ace’s blazer is single-breasted with peak lapels, a very 1920s style that enjoyed a popular and exaggerated revival in the ’70s. Ace avoids the excessive lapel size common to the decade. The jacket closes with a single white button, matching the white button on each cuff. There is also a breast pocket and an open hip pocket on each side.

The check on the blazer is placed over an off-white ground. The check is an alternating pale red and yellow with a dark blue overcheck dominating.

Underneath, De Niro wears a very ’70s yellow soft polyester long-sleeve button-down shirt with large point collars and fishtail cuffs. The yellow buttons fasten up a plain, placket-less front. There is a breast pocket, mostly concealed by the blazer.

The yellow handkerchief tucked into Ace’s jacket breast pocket almost perfectly matches the yellow of the shirt. This can be a tricky combo to pull off and tends to be best left to sartorial masters such as Ace Rothstein and Roger Moore in Moonraker.

How could a guy like this not run a casino?

How could a guy like this not run a casino?

Below the waist, things tend to start getting a bit “old man”-ish. Get your mind out of the gutter. While a white pants, white belt, and white shoes may work for naval officers, it is hard for a young man to pull this off casually without looking like he escaped from a rest home in Miami Beach. However, when matched with confidence and a great-looking blazer, there shouldn’t be much to worry about.

Ace wears the blazer with white flat front trousers with – as it is the ’70s – slightly flared plain-hemmed bottoms. The trousers have belt loops, through which a white belt is worn.

Ace’s footwear consists of a pair of plain white leather loafers with a pair of thin off-white (are they gray?) dress socks.

A guy like Ace definitely loads up on accessories. He’s rich, and he earned his money, so you should get to see it. He has a watch and ring for every wardrobe; in this case, he wears a thin gold watch on his right wrist and a gold pinky ring with a flat white stone on his right hand.

His large tortoiseshell aviator-style hard plastic sunglasses are Carrera 5425s, the same set worn throughout the film, such as when he arrives at the Beverly Hills airport with Ginger or while being interviewed by FBI agents on his back porch.

de niro tho

Go Big or Go Home

As I mentioned, you’d be doing Ace Rothstein proud by lounging poolside at a Vegas casino like the Riviera, taking occasional drags from your cigarette. Ace’s brand in the film is Dunhill International Full-Flavor. As one would expect of a man in duds like these, they are overpriced luxury cigarettes from England. They were also favored by guys like Hunter S. Thompson and John Lennon. Good luck finding them nowadays; only speciality tobacconists (and the occasional corner stores) carry them.

If you’re looking for something to listen to while channeling Ace, look no further than Louis Prima, one of the ultimate Vegas entertainers. Prima and his group, often featuring his wife Keely Smith and bandleader Sam Butera, entertained audiences for years with energetic renditions of classic songs. He avoided the parody style of guys like Spike Jones while never getting too Sinatra serious for nightclub crowds.

In the film, Prima’s version of “Sing Sing Sing” is played in a montage leading up to this scene. “Sing Sing Sing” is a classic swing hit, now unfortunately best known to modern audiences as the song from the Chips Ahoy! commercials, but Prima actually wrote it back in the 1930s. Benny Goodman made it a hit at Carnegie Hall during his massive January 16, 1938 concert and was forever associated with it. However, Prima came back in the ’50s to rerecord it (he had released his original version in March 1936) for his 1959 album Strictly Prima! Like many of Prima’s musical interpretations, his later version is more “mischievous”, very befitting the mob hijinks and wheeling-and-dealing of the early scenes of Casino.

How to Get the Look

Two immortals: Scorsese and De Niro, poolside in Vegas.

Two immortals: Scorsese and De Niro, poolside in Vegas.

We don’t see much of it, but it certainly makes an impression.

  • Blue, red, and yellow checked single-breasted blazer with peak lapels, 1-button front, 4-button cuffs, breast pocket, and open patch hip pockets
  • White flat front trousers with belt loops, slightly flared legs, and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Yellow polyester button-down long-sleeve shirt with large point collars, a breast pocket, plain front, and buttoned fishtail cuffs
  • White leather loafers
  • Off-white thin dress socks
  • Tortoiseshell plastic aviators – De Niro wears Carrera 5425 sunglasses in the film
  • Thin gold wristwatch, worn on the right wrist
  • Gold pinky ring with a flat white stone, worn on the right pinky
  • White handkerchief, worn in the jacket’s breast pocket

Do Yourself A Favor And…

Buy the movie and buy a casino, if possible.

The Quote

If only people realized Ace meant what he said when he was offered the job of casino manager…

You know if I did it, I’d have to run it my own way.

De Niro gets married in “Casino”

De Niro is arguably one of the screen’s most famous BAMFs. Our first post, however, isn’t him as boxer Jake LaMotta (Raging Bull) or vicious mobster Jimmy Conway (Goodfellas) or even the dapper Mafia chief Vito Corleone (The Godfather, Part II)…

To kick off BAMF Style’s Week of Weddings – because, you know, Valentine’s Day is coming up – and bring in Mafia Monday on a BAMF note, here is De Niro getting married in Casino.

Robert De Niro as Sam "Ace" Rothstein in Casino.

Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein in Casino.

Vitals

Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, brilliant sports handicapper, gambler, and mob associate

Las Vegas, Spring 1973

Background

I don’t know why it’s taken me this long, other than the fact that it’s a 3 hour movie that features over fifty costume changes for its main character – pretty much all of them suits – but here is the first breakdown from Casino. As mentioned, it’s said that De Niro had around 52 costume changes throughout. Most of his suits were very loud, a series of sharkskin or silk pastels ranging from hot pink to lime green (if limes were radioactive), so the suit chosen for his wedding was relatively conservative.

In this sequence, Ace takes a chance (Vegas and all…) and marries ex-hustler Ginger, played by Sharon Stone. After the champagne drinking and cake-sharing festivities, she rushes off to make a tearful call to her ex-boyfriend, a drug dealing pimp currently doing a line with one of his sluts who tells her to keep her new husband on a leash. Whether you’ve seen the movie or not, I think that right there tells you what a happy union this will be!

Although the pimp is played by James Woods so you gotta love him!

What’d He Wear?

For his big day (can you hear De Niro calling it that?), Rothstein wears a standard black suit. It is a pretty timeless look, outfitted with ’70s details such as flapped hip pockets on a steep angle and long double vents matched with long peak lapels. However, the details avoid typical ’70s excess.

In addition to the details mentioned, the jacket also has 1-button cuffs and a jetted breast pocket, where Ace wears a white silk pocketsquare. To celebrate the occasion, a white boutonniere is fixed to his left lapel.

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These are some seriously De Niro-ean De Niro faces here.

We don’t see much of his lower half here, but his pants are black with a center crease, fitting with Ace’s perfectionist habits. There are two open side pockets and plain-hemmed bottoms that drape over his black square-toed leather laced dress shoes. We don’t get much of a look at the shoes, as stated, but let’s go ahead and assume his socks are black. Why wouldn’t they be?

a caption

A tip for the fellas!
When a woman is crying like this on her wedding day, they aren’t “happy tears”. Especially when she’s on the phone with her cokehead pimp ex-boyfriend.

His shirt is typical of the ’70s, white with long point collars. The cuffs aren’t clearly seen but appear to be buttoned barrel cuffs, like most of Ace’s shirts. He wears a white patterned silk necktie with the shirt, again avoiding ’70s-ness by keeping it a conservative width from the knot throughout the rest of the tie.

As this look tends to mean "You're going to die" from De Niro, it's very lucky for Sharon Stone that she lives into the next scene, let alone most of the movie!

As this look tends to precede a brutal murder, it’s very lucky for Sharon Stone that she lives into the next scene, let alone most of the movie!

All in all, it’s a nice look. Although it does kinda shout “Mafia!”, especially given the Vegas surroundings.

Go Big or Go Home – Wedding Edition

2013-01-28 01.25.13 am

The Venue

The Riviera Hotel and Casino, 2901 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89109

Ace had an in here, being the food and beverage chairman (or was he entertainment manager at this point?), but maybe you’ll be able to swing a thing or two. If not, I’m sure there’s a chapel up the street.

The Refreshments

In addition to the steak and lobsters for dinner, everyone had champagne! Ace and his new wife, Ginger, even did the corny thing where they drink with their arms linked.

Notable Guests

The narration notes that Ace invited half the town of Vegas – we’re guessing the important half (judges, mobsters, casino owners, etc.) – but know that no wedding is truly a wedding without the appearance of Joe Pesci.

The Music

In a nod to the real life Ace’s job at the Stardust, a version of “Stardust” sung by the song’s writer Hoagy Carmichael plays during the sequence. We can’t know for sure, but it’s a good guess that you aren’t gonna hear “The Chicken Dance” at this wedding. “Hava Nagila” maybe.

(Fun fact: Hoagy Carmichael was used as a basis of James Bond’s appearance in the original novels by Ian Fleming.)

How to Get the Look

For once, this one is pretty easy.

  • black single-breasted 1-button suit coat with wide peak lapels, jetted breast pocket, slanted flapped hip pockets, 1-button cuffs, and long double rear vents
  • black suit pants with open side pockets and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • white button-down dress shirt with long point collars
  • white textured silk necktie
  • black square-toed leather laced dress shoes
  • black socks (assumed)
  • white boutonniere in left lapel of suit coat
  • white silk pocketsquare in breast pocket

Do Yourself A Favor And…

Buy the movie.

http://www.amazon.com/Casino-Robert-Niro/dp/B000C20VPA/

According to Amazon, the star is “Robert Niro”. There’s a deleted scene of him fiddling as Vegas burns.

The Quote

When you love someone, you’ve gotta trust them. There’s no other way. You’ve got to give them the key to everything that’s yours. Otherwise, what’s the point? And for a while, I believed, that’s the kind of love I had.

Spoiler Alert: He’s wrong, she bangs the whole town of Vegas and eventually leads to him getting blown up in his car <3

Footnotes

I unfortunately can’t find it anywhere online (doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying), but I’ve seen a photo of the real Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal – the inspiration for the character of Ace – on his wedding day and he was wearing a darker necktie. Please file this in the “Necessary Information” portion of your brain.

To make up for that, here‘s a picture of Lefty’s real life wife Geri. She was a sizzler.