Are You Ready to Get Up Close and Personal With a Real Hit Man?
The openly checkered past that has made Las Vegas the desert oasis it is today has never been depicted on film better than in the 1995 blockbuster “Casino”. And just wait until you hear what Vegas has in store to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the movie’s release.
If you have lived under a rock for the last 20 or so years, and never seen the movie here’s a brief rundown. Based on the real-life activities of Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and Tony Spilotro in Vegas during the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, the movie shows the level of influence the mob still had in Vegas during that time. It also shows how an over indulgence in the good life that Vegas offered eventually led to the demise of that influence. Without any spoilers (the movie stars Bobby DeNiro and Joe Pesci for pete’s sake, if you missed it, get it on Netflix) the character played by actor Frank Vincent was based on the activities of a real life hit man – Frank Cullotta – who is very much alive today and ready for the anniversary event.
The Mob Museum
The celebration starts at the Las Vegas Mob Museum, where you are given a special two hour tour of the museum and all the exhibits. Anniversary aside, if you have visited Vegas and not made the Mob Museum one of your stops… for shame. This is an incredible look at the history of Vegas and the American mafia as a whole. One walk through, and you will never look at the strip the same way.
Frank Cullotta’s Casino Tour
Starting March 18th, the tour of the Mob Museum will be followed by a coach bus tour to –get this- some of the places where notable “incidents” in the movie really took place. Honestly, this is a tour available all the time, but not with an actual hit man driving the bus.(at least we hope not) Once a month, Frank Cullotta is going to personally conduct the tour and take you to the location of the Casino house, Bertha’s robbery site, and the Frankie “blue” death scene where he shares the real skinny on what was going on at the time. If none of that means anything to you, seriously, rent the movie.
Frank brings you to a few more spots, shows you real FBI surveillance photos from that time and will tell you a bit about what life is like now for a former hired gun. All this and a pizza party at the same site where Tony and Frank used to go for a home cooked Italian dinner.
If you’re a mob movie buff (who isn’t) and interested in knowing the truth behind the Hollywood glitz, come take the ride. If for nothing more than the chance to be photographed with the guy who was once one of the most wanted enforcers in American mafia history.