Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, Vegas casino executive and mob associate
Las Vegas, Spring 1974
Release Date: November 22, 1995
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Design: Rita Ryack & John A. Dunn
Many Americans are rocking green today for St. Patrick’s Day, so BAMF Style is taking a look at an all-green outfit sported by Robert De Niro in Casino, one of his 70 costume changes and part of the movie’s staggering $1 million costume budget.
In the context of the film timeline, De Niro’s “Ace” Rothstein isn’t buying shots of Jameson in a cheaply decorated bar or vomiting in an alleyway while a parade of leprechauns walks by; he’s taking his new wife Ginger (Sharon Stone) to their first new home after their marriage.
What’d He Wear?
Rita Ryack, one of Casino‘s costume designers, stated that the costumes were meant to reflect the chaos in the story, with more chaotic colors appearing as the events on screen unfold. This scene contains one of Ace’s most tranquil moments, so his monochromatic color scheme – while loud – indicates his rare inner peace. De Niro has said elsewhere on screen that “geniuses pick green”; while Ace is indeed a gambling genius, green is also an earthy color that symbolizes balance, stability, and rebirth. The workaholic Ace has found a life balance with his new life partner, and his trust in this beautiful young woman leads to a short-lived period of renewed energy and happiness.
Though constructed from a different suiting, Ace’s light green Western-styled suit shares much of its styling and tailoring points with the ivory polyester suit he would later wear when confronting Ginger and Lester in the diner. The material is shiny, indicating the possibility of mohair or a mohair blend.
The single-breasted jacket has pointed Western-style yokes over each shoulder down onto the chest. The presence of the yokes means no breast pocket; the two flapped hip pockets sit straight on the waist. Both the yokes and the pocket flaps shine as a slightly more vivid shade of green under certain light.
The two buttons on the front of the jacket and the two buttons on the end of each cuff are steel. Edge swelling is present on the notch lapels, yokes, and pocket flaps. The shoulders are padded, and the sleeveheads are roped. Although the suit doesn’t receive much screen time, it appears to have the same “pinch-back” jacket as the ivory suit with a single pleat, half-belt, and single vent in the back.
Ace’s matching suit trousers are flat front with an extended waistband tab that closes on the right with a concealed hook. They have straight on-seam side pockets and flared, plain-hemmed bottoms.
Ace flips to the other end of the green spectrum with his dark green silk shirt and matching tie, both made by Anto for Robert De Niro to wear in the film. The very distinctive shirt has a large point collar, epaulettes (or “shoulder straps”) that button on the outside of the shoulder rather than against the collar, and two chest pockets that button closed through a mitred-edge flap. The left chest pocket flap is monogrammed with “S.R.” stitched in dark green on the pocket’s left edge.
Ace’s shirt also incorporates the familiar “Lapidus cuff”, the unique cuff seen throughout the 1970s that close with a single button on a tab. In addition to many of Robert De Niro’s shirts in Casino, the Lapidus cuff made its way onto several of the Frank Foster shirts worn by Roger Moore during his tenure as James Bond.
Barely seen on screen, Ace wears a pair of olive alligator leather tassel loafers. Although the shoes follow Ace’s green theme for his outfit, he curiously breaks it up with his socks, a pair of thin brown silk dress socks with dark brown stripes.
Since Ginger is rocking enough gold Bvlgari jewelry for both of them, Ace diverts from his usual and goes for silver-colored accessories instead. His ring is likely 14-carat white gold with an emerald cut green synthetic stone set in a geometric polished shank. He wears an ultra-slim Bueche Girod white gold wristwatch with an oval white gold dial and black Roman numerals. It fastens around his right wrist with a textured, tapered band that closes with a fold-over clasp.
Worth mentioning in any sartorial post about Casino is artist Ibraheem Youssef’s impressive tribute to all of De Niro’s various suits in Casino, found here.
Go Big or Go Home
Dinah Washington’s “Unforgettable” played during their otherwise forgettable marriage proposal, and now – at the end of their engagement – the title track of Dinah’s 1959 album What a Diff’rence a Day Makes! plays as Ace pulls up to their new home in his (anachronistic!) orange 1977 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz coupe.
Although the song was originally published in 1934 as “What a Diff’rence a Day Made“, Dinah’s rendition brings the action to the present tense. Her voice is full of hope and, backed by the inspiring orchestra conducted by arranger Belford Hendricks, the song surely reflects Ace at his happiest.
Of course with an abode like that, Ace’s palpable excitement is understandable. The house, located off the edge of the Las Vegas National Golf Course, belonged to hip hop mogul Suge Knight at the time of filming. A terrific post by David Latta explores the house – located at 3515 Cochise Lane – and some of its history. The 4,862 square-foot house is also listed on Zillow, citing that it was built in 1964 and boasts four bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms. The real Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and his wife dwelled in a slightly smaller but equally luxurious house only a few miles away, within the private Las Vegas Country Club.
The real Lefty’s home at 972 Vegas Valley Drive is currently for sale*, listed at $750,000 on Zillow. Lefty had the house built new for him and Geri (the real-life Ginger) in 1970, a year after they were married. The 3,266 square-foot home has three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, and swank throughout from the bathroom to the pool. The house was evidently re-listed in January 2015.
* as of March 2016
How to Get the Look
Rarely can you gift someone a chinchilla coat and still be the loudest-dressed person in the room, but Ace Rothstein pulls it off with considerable aplomb. If you want to wear all green for St. Patrick’s Day, be wary that this isn’t a suit you’ll want to try to wash vomit out of.
- Light green mohair Western-styled suit, consisting of:
- Single-breasted pinch-back jacket with edge-stitched notch lapels, 2-button front (steel buttons), flapped hip pockets, 2-button cuffs (steel buttons), and pleated half-belt back with single rear vent
- Flat front trousers with extended waistband tab, straight on-seam side pockets, and flared plain-hemmed bottoms
- Dark green silk Anto dress shirt with large point collar, button-down epaulettes, button flap chest pockets, and 1-button “Lapidus” tab squared cuffs
- Dark green silk Anto necktie
- Olive alligator leather tassel loafers
- Brown thin silk dress socks with dark stripes
- Bueche Girod white gold slim wristwatch with oval white gold dial and textured band
- White gold 14-carat ring with emerald cut green synthetic stone
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the movie.
All this stuff doesn’t mean anything… without trust. I have to be able to trust you with my life.