Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, Vegas casino executive and mob associate
Las Vegas, Summer 1980
Release Date: November 22, 1995
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Design: Rita Ryack & John A. Dunn
Last week’s Mafia Monday post examined a moody but visionary Jewish mobster in the middle of the desert outside Las Vegas, and you’ll be surprised to see that I’m doing the exact same thing today.
That scene from Bugsy showed the trailblazer Benny Siegel making his mark in the so far undeveloped Las Vegas. In Casino, more than three decades later, Vegas is now a hopping nightspot whose best years are already slipping behind it. Many guys who tried to follow Bugsy’s example are now buried out in the desert where Sam Rothstein has been summoned to meet his old friend, the volatile Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci).
Normally, my prospects of coming back alive from a meeting with Nicky were 99 out of 100. But this time, when I heard him say “a couple of hundred yards down the road”, I gave myself 50-50.
Things haven’t been so great for Sam and Nicky. They were best buds coming up together “back home” but Sam embraced the analytical aspects of their criminal ventures while Nicky was all about the violence. Having heard that Sam was potentially plotting behind his back, Nicky has now called him to meet out where the heads of their predecessors are buried.
What’d He Wear?
Ace wears this distinctive flecked jacket for a brief but pivotal scene in the movie that cements the fatal fissure in he and Nicky’s friendship.
The cream-colored sport coat with its oatmeal-colored horizontal fleck reflects the surrounding desert imagery, unconsciously symbolizing to the audience that Ace belongs in this setting far more than the gray silk-suited Nicky Santoro. Underneath, Ace’s attire is all urban-evoking blacks and grays but he’s becoming better at adapting to his surroundings than he was when he was criticized for firing Don Ward.
Ace’s single-breasted jacket appears to be a linen and silk blend, fitting for Ace’s brand of flashy functionality. It has the same distinctive “cran necker” fishmouth-style notch lapels as many of his other suit and sport jackets in Casino. The shoulders are well-padded with roped sleeveheads.
The jacket has a 2-button front with a single matching button on each cuff. The long double vents would be found on most of his jackets whether set in the ’70s or the ’80s. There is a large patch pocket on each hip, and a patch pocket over the left breast where Ace wears a dark brown silk display kerchief.
Ace wears a gray soft silk shirt that draws out the gray and oatmeal tones of the jacket fleck. Like most of his other shirts that were made by Anto for the production, it has a large point collar, plain front, and breast pocket. The cuffs appear to be the same “Lapidus” single-button tab cuffs as found on many of his other shirts.
Not the most comfortable choice for a meeting under the hot desert sun, Ace wears a pair of black polyester darted flat front trousers with a long rise. The high waist is fitted to be worn without a belt. He often places his hands in the frogmouth-style front pockets, and the plain-hemmed bottoms are slightly flared.
Ace wears a pair of black leather plain-toe loafers with high vamps and raised heels. A behind the scenes photo reveals that he also wears a pair of thin dark indigo silk socks.
According to IMDB, Robert De Niro himself chose the sunglasses that he would be wearing in the scene. They are almost definitely a pair of “Ultra Goliath” matte black frames from the Vintage Frames Company. Although the default style has clear lenses, brown-shaded lenses like Ace wears can be swapped in for up to $75.
Ace wears both his watch and ring on his right hand. Only a silver-toned glimpse of a bracelet on his right wrist appears on screen, but a behind-the-scenes shot shows off that he wears the same white gold watch with the tri-split blue square dial as he wears with some of his blue-oriented outfits.
The 14-carat yellow gold ring with its square diamond (or cubic zirconia) flush setting is much more clearly seen gleaming from his right pinky.
This outfit shows up on the far right end of the fourth row on Ibraheem Youssef’s poster that reflects all of Ace’s suits from Casino.
How to Get the Look
Although not the most practical outfit for his desert meeting, Ace’s clothing shows that he better fits into his surroundings than the interloping mobsters that are trying to shut him up.
- Cream horizontal-fleck linen/silk single-breasted 2-button sport coat with “cran necker” fishmouth lapels, patch breast pocket, patch hip pockets, 1-button cuffs, and long double vents
- Gray silk Anto dress shirt with large point collar, plain front, and 1-button “Lapidus” tab squared cuffs
- Black polyester darted flat front trousers with extended squared waistband tab, frogmouth front pockets, and flared plain-hemmed bottoms
- Black leather plain-toe loafers with high vamps and raised heels
- Dark indigo silk socks
- White gold wristwatch with tri-split blue square dial flush on flat bracelet
- Yellow gold 14-carat pinky ring with an emerald cut cubic zirconia setting, worn on the right pinky
- Vintage Frames Company “Ultra Goliath” matte black-framed sunglasses
For a final flourish, Ace wears a multi-pointed dark brown silk display kerchief in the breast pocket of his jacket.
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the movie.
Yeah I did want to go on TV. That way I have a forum, I can fight back. I’m known. People see me. They know they can’t fuck around with me like they could if I was an unknown.