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Casino Jack

Casino Jack

George Hickenlooper

  • Country: Canada
  • Year: 2009
  • Language: English
  • Producer: Gary Howsam, Bill Marks, George Zakk
  • Executive Producer: Richard Rionda del Castro, Lewin Webb, Donald Zuckerman, Dana Brunetti, Patricia Eberle, Warren Nimchuk, Angelo Paletta, Domenic Serafino
  • Screenplay: Norman Snider
  • Runtime: 108
  • Programmes:

screening times

official description

Based on the true crime story of the former high-powered lobbyist whose crooked schemes, fraudulent transactions and insatiable appetite for financial gain ultimately landed him behind bars, Casino Jack follows what has been called the biggest scandal to hit Washington since Watergate. It’s a sobering story, but this movie tells it with great fun.

Two-time Academy Award®-winner Kevin Spacey plays Jack Abramoff (a.k.a. Casino Jack), a man who controls access to some of the most powerful politicians on the planet. With the aid of charismatic spin-doctor Michael Scanlon (Barry Pepper), Abramoff sets out to build a dynasty that would surpass that of both the Kennedys and the Bushes. But in order to do so he must first establish his own gambling empire. Using funds raised by his lobbying group, Abramoff persuades the US Congress to intimidate a South Florida operator of Indian casinos so that he can move in on their license. With the assistance of a mob-affiliated partner, Adam Kidan (Jon Lovitz), Abramoff soon finds himself falling deeper and deeper into a world of crime and eventually murder. The political world and the criminal underground collide in a major catastrophe that puts not only Abramoff and his family in peril, but the White House as well.

Director George Hickenlooper, screenwriter Norman Snider (best known for co-writing David Cronenberg’s DeadRingers) and Spacey researched the story thoroughly, spending countless hours visiting Abramoff in prison to draw together the myriad details of his elaborate crimes. They also got a good sense of the man. Abramoff is a big film fan – he produced the infamous action movie and ideological tract Red Scorpion. In addition to his acting talent Spacey is a brilliant mimic; he puts those skills to work, punctuating his scenes with dead-on impressions from the movies.

Casino Jack gives this slice of recent history the drive and polish of good storytelling. Fans of political dramas are in for a real treat with this stranger-than-fiction, frequently funny exposé. And with the upcoming 2010 congressional elections not too far away, the timing couldn’t be better.

director bio

George Hickenlooper was born in St. Louis and grew up in Boston and San Francisco. He graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in history. He then moved to California and worked as an intern for producer Roger Corman. He made his directing debut with Art, Acting, and the Suicide Chair: Dennis Hopper (88) and followed that with Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (91). His more recent features include The Man from Elysian Fields (01), Mayor of the Sunset Strip (03), Bizarre Love Triangle (05), Factory Girl (06), Out in the City (09), Hick Town (09) and Casino Jack (10).

full credits

Principal Cast: Kevin Spacey, Barry Pepper, Kelly Preston, Jon Lovitz, Rachelle Lefevre
Gary Howsam, Bill Marks, George Zakk
Executive Producer:
Richard Rionda del Castro, Lewin Webb, Donald Zuckerman, Dana Brunetti, Patricia Eberle, Warren Nimchuk, Angelo Paletta, Domenic Serafino
Adam Swica
William Steinkamp
Jane Tattersall, John Thomson
Jonathan Goldsmith
Production Designer:
Matthew Davies

Canadian Distributor:
 E1 Entertainment  
International Sales Agent:
 Hannibal Pictures
Production Company:
Bagman (2009) Inc.
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