The Cooler (2003) - full transcript

The unluckiest man in Vegas - a guy whose bad luck is contagious - is used by the last of the old time mob run casinos to kill high rollers' action. That is, until he falls in love with a cocktail waitress and gets "lady luck," which throws the situation into reverse. Things turn nasty when the casino director tries to break up the romance.

[exciting music]

[tense ambient music]

[slow jazz music]

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[people chattering]

Oh, yes!

[people chattering]

[Man] Winner!

Oh, just look at that!

Where's Bernie?

They're killing us.

We need him here right away.


[slow jazz music]

[Players] Aw!

Come on, baby.

Come on, come on!

Come on!

[Players] Aw!

Seven out.

[Woman] Oh, man!

Come to papa.

Hell of a pity, what the hell?

Goddamn it, that's supposed
to be an $800 jackpot!

Where's the goddamn...

[Bernie] Afternoon, Doris.


[Bernie] Got any cream?


Oh, shit.

Oh, it doesn't matter.

Dewar's and, um.

Fuck, Dewar's and water, please.

Hi, Natalie.



Shit, motherfucker!

Yeah, Bernie.

Yo, Doris, have you seen Shelly around?

He promised to position
me at the tables tonight.

I've been on skid row all week.

You didn't settle up with me last night.


You sure?

Fuck, I was way under.

It's been like an AA
Convention around here.

I'll make it up to you tonight, I promise.

Where have I heard that before?

If I see Shelly, I'll tell him.


That you're looking for him.

[PA] Conway, party of 11.

Please check your reservation
in the Paradise Lounge.

Hey, Bernie, Shelly needs you on 11.

All right, let's do the Chivas Regal.

And have that,

have Natalie bring it over,

the one working the nickel
slots by the Paradise.

I spoke to Shelly earlier.

He wants her out on the tables.

All right, I'll take care of it.

[Woman] Come on, come on!

Come on, great shot, how about that?

[Natalie] Hi.

It's you, right?

Yeah, over here.

Joe said I should stick around.

You say something to Shelly?


Wow, that was fast.


Don't mention it.

It's over here.

I'll win you a fortune on five and nine.

[Bernie] Did you order the Chivas Regal?

Hey, back off, will you, pal?

Can't you see I got a roll here?

54, 54.

Seven out, line away.

That motherfucker.

[Croupier] Thanks for the bet, folks.

- Yeah, yeah, I'm coming.
- Please, collect your tickets

from the Paradise Lounge.

[slow jazz music]

[people cheering]

Oh, shoot!

[man coughing]

Better luck next time.


Shelly, they're here.

Relax, shorty.


Nicky, you didn't tell me you were coming.

I'm having a manicure here, Nicky.

What do you think?

I don't wash up after
going to the john, huh?

Forget about it.

You look like a million bucks.

How are you?

You should have called ahead.

I would have sent the car.

No, we figured we'd surprise you.

Anytime, Nicky, anytime.

I know that, partner.

Shelly, let me introduce you
to our brightest VP here.

This is Larry Sokolov.

His numbers guy, Marty Goldfarb.

How do you do, Shelly?

Can I get you, fellas, something to drink?

I'd love a vodka tonic, thanks.

Comes out of the
confessional and she says,

"Move over, I have to gargle."


So Nicky, what brings you to town?

Shelly, I've got a smart kid here.

He's got some good ideas

about how to revitalize the Shangri-La.


What are you talking about?

We did $35 million last year.

[Nicky] Why don't you just
hear the kid out, huh?

Shelly, I want you to
know that I have nothing

but the utmost respect for you.

You've done a tremendous
job with the Shangri-La

over the last 16 years.

I don't think anybody can dispute that.

[Nicky] Yeah, nobody doubts that, Shell.

But the business has changed.

Just take a look at the Strip,

you'll see what I'm talking about.


You mean that Disneyland
mookfest out there, huh?

Come on, you know what that is, huh?

That's a fucking
violation is what that is.

It's something that used to be beautiful.

It used to have class, like
a gorgeous high-priced hooker

with an exclusive clientele.

Then along comes that
Steve Wynn cocksucker

and knocks her up and puts
her in a fucking family way.

Now, she's nothing but a cheap fat whore

hiding behind too fucking much make-up.

I look at her and see her
fucking stretch marks.

It makes me want to cry

because I remember the way she used to be.

Am I right?

Well, there's no arguing the bottom line.

Those places are raking it in

and the Shangri-La as she is
now, can't compete with that.

You think I'm trying to compete with that?

You think that's what we're about,

trying to bring in the stroller crowd,

fresh off some E-ticket ride,

trying to break the
house on red and black?

Fremont has never been
about that bullshit.

This is where old time and
real money come to play.

The numbers don't back
you up on that, Shelly.

Don't get me wrong.

Nostalgia is great and we love nostalgia

but nostalgia belongs in a museum.

I think it comes a time to decide

whether you're running a museum
or you're running a casino.

[slow music]


Mr. Cool, you got a minute?

I was just heading over to 14.

It can wait.

How's the knee?

I met this orthopedic
surgeon at Vegas Memorial.

He tells me they can rebuild
a man's entire kneecap

out of titanium.

Oh, of course it costs a shitload of money

but seeing as this gentleman
is into us for 500 large,

I thought maybe...

I told you, I'm not gonna
be here after Sunday.

Where are you gonna go, Bernie?

Where the fuck are you gonna
go that's better than here?

I've got you covered in this town.

People know you work for me.

That's currency in your pocket.

That's fucking respect
when you walk the floor.

Where are you gonna get
that, anyplace else?

Seven days, Shelly.

I'm out from under.

Excuse me, sweetheart.

What's your name, darling?

Never mind.

This is who I am.

Yeah, that's right.

I like to know who's shopping
it around in my neighborhood,

so, darling, what you
do is be in my office

first thing tomorrow morning,

if you wanna continue to
work here at the Shangri-La

and you and I will go
over the rules together.

I also want you to bring
me a clean bill of health.

All right, my dear?


All right, thank you.

How'd you like to birdie that hole, huh?

You say the word, she's all yours anytime.

I'll keep a running tab for you.



What, she's not your type?

Are you kidding me?

I've got to go.

Things are heating up on 14.

[slow jazz music]

Let's do it in the room.

Kim, I think we got our laundry mixed up.

I got,

I'll talk to you later.

Come on, come on, let's
go back to the room.

$50 bucks only gets you 20 minutes, man.

You're wasting your time.

[slow jazz music]

Your soul is crippled.

I'm gonna change that.

Pray with me now.

Out, demon!

Let the crutches go!

Let the spirit into you!

Run with me!

[Woman] Fuck me harder!

- Harder, oh!
- Run!

Oh, that hurts!

Oh, yeah, baby.

I like that.

The Lord

- has saved your soul.
- I like that, that hurts!

Come on, come on, harder!

You're so big!

[woman moaning and shrieking]

[Preacher] You do?


The Lord has shown his face once again.

[wall thudding]

[Woman] You gonna come all over me?

Oh, yeah, come all over me, fuck me!

- [woman moaning and shrieking]
- [wall thudding]

Let's do this, man.

Eight, the hard way.

[players cheering]

$900 for Mr. Pinkerton.

7 and 7.

[Pinkerton] Thanks, doll face.

Jesus Christ!

Shit, I'm sorry.

- Don't worry about it.
- I'm so sorry.

I'm such a fucking klutz.

No, this stuff happens.

Oh, my God.

[Pinkerton] Let's play this game.

Give me those, guys.

I'm sorry.

This guy, fucking hands all over my ass.

[Pinkerton] I got my roll here baby.

You might wanna stick around.

I came to play.

Come again, sister, in the name of Pinkie.

Take this.

Hard eight, huh?

How you like that?

Suck on that.

That's right, give me them dice.

Damn right.

$1, hard eight.

All right, everybody, get in.

Here we go.

We'll bet $10.


[Croupier] Out, seven out.

- Aw!
- Shit!


What the fuck are you smiling at, bitch?

Whoa, whoa, whoa, easy.

- Fellas?
- You think

it's fucking funny, huh?

Take it easy, man.

You think it's funny this
place is stealing my,

fucking numb-nuts, let go of me.

I'll have you fired,
you piece of shit bitch!

Piece of fucking garbage!

♪ But now I couldn't
do without my supply ♪

♪ I need you for my own ♪

♪ Oh, I can't break away ♪

♪ I must have you every day ♪

♪ As regularly as coffee or tea ♪

♪ You got me in your clutches
and I can't break free ♪

♪ You're getting to be a habit with me ♪

Oh, Shelly.

I love you, Shelly.

He's the man, he's the best man.


No, no, no, no, no, no.

He hates that shit.

He really does.

♪ I used to think your love ♪

♪ Was something that I ♪

♪ Could take ♪

♪ Or leave alone ♪

♪ But now I couldn't
do without my supply ♪

[Shelly] There he is.


Shelly, I was a fucking
embarrassment out there,

do you understand that?

You should never have talked me

into going out there, Shelly.

I should have never let you.

Frank is rolling over in his grave.

I've got strep, man.

You understand that?

I've got strep.

Listen to me, pops, you
were pure velvet out there.

It was just silk.

And also, looky-looky what was
hanging on the doorknob, huh?

Forget about your tonsils.

When the muff confetti stops coming,

that's when you know you got trouble.

Did you get a receipt?

Excuse me?

They're on sale in the lobby.


This is Victoria's Secret
Valentine collection.

What about that broad you
got coming here later?

How much did she set you back?

Nothing but the best for old Buddy, right?

Are you fucking kidding me?

Gimme, gimme, you don't deserve this.

You got all those ladies going home

with a nice sweet breeze
between their legs

'cause you do it the way they like it

and you're saying I'm some
Buddy Stafford ego pimp, huh?

Hey, fuck you and fuck you.

Come on, give it to me.

Give it to me, man.

Come on, come on!

Come on, don't be a prick.

Come on, man.

Come on, give it to me!

Come on, man.

Oh, fuck, fuck!


Do you ever watch any
of those nature shows?


[Buddy] You know, those nature shows.

You watch them?

Yeah, I've seen a few nature shows.

Yeah, well, this one I've
seen about a dozen times.

It's about lions.

It's about the cycle of life of the lions

and the leader of the pack.

Pride, with lions it's a pride.


This old king lion, right?

He's getting on in years
and then sooner or later,

some young male comes along.

He challenges him

and he beats the fuck out
of this old lion, right?

He just kicks the shit out of him.

And then they push him out of the pride

and he has to go in the jungle

and scavenge and he dies alone.

The nature's got some sense of humor, huh?

No shit.

See, but Shelly, it's tragic because

he's past it, this old fucked lion

and he doesn't know it

and it would be so much easier for him

if he could just walk away.

And he could avoid all the
pain and the humiliation.

Hey, that would be like accepting

that you were dead already, right?

I think I like it better
nature's way, don't you?

Yeah, maybe you're right.


[Shelly] That's it.


[mellow jazz music]

Buy you a drink?


Shelly, you got a minute?

Shelly, this is Johnny Cappella.

How you doing, Shelly?

Yeah, I know you from some place, right?

Johnny's been opening for
Danny Ganz at the Mirage.

Now Sony is talking about signing
him to a three-album deal.

They're going to position
him as the new Harry Connick.

And I should be interested in this, why?

Johnny's looking to headline.

I thought we might be interested.


Did I come at a bad time?

Even if I was interested,

I got fresh ink with Buddy
for the next five years.

I just renegotiated his contract.

Listen, you two need
to be on the same page.

Larry, listen, if I don't
hear from you by Thursday,

I'm taking the Stardust, all right?

- I'm going there.
- I understand.

Johnny Cappella, gone.

We'll definitely be in touch, Johnny.

[Johnny] Assholes.

Your progressed Venus is in Gemini.

12.5 degrees

and it's in direct motion which means

you're a slow starter
when it comes to romance.

Sorry, you know what?

This is real unprofessional of me.

I shouldn't discuss your chart
with you until I'm all done.

But I can tell by the look on your face

that you think this is all a lot of BS.

No, I just, I know what
the outcome's gonna be.

There's not like one particular outcome.

A lot of things come into the picture,

like the planets, the moon phases...

The outcome won't change with me.

It'll be all bad.

Oh, my God.

I have never met anyone who
was so down on themselves.

Do you know what I do at the Shangri-La?

I asked around.

You're a cooler.

You turn winners into losers.

Do you know how I do that?

Listen, I know there's a lot of stuff

that happens in casinos all the time.

I do it by being myself.

People get next to me, their luck turns.

It's always been that way.

Well, that sounds like a
self-fulfilling prophecy to me.

There's a whole chapter
of that in my book.

I only got six more days.

Well, really almost five.

I'm leaving town.

Only five more days?

Then we shouldn't waste any more time.

You want to go back to your place?

If this is...

I'm not sure I can afford,

I can't afford to...


Oh, God, I'm sorry.

Wait, I didn't mean it.

See, this is what I'm talking about.

I've gone and cooled the damn table.

Shut up, Bernie, shut up.

You haven't gone and cooled anything.

Not by a long shot.

Oh, God.

You know, once they're dead,
they don't really grow back.

In case that's what you were waiting for.

Oh, my God, you got a cat?

So, you got any music?

[record scratches]



Come here.

Relax, Bernie, relax.

I assure you

at least one of us has done this before.

[Bernie] This is not the
first time I've ever...

[Natalie hushes]

[Natalie] Surprise me.

♪ I can do is rain ♪

[lively music]

I like this.

♪ Luck, be a lady tonight ♪

♪ Luck, be a lady tonight ♪

♪ Luck, if you've ever
been a lady to begin with ♪

♪ Luck, be a lady tonight ♪

♪ Luck, let a gentleman see ♪

♪ How nice a girl you can be ♪

♪ I know the way you've treated
other guys you've been with ♪

♪ Luck, be a lady ♪

They're snaps.

[Bernie] I think I can get it.

Wait, pull down some.

[Bernie] Okay.


Fuck, I'm sorry.

It's okay.

♪ It isn't fair ♪

[Bernie] Oh, God.

Oh, God, oh, God.

Oh, shit.

♪ A lady doesn't wander
all over the room ♪

♪ And blow on some other guy's dice ♪

♪ So let's keep this party polite ♪

♪ Never get out of my sight ♪

♪ Stick with me, baby ♪

♪ I'm the fella you came in with ♪

♪ Luck, be a lady tonight ♪




♪ Luck, let a gentleman see ♪

It's okay, Bernie.

I've had worse.

Oh, shit.

Oh, God.

I know I'm gonna pay for this, I just.

I don't know who you are or what, I don't.

This was good and I'm glad, I don't care.

You've got a great cock.


Thank you.


Want to go get some breakfast?

They've got these rules
about casinos hiring felons,

so he got me a gig in telemarketing.

We were scamming pensioners

out of their retirement money.

I lasted two weeks.

[Waitress] Here you go.

By that time, I was
really getting in deep.

I owed one of the casinos
over a hundred grand.

I put Shelly in a really awkward position.

I don't blame him for what he did.


Your leg?

He did that to you?

He shot you?

No, baseball bat.

I got off easy.

What do you mean you got off easy?

I was out of control.

He maimed you, for fuck's sake!

Listen to me.

I'm grateful for what he did.

I am absolutely serious.

Anytime I get an urge
to play off the clock

or so much as drop a quarter in a slot,

I just reach down and feel
what's left of my cartilage.

It's an excellent reminder.

Jesus Christ.

I thought shit like that
only happened in the movies.

Anyway, Shelly and I worked
out a repayment plan.

Six years off the books at
the Shangri-La cooling tables

and in five days...


Oh, shit.

[Mikey] Oh, my God, now?

Are you sure?

I'm going into labor.

Yeah, I'm going into labor.


- Ow, ow!
- Deep breaths,

deep breaths.

Stay very calm.

Okay, everybody, we're having
a baby, we're having a baby.


You fucking cocksucker!

Who puts their bag in the
middle of the fucking thing

so a pregnant woman can
trip over it? [shrieks]



I guess you're gonna be
a grandfather, Bernie.


Is this you?

Hey, what the fuck, it runs.

[Natalie] Here, sit down.

You all right?


Anyway, we've got to get out of here.

Hey, Mikey.

How's your mom doing?

I'm gonna pretend like you give a shit

and tell you she's getting
by as long as she's high.

Her name is Charlene, in
case you were wondering.

Hey, when's the last
time you saw a doctor?

About six months ago, back in Jersey.

I wasn't about to go back there

after they treated me like cattle.

Just 'cause I had no insurance, you know?

All those places are crawling
with TB from them spics.

Listen, Mikey, if you want to,

why don't you drop by
the Bettor Life Motel,

give us a chance to catch up?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, maybe we'll do that.

Play catch up, for the kid's sake.

[heavy metal music]


[Bernie] Don't mention it.

[Croupier] $100 minimum table, sir.

No offense, pal but there's
20 other tables here.

What do you want to
come sit on my head for?

I'm just gonna play one hand.

I'm feeling lucky tonight.

I've got this voice in my head
that says, this is the table.



Oh, yes!

Yes, yes!

Busto, Mel, what's happening to you?

[lively jazz music]

Oh, yeah, welcome to Mel's house.

Hey, where are you going?

Stick around, pal.

You and me, we make a great team.


What was that?

I mean, what the fuck gives?

Is it McGann?

The guy's been with me 12 years.

He's as stand-up as my fucking dick.

Maybe he's having money
problems, I'm gonna pull him.

No, no, no.

[Shelly] Was he counting them?

The mook with the streak?

Is there a problem?

No, there's no problem.

Fella's on a streak, is all.

Let me guess, this is one of your coolers?

Why don't you announce it
to the whole fucking joint

while you're at it?

They told me that you were a sticker

for the old ways, but coolers?

What is this guy, really?

A car mechanic?

Some kind of shill?

'Cause he doesn't look
too effective to me.

He's the best.

Take it from me.

All right, sure, whatever.

There are ways, subtle ways,

that we can keep the odds in our favor.

But I'm talking about more
forward-thinking methods.

Well, I'm sure you've
got a whole prospectus

on the subject, right?

Well, as a matter of fact, yeah, I do.

For instance, I can tell
you right off the bat,

the wallpaper's not gonna cut it.

It's too uplifting.

I would suggest going with
some more muted tones.


Yeah, and personally, I
think the cocktail waitresses

could pop another button or two.

Myself, I wouldn't hire
anything less than a C cup.

You know what that is?

[Shelly] No.

It's music to be sure.

It's pleasant, not intrusive

but recorded at a subsonic
level is a mantra.

Lose, lose, lose.

We're just skimming the surface, Shelly.

We really need to talk.


You better come quick.

[melancholic music]

Contact his daughter and
assist with the arrangements.

The Shangri-La will cover all expenses.

What about the Paradise?

She's going dark tonight.

That won't be necessary.

[lively music]

♪ Can I steal a little love ♪

♪ Cool me honey, I'm on fire ♪

♪ To steal your love is my desire ♪

♪ Hug me, squeeze me, till I'm red ♪

♪ Till my eyes bug out my head ♪

♪ Coo me, woo me, turtledove ♪

♪ Can I steal a little love ♪

♪ Please tell me, why are
you driving me crazy ♪

♪ Why do I dig you like I do ♪

♪ If I should steal a little kiss ♪

♪ And you can prove that it was wrong ♪

♪ Then I'll give it back to you ♪

♪ Honey, baby with a smile ♪

♪ I can walk you down the aisle ♪

♪ I won't even need a shove ♪

♪ Can I steal a little love ♪

Young lady, over here.

You want to give it a shot?

Yeah, come here.

Five for a dollar.

Thanks, Bernie.

Good luck.

Are you ready?


All right, double fisted.


Too bad.

Better luck next time.

You want to try again?

- Yes.
- No, no, no.

Thank you.


[Man] Come on!




You're an easy mark, is all.

I'm an easy mark?

You know where that comes from?


Years ago, Shelly and me were working

Coney Island for the summer

and when I'd see a guy
who had a full wallet

and was willing to open it
up, I'd mark him with chalk.

I'd put it on my hand
and go something like,

hey, man, good work or
hey, buddy, how you doing?

What the guy didn't realize

was that when he walked down the way,

Shelly could spot him a mile off.

An easy mark.

Thanks a lot, Bernie.

I've got to sit.


[light mellow music]

You okay?


Did you notice, last night,
that tattoo on my butt?

Little Joe?


Yeah, two twos, Little Joe.

I had a son.

His name was Joe.

I was his mother for one year.

You don't have to tell me this.

No, I want to, Bernie.

I gave my son up for adoption.

I just wanted my life back.

I was 17 going on 18 and
I was so fucking selfish.

My family didn't want nothing
to do with me after that

so I hitched a ride out here

and thought I'd make it as a showgirl.

10 years later,

I'd like to think that if
it happened when I was older

with a guy that I cared about,

that it would have been
different, you know?

I think about my little Joe sometimes

and I do know I did the right thing.

I'm convinced of that.

[melancholic music]


I think,

I think I could kick your
ass at the dime toss.

[breathing deeply]

♪ You may not be an angel ♪

♪ 'Cause angels are so few ♪

♪ But until the day that one comes along ♪

Would you do something for me?

♪ I'll string along with you ♪

[Bernie] Yeah!


[Natalie] Bernie!

[Bernie] Yes!

[Natalie] Oh, yeah.

Oh, yeah.

[Bernie] Ow, ow!

Jesus, ow.

Oh, yeah!

Bernie, let's do it up the ass.

[Bernie] Okay.

- Please, please?
- Okay, okay.

No, my ass!

[Bernie] Oh!

♪ And until the day that one comes along ♪

[Natalie laughing]

[Bernie] Yes!


[Man] Shut the fuck up in there!

[Bernie] Did we wake you?

♪ For every little fault that you have ♪

♪ See, I've got three or four ♪

♪ The human little faults you do have ♪

♪ Just make me love you more ♪

I have to pee.

I'm always peeing.


How did you get in here?

I told the desk clerk
Bernie was my old man.

He let us wait inside.

Is that cool with you?

Bernie is out looking for a parking space.

I must have taken the last one.

I didn't get your name.

Natalie, Mikey.

Tell me something,
Natalie, is he paying you?

Excuse me?

My old man, is he renting your ass?

Because, otherwise, I just don't get it.

I mean, a loser like my pops

in the company of some primo tits and ass?

It just, it don't compute.

Is this enough to get me a little taste?

Family discount?

Are you kidding me?

No, baby.


Hey, Bernie.

I told you we was gonna stop by.

I thought you'd call ahead first.

We were at breakfast.


[Mikey] Hey.

Yeah, that's a lot of love there.

You missed some.

Hey, that's nice.


[Bernie] Hi.

[Charlene] Hi.

You see, Bernie, the thing is

we're kind of strapped.

I mean, Charly here is
expecting like yesterday.

And we don't have the dough

to make with the right
nutrition for her and all.

So I was wondering if you
would like to invest a little

maybe in your grandchild's
future, his well-being.

It's almost three grand.

That's all I got.

That's very generous.

Bless you, Bernie.

You want to feel it?

Oh, you know, I really, I don't think...

Oh, I just felt a kick.

Come on, Bernie, give me your hand.

You feel that?

I don't know, I think so.

Hey, we'll catch you later, Bernie.



Take care, Dad.

New Shangri-La Hotel and Casino.

We break ground on her in six months.

She's perfect.

Three floors of gaming,

IMAX theater, entertainment center,

boutiques, restaurants, roller coaster.

You name it, we've got it.

She pays for herself in three years.

After that, it's easy money.

Isn't she great, Shell?

In Lost Horizon, these people,

their plane crashes in the
Himalayas and they get rescued,

taken to this Utopia in
the mountains, Shangri-La.

It's beautiful.

Totally isolated, untouched
by the outside world.

No war, no greed, no bullshit.

Time has slowed down.

You never age.

It's paradise.

You see, that's what Shangri-La is.

It's paradise.

Yeah, we've seen the movie, Shelly.

What's your point?

My point is, you don't fuck with paradise.

Come on, Jesus, Shelly.

Hey, we're not trying to fuck with it.

We're trying to make it better.

How, how?

Nicky, how you gonna make it better?

It's perfect just the way it is.

It's the last of its kind, it's pure.

This is a fucking mockery.

How is it a mockery, Shelly?

It's right out of the movie.

Who's talking about a movie?

This is not a movie.

This is my fucking life.

Let me ask you one question,
where are you gonna be

when they decide to change it back?

When people want the real Vegas again,

before all this Epcot Center bullshit?

Who's gonna give it to them, you?

I don't think so.

You know who?

The same fucks who
started this whole thing

in the first place.

You know what's gonna happen?

It's gonna come around full circle

and bite you on the fucking
ass, take my words for it.

Shelly, you make some good points, huh?

Maybe we'll swing back
the other way someday.

Who the hell knows?

But for now, this moment, I
suggest we shoot the dice.

My friend, I think you
should take some time

just to think things through.

I know this is a lot
to digest, I know that.

[people chattering]

Wait up a second.

What do you say?

I thought we were gonna go eat.

Why don't you try this table over here?

It's a little less crowded.

[Nicky] No, let's play here.

It's my lucky table.

I always play here.

[Shelly] Come on, it's
more private over here.

Shelly, I'm a big guy.

I know how to take care of myself.

Go ahead, I know how to find you.

Go ahead, go eat.

Here we go, come on.

[Croupier] Out, seven, line away.

What the fuck?

Come on, pops, what the hell?

I could have paid my mortgage
with the money I just lost.

File a grievance, all right?

Shit head.

Come on, give me two hot ones.

[Man] Come on, new shooter.

Give me 100 on right, 100 big yellow.

[Woman] All right, shooter, come on.

[Man] Hey, hurry up, gramps!

Come on, your soup's getting cold, huh?

[Croupier] Four, hard four.

Give me $25 yellow.

[Man] It was all right, it was all right.

[Spectator] I'm with him.

Hey, Uncle Palsy.

Come on, throw them before
you fucking keel over

and die, old man.

Beat it!

[Croupier] Seven, out, line away.

Thanks for the bets, folks.

Don't take it so hard, pops.

Everybody craps out.

Now go fucking change your Depends.


That's good.

Come on.


Who's laughing now?

Crack wise now, you
fucking, cool as a Ken doll,

no dick, suburbanite, fucking scum.

Huh, huh?

Now how's that for a game?

Hey, Nicky.

Nicky, Nicky, hey, it's all right.

Get the fuck out of here!

Disrespectful cocksucker!

[punch thuds]

- Hey!
- How do you like

the game so far?

Get on your feet.

[Shelly] Nicky, Nicky, take it easy.

Come on, come on, come on!

That ain't right!

The guy fucked up my whole game.

Who the fuck does he think he is?

You're absolutely right.

Forget about him, he's
just a piece of shit.

Let me see your hand.

My hand is all right,
my hand is all right.

I got news for you.

I thought this joint had
more fucking class, okay?

It used to be we didn't
let a bum like that in

in this fucking place.

Come on.

[Woman] Could we get some
pops over here, please?

[mellow music]

This town,

this town, you know,

all I wanna do is go some place

where I can tell night from day

where they've got clocks on the walls.

I can't breathe here anymore.

Four days and I'm gone.

I don't even know if I
can hold out that long.

So where does that leave us, Bernie?

A week ago, I couldn't even remember

what it was like to have
a woman's hands on me.

I still pinch myself.

I'm afraid I'm gonna wake up.

Come with me.

Natalie, I want you to come with me.

[Natalie] God, Bernie.

I'm sorry.

I didn't mean to spring it on you.

I've been working on this
compatibility chart, okay?

And it looks good, really it does.

So, what's the problem?

The problem is it's
only good here in Vegas.

But that's just for now,
for the immediate future.

You know, when the planets
realign, maybe next year...

A year?

Natalie, I can't wait another year.

I can't.

[deep tense music]

I can't go, Bernie.

[slow jazz music]

Hi, Doris.


Oh, shit.

Just a second.

[Pa] Chang, party of
15, your table is ready.

Chang, party of 15.

[crowd cheering]

[Man] We're gonna win it!

[Woman] All right.

[Man] Come on, papa-to-be!

[Woman] Come on, y'all.

I want to send my baby to college.

Six and a three, five
and a four, let's go.

[spectators cheering]

[Charlene] This is for our baby's future.

Don't blow it.

This is for you.

This one's on the line
for the guys with bowties,

with shoes.

Oh, yeah.

Dealer's got shoes.

The point's nine.

Let's get that.

[Charlene] Come on, guys.

A six and a three, a five
and a four, let's do it.

Can we get it?

Come on.

We got a shooter.


Hi, Bernie.

[Charlene] Oh yeah, I'm gonna
send this baby to college.

Fucking rock star!

Give me them dice back.

Okay, pay me, moron, pay me, come on!

9,000, 9,000.

Give him $9,000.

[Mikey] We're on a streak here.

Move it, move it, move it.

[Charlene] God bless you all.

Point is nine, point is nine.

Let me get all the hard ways
for team moron here, okay?

All right.

This is great!

For you guys, all right?

Here we go.

[Charlene] Come on.

Six and three.

- Five and four.
- This is for the baby.

Come on.


[Charlene] Oh, oh, careful!

Come on, guys, with the cigarettes.

We've got a pregnant woman here.

Put them out.

I'm winning you guys money, come on!

Come on.

All right.

What gives?

He's up 18,000 since I
stepped up to the table.

[Charlene] We got all
you guys your energy.

Sorry, Shelly, I'm kind
of hit or miss these days.

9,000, 9,000, oh, baby.

Oh, my God.

Oh, my God, I can feel a kick.

[Shelly] Fucking amateurs.

Let's get it, let's get it!

[Players] Aw!

[Croupier] Nope, that's it, line away.

Don't you get paid.

Guys, I thank you.

My pregnant wife thanks you.

My unborn child thanks
you very much, okay?

Color me up, will you?

And keep one of these little
blue ones for yourself.

Thank you very much.

[Woman] All right!

[people chattering]

[Man] Okay!

That's quite a run you had there, champ.

Yeah, yeah, lucky!

Lucky night, I guess, huh?

It's so exciting to watch, too.

If you don't mind,

I'd like to settle this in my office.

I don't like to lay out that
kind of cash on the floor.

We'll go up there, relax a bit,

have a drink, name your poison,

a little apple juice for
the mother-to-be here.



Should I take this stuff with me?



Okay, that is not how I
propose we handle this.

We turn this matter
over to the authorities.

They'll be blacklisted,
their credit ruined...

Then, I suppose I should stick

a fucking lollipop in their
mouths for the ride home, huh?

Let me tell you something, Harvard,

come upstairs with me in my office,

you watch and learn how to
protect your investments

the old school way.

[slow jazz music]

[fence banging]

Ow, ow, ow, ow!

[Shelly] All right, here
we go everybody, let's go.



Shelly, wait a second.

[Charlene] Get off me, no!

[Bernie] Shelly, wait, wait!

Don't, don't, don't do this.

[Shelly] Stay out of this, Bernie.

It's got nothing to do with you.

It's got everything to do with me.

He's my son.


This little prick is your son?

Pop, you've got to help me out here.

Shut up!

What are you talking about?

Wait, wait, wait.

Are you in on this, huh?


I asked you a fucking question.

You come clean with me now.

No, for God's sake, what's
the matter with you?

I didn't know nothing about this!

Shit head here is your son?

Let me ask you a question.

How much you think their
two lives are worth?

Myself, I don't think they're worth piss,

but hey, he ain't my kid.

This shit head was up 150 Gs down there.

That's 150 grand that
somebody's got to account for.

What do you say you cover
them both, 75 apiece, huh?

Come on, Shelly.

They didn't get away with the money.

You haven't lost nothing.

Go to work.

[Charlene] No!

- Pop, Pop!
- No, wait, come on!

[punch thuds]



All right, all right.

God damn it.

All right, all right, all right.

I'm good for it, 150 Gs.

I'm good for it.

[Charlene] Oh, oh!

[Natalie] It's all right, honey.

Oh, my God, the contractions.

I need to go to the hospital.

Come on, Shelly.

Oh, for God's sake, Shelly.

Will you help her out?

That's my grandkid.

Oh, my God, that's right.

That's Bernie's grandchild in there.

You all right, sweetheart?

You need to go to the hospital, huh?


I'll bet you fucking do.

[all screaming]



Hey, everybody look, it's a boy!

Oh, can you believe this?

Bernie, you have a grandson!

Bernie's got a little grandson!

Isn't he cute?

I think he looks like you, Bernie.

What do you think?

[men laughing]

A nice healthy grandson.

You wanna hold your grandson, Bernie, huh?

Break out the champagne, everybody.

Bernie's a grandfather.

Are you still want to make good on this?

If you want to change your
mind, I don't blame you.

I'll make it up to you, Pop, I swear.

I'm good for it.

All right, up on the table, right now!

[Mikey] Whoa, whoa whoa, hold on!

Wait a second.

Shelly, we had a deal!

150 Gs buys their lives.

This is a little slap on
the wrist to remember me by.

[Natalie] Shelly, no!

- Wait, wait.
- No, no, no!

[Charlene screaming]

Jesus, Shelly, no!


[Shelly] I said shut up!

[strikes thudding]

Come on.



I brought this on myself.

I planted the seeds.

When Angela had run off
with Mikey, I didn't,

I never made,

I never made an effort
to get back in his life.

I figured

the kid don't need a
fucking loser for a father.

And now it's come full circle.

I give him the money, I
open the door to all this.

I got this coming to me.

This is payback.

[slow jazz music]

Are you done beating yourself up, Bernie?

♪ My funny Valentine ♪

♪ Sweet comic Valentine ♪

♪ You make me smile with my heart ♪

♪ Your looks are laughable ♪

♪ Unphotographable ♪

♪ Yet, you're my favorite work of art ♪

Bernie, are you awake?

I think that

I love you.


I don't think.

I'm pretty sure of it.

You blindsided me, Bernie Lootz.

I never saw it coming.

You shouldn't do that to a girl.

There's so many things you don't
know, that you should know.

Oh, fuck, I don't wanna ruin this.

It don't matter.

It don't matter what you come clean about,

it's not gonna change
the way I feel about you.

It's not.


I'd say it, but...

Say it, just say it.

No, with my rotten luck...

Don't, fuck rotten luck, Bernie.

That's over.

I love you, Natalie.

I really, really love you.

[mellow piano music]



You came back?

[lively music]

♪ What a day this has been ♪

♪ What a rare mood I'm in ♪

♪ Why, it's almost like being in love ♪

♪ There's a smile on my face ♪

♪ For the whole human race ♪

♪ I would swear I am falling in love ♪

♪ All the music of life ♪

Tell Bernie to go to table six.

♪ Seems to be ♪

♪ Like a bell that is ringing for me ♪

♪ And from the way that I feel ♪

♪ When the bells start to peal ♪

♪ I would swear I am falling ♪

♪ I can swear that I'm falling ♪

♪ Well, it's almost like being in love ♪

[PA] Lovett, party of
six, your table is ready.

Duty calls.


[Couple] Yes!


♪ All the music of life seems to be ♪

♪ Like a bell that is ringing for me ♪

♪ And from the way that I feel ♪

♪ When the bells start to peal ♪

♪ I would swear I am falling ♪

♪ I can swear that I'm falling ♪

♪ Well, it's almost like being ♪

♪ Well, it's almost like being in love ♪

Hey, Shelly, check it out.

The new Mega Million.

I call her Marnie.

You know, 'cause she's one frigid broad.

You want to tell me
what's going on out there?

I don't know.

What do you mean you don't know?

We're down almost a mil out there.

Doesn't that seem strange to you?

I guess I'm having an off day.

No, no, no.

You don't have off days, Lootz.

You're shitty luck incarnate.

What's wrong?

You coming down with something?

You have this look about you.

No, no, I'm fine.

As a matter of fact,
I've never been better.

Give it a shot.

What's that supposed to mean?

She loves me, Shelly.

She told me last night, Natalie.

Should I get her flowers or candy?

What is happening to you?

I think flowers.

Sweet Jesus!

You popped her cherries!

Shut the fuck up!

[Player] I'll stay.

[Natalie] Scotch on the rocks.

[Player] Here you go, babe.


Hi, Tone.

[knocking on door]

Hi, Shell.

Do you believe those
fucking kids yesterday?

Don't worry about them

because you and I have other problems now.

You have really fucked things
up big time, let me tell you.

I hired you to be his cooze' companion,

not the true love of his fucking life.

But no, you have to go
and get all profound

on the poor schmuck.

I love you, Bernie.

What the hell were you thinking?

Those four words of endearment
have cost this casino

one million and counting today.

I don't understand what that means.

Lady Luck.

You've heard of Lady Luck, haven't you?


That's what's going on out there.

Lootz is Kryptonite on a stick.

He should have them
throwing ice cubes right now

but instead, I've got
a meltdown on my hands.

So here's the situation.

You are out of his life,
before he even gets home.

Don't even tell him to his face.

Leave him a note.

I'm gonna make some calls

and you're gonna be
situated at another joint.

I don't think I can do that, Shell.

Excuse me?

I said I don't think I can do that, Shell.

It wasn't an act.

I meant it.

You love him?


I love the schmuck.

What the fuck is there to love?

He's a loser.

Always has been, always will be.

I thought you were a smart
cookie when I picked you out.

You do not want to fuck with me.

Because if you do, your next john

is going to be a fucking
rattlesnake in the fucking desert.

Do you understand me?


Get out of here.

[slow jazz music]

Hey, Natalie.

It doesn't matter.

[Man] Look, a six-card 21?

Look what got me here.


♪ Can I steal a little love ♪

♪ Yeah, let me raid a little love ♪

Thank you, thank you.

You guys are too kind.

This next song I'd like
to do for you, guys,

is dedicated to a friend over there.

Brianna, this one's for you.

[Brianna] I love you, Johnny!

I want you to tell me the truth, Shelly.

Did you say something to Natalie?

Did you muscle her?

Jesus, Bernie, is that what you think?

That I would fuck with your happiness?

That hurts me.

I don't know.

This guy is all flash.

No soul.

I miss Buddy.

It's just not the same around here.

Buddy was tired.

I gave him the easy way out.

Things could have been so much worse.

Gave him the easy way out?

What are you talking about?


Buddy never would have taken the buyout.

He would have stuck to
his guns right to the end.

They would have ended up hurting him.

I could not allow that to happen.


You sit here and you justify it

like you're Dr. Kevorkian or something?

Hey, listen to me.

I loved that son of a
bitch, but his time was up.

What was I supposed to do,

leave him to those
corporate fucking scumbags?

What I did was a humanitarian thing

that I have no doubt about.

And afterwards I held him in my arms

and I cried like a fucking baby.


What is this fucking look
you're giving me now?

What is that, huh?

There are the sins of the flesh.

There are the sins of the gambling halls

be it dice or in some cases,

[knocking on door]

the devil's thumb papers.

[slow jazz music]

Let's take off tonight.

I can't do that.

I have an obligation to Shelly.


Fuck Shelly.

He doesn't give a shit about you, Bernie.

Let's just climb in your car

and drive the hell out of here tonight.

I can't do that, Natalie.

He'd come after me because you're with me.

I can't have that on me.



[lively music]

[Croupier] Winner!

[players cheering]

[Croupier] Winner!

[Natalie grunting and yelling]


You have no fucking right, Shelly!

You got no fucking right!

Shelly, I tried. I couldn't do it.


Shelly, I can't leave, Shell.

Shell, I love him.

Doesn't that mean anything to you?

You heartless fuck.

I thought...

Bastard, I thought he was your friend.

Who do you think you are?

Who the fuck do you think you are?

You're nobody!

I could make you disappear like that

and not one fucking person would miss you.

Not one fucking person!

Bernie would!

He loves me.

He loves me and that kills you,

doesn't it, Shell?

That kills you!

That kills you, doesn't it?

He was your only friend
and you crippled him.

You crippled him

and he still stood by
you, but no more, Shell.

The only friends you've got now

are the fucking guys on your payroll.

You don't own me anymore,
Shelly, and you don't own Bernie.

We're leaving here tonight.

I am taking him and there is not a fucking

thing that you can do about it!

And you will be all alone!

Is that right?

[Natalie shrieks]


I love him.

Come on.


[Bernie] Natalie?

[Natalie] Don't turn the light on.

I got a headache.

Did you take something?

I've got aspirin, I've got...

[Natalie] Yeah, I already took something.


Oh, shit.

Natalie, what happened to the mirror?


No, Bernie, don't.

Oh, shit, Bernie!

Jesus Christ.

Natalie, who did this to you?

We've got to call the police.

I thought, easy money.

What are you talking about?


He paid me to get close to
you, to keep you around.




You were right that first night.

I was for sale.

Bought and paid for.

You were the easy mark, Bernie.

At first I thought that you were just

another way to make a
quick buck, you know?

And then I started to take a closer look.

And for the first time,

you were somebody who
wasn't trying to hustle me,

somebody who wasn't trying to pretend

he was someone he wasn't.

Just a decent guy, trying
to get back on track.

And it didn't hurt any that
you put me up on a pedestal.

It sure puts the gutter in perspective.

Shelly paid you?

Shelly wants me gone.

He says I bring you luck.

Lady Luck.

I stayed to tell you to your face

and I knew you wouldn't want
me no more and I could just go.

[Bernie] We've got to
get you to the hospital.

We'll talk about this later.

[slow jazz music]

[PA] Dr. Collins.

[mellow piano music]

Tell me again, Bernie.

Tell me everything's gonna be okay.

Everything's gonna be fine.

This is our time.

This is you and me and we're going for it.

[Natalie] Oh, my God.

Hey, you look in the mirror,

you don't like what you
see, don't believe it.

Look in my eyes.

I am the only mirror
you're ever gonna need.

You look into my eyes, Natalie.

Bernie, Bernie, wait, wait.

Your chart that first night,

I wasn't being straight with you.

It is the worst chart I've ever seen.

There's nothing in the cards
for you, I'm telling you.

No, don't you see?

That was before.

That was before you opened
up your heart to me.

Everything's different now.

I got Lady Luck on my side.

Nothing's gonna happen to me.


Here, look, I got $3,000 he paid me.

Maybe Shelly will take
it as a down payment,

and we can pay in installments,
when we get settled, okay?

I don't think $3,000...

Come on, take it, Bernie!

[slow jazz music]

[Shelly] Every hour, street
vendors in your face.

I walk up there, I'd want to shoot myself.

I suppose you'd like that
freak show, huh, Harvard?

[Larry] Yeah, I do.

It brings people downtown into the casino

and that is good for business.

[Shelly grunts]

[Bodyguard] Hey, hey, hey!

You lay another finger on her,

I swear to God, I'll kill you.

Are you listening to me?

I will fucking kill you.

Why, Shelly?

How could you do that to her?

Because I never let go
of a good thing, Bernie,

and you are a very, very good thing.

The best cooler there ever
was and I need him back.

He ain't never coming back.

That is a dead man talking.


I'm done with this joint, Natalie and me.

We are out of here.

I'll get a job out in the world.

I'll send you half my
paycheck every month.

I'll make good on my commitment.

Bernie, if you bail on me,

they're gonna throw your fucking ass

off the roof of this
building snatch the broad

and throw her right
the fuck on top of you.

I don't think so, 'cause if you whack me,

then Bernie Lootz ain't the biggest loser

in the world no more.

That honor is gonna rest upon you, Shelly.

And maybe you had it all along.

I'm the loser?

What do you got, other than this joint?

What more do I need?

You got nothing.

This place, your legacy, it's a mirage.

You turn your back, it don't even exist.

There's no night, there's no day,

it's just one big fucking blur

and it don't count for nothing.

You believe this fucking guy?

[Tony] Yeah.

I feel sorry for you, Shelly.

You're the worst kind of gambler there is,

too scared to throw
his chips on the table.

Too scared to extend any
real kind of friendship.

Always scared he's gonna
end up out in the desert.

Well, sweet fucking dreams pal.

I'm out.

If that's where it ends,
that's where it ends.

Jesus Christ,

that's such a fucking
touching speech, Bernie.

All that Jimmy Stewart bullshit,

I got such a lump in my
throat, I can't tell you.

But it doesn't change a thing.

If you don't make good on my 150 Gs,

I'm gonna close the books on you.

You and the broad.

You leave me no choice.

[slow jazz music]

[players cheering]

Change only.



[slow jazz music]

Yellow, 11, pay the line.

Winner, seven.

Six easy, easy way six.

Winner, front line.

[players cheering]

Hey, Shelly, take a look at number four.



Okay, folks, we're coming out now.

Hold bets, curb checks, C and E is 11.

[players cheering]

[Man] Come on, man, make me some money.

[Croupier] Winner, seven.

What the fuck is going on here?

Where have you been?

Not now.

Bullshit, shut him down right now.

Shut him down or I will.

Not here.

Come take a walk with me.

What is your interest in this, Shelly?

Because you know what I see?

I see your guy taking us
to the fucking cleaners

and I'll tell you one thing.

He's not leaving here with a fucking dime.

- [strike thuds]
- [Larry groaning]

Now listen to me, you little Harvard turd.

Lootz is all right, so
he's walking out of here

with everything he's got coming to him.

If you so much as touch one fucking hair

on his fucking head,

I'm gonna fucking wallpaper
this fucking bathroom

with your fucking ass,
do you understand me?

Muted tones, isn't that
what you said, huh?


I can't hear you.

Wait, wait a minute.

There it is.

Blended in, at a subsonic
level, like some kind of mantra,

pain, pain, pain.




[Man] Come on, come on.

Big roll, big roll, buddy.

Here we go.

[Player] Here we go, here we go.

[Man] He must be up over 100 grand!

[Player] Come on!

Gray craps, line away.

[Man] Here we go.

All right

[Woman] Okay.


[Man] Hit it again, come on.

Win in, come on now, come on.

[Man] All right, all right.

[Croupier] 12 craps, line away, 12 craps.

[Man] What the fuck?

Not all of it!


On the field?

Is he fucking crazy?

Don't do it.


Thank you, God, thank
you, God, thank you, God.

It's all right, right?

You guys worked it out
and he took the money?

It's okay, right?

[phone ringing]

[slow jazz music]


You want me to get that, Shelly?

[deep thudding]

[slow jazz music]

Bernie, can you tell me what happened?

Yeah, yeah.

Why are we stopping, Bernie?

I think, I think, oh, goddamn.

What the fuck happened in there?


- What!
- Look, look.

Oh, my God, oh, my God!

Natalie, I won, I won.

Oh, my God, how much?

How much?

A lot.

Bahamas, here we come.

[siren wails]

[Officer] Step out of the car, please.

What's the problem, Officer?

Step out of the car, please, both of you.

Officer, my driving.

I'm sorry if we were
driving a little fast,

we're a bit excited.

We won a shitload of
money at the Shangri-La.

You didn't win nothing.

Now both of you, turn around.

Get down on your knees, now.

Jesus Christ, Bern, Jesus Christ.

The kid just wants you
should know, Shelly,

he's just protecting our
investment the old-school way.

I'll see you around, my friend.

[gunshot bangs]

I knew it was too good to be true.

Who were we kidding?

[slow jazz music]

[car crashing]

It's a drunk driver.

This is just freaky luck.

It was freaky accident.

[mellow piano music]

Gentlemen, I want to thank you

for your vote of confidence.

As the new director of casino operations,

I want to make a personal guarantee

to each and every one of you

that your investment in
the Golden Shangri-La

will be well looked after.

The future looks very bright, gentlemen.

Very, very bright.

[slow jazz music]