Flamingo Las Vegas – Film and Media

Film

  • The 1960 version of Ocean’s Eleven was filmed here.
  • A flashback sequence from the 2001 version of Ocean’s Eleven was filmed at Flamingo
  • The 1964 film Viva Las Vegas was filmed here.
  • The 1991 film Bugsy starring Warren Beatty is about Bugsy Siegel’s involvement in the construction of the Flamingo, though many of the details are altered to improve the cinematic qualities of the movie. For instance, in the film, the idea of the Flamingo is Bugsy Siegel’s, instead of him buying ownership from Billy Wilkerson, and Siegel is killed after the second opening of the Flamingo in 1947, not the first opening on Dec. 26, 1946 as depicted in the film.
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Books

  • Hunter S. Thompson and Oscar Zeta Acosta stayed at the Flamingo while attending a seminar by the National Conference of District Attorneys on Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs held at the Dunes Hotel across the street. Several of their experiences in their room are depicted in Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream.
  • The original Flamingo hotel and casino figures prominently in the Tim Powers novel Last Call. In the novel, the famed myth of Siegel’s creation of the Flamingo was utilized as a basis for the overall supernatural plot of the novel (rather than the true historic account of his acquiring it from the original founder). The Flamingo is supposedly founded on Siegel’s mythical/mystical paranoia of being pursued and killed for his Archetypal position as the “King of the West,” known mythologically as “Fisher King.” Supposedly the Flamingo itself was meant to be a real-life personification of “The Tower” card amongst the Major Arcana of the Tarot deck, literally “the King’s Castle in the Wasteland.” It is believed Siegel kept his copy of a deck of the Lombardy Zeroth Tarot deck. Siegel’s penthouse and office floor did, as referenced in the novel, in fact have a secret escape-hatch complete with ladder down to a service floor where supposedly a car was always in ready to effect his getaway in the event of his being attacked in his chambers. All other references to the Flamingo in any supernatural context in the novel are not based on any known or recorded facts/events.
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