Picks and Pans Review: Las Vegas
The Money and the Power
A&E (Mon., May 13, 9 p.m. ET)
If you watch CSI you may think you know where the bodies are buried in Las Vegas. But this muckraking documentary aims to get at the root of all evil in Sin City.
Based on the book The Money and the Power by Sally Denton and Roger Morris, the two-hour film depicts Las Vegas as America’s “shadow capital,” unofficial headquarters for a dark alliance of gamblers, gangsters and government. The material on “matinee-idol mobster” Bugsy Siegel and alleged Mafia involvement in John F. Kennedy’s murder seems like old news, but the program does well to revive the memory of racket-busting Sen. Estes Kefauver and sheds needed light on the lucrative relationship between crime lords and respectable bankers.
The talking heads include journalists, professors and a wild card: John Savage, an octogenarian ex-pit boss who knows how to play it foxy. “Them are things you don’t divulge,” he says about Mob skimming of casino cash. Then, of course, he spills a few beans.
Bottom Line: One-sided but mostly on the money