Bugsy Siegel is a fascinating character, and Warren Beatty did an incredible job of portraying him, especially for a gentile. Annette Bening is amazing as his love interest, and she is even more cruel and insane than he is.
What a bizarre episode in American history. Jewish gangsters, exiled to LA by anti-semitism, build Las Vegas. I think the reason Jews finally made it out of the ghetto is because they are brilliant at understanding the secret desires of white people. Secret, often shameful desires: money, sex, power, fame...just look at Al Goldstein or Howard Stern. Like Siegel, they realize that people will do anything to satisfy their guilty pleasures. And the creation of institutions or monuments to filth and excess creates, in turn, demand for such things.
Here's a beautiful, hilarious snippet from Wikipedia:
Siegel lost patience with the rising costs [of building the Flamingo Hotel], and his notorious outbursts unnerved his construction foreman. Reputedly, Siegel told him, "Don't worry — we only kill each other."