Leaving Las Vegas

Leaving Las Vegas is a 1995 American drama film written and directed by Mike Figgis and based on the semi-autobiographical 1990 novel of the same name by John O'Brien. Nicolas Cage stars as a suicidal alcoholic in Los Angeles who, having lost his family and been recently fired, has decided to move to Las Vegas and drink himself to death. He loads a supply of liquor and beer into his BMW and gets drunk as he drives from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Once there, he develops a romantic relationship with a sex worker played by Elisabeth Shue and the film shifts to include her narrative perspective. O'Brien died from suicide after signing away the film rights to the novel.


Ben Sanderson is an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter who has lost his job, family, and friends. With nothing left to live for, and a sizable severance check from his boss, he heads to Las Vegas to drink himself to death. One early morning, he drives drunkenly from his Los Angeles home down to the Las Vegas Strip; he nearly hits a woman, Sera, on the crosswalk. She chastises him and walks away.