Bugsy made it virtually impossible to go to Vegas without thinking of the romantic gangster Bugsy Siegel, who, according to the legend – and the movie – came up with the idea of creating an entertainment Mecca in the Nevada desert. This biographical crime-drama film directed by Barry Levinson, with Warren Beatty (Bugsy) and Annette Bening in the role of his lover Virginia Hill, won the Golden Globe as Best Picture-Drama of the year. The screenplay was written by James Toback from Dean Jennings' 1967 book We Only Kill Each Other. Oddly enough, and despite its success, Bugsy can be defined as an underachiever in terms of awards: it received eight nominations at the Globes, but won only one (albeit the most important). At the Academy Awards, the film received ten nominations, but won only two “technical” awards, for Best Costume Design and Art Direction (The Silence of the Lambs turned out to be the take-all winner at the Academy Awards).
For Warren Beatty, who co-produced the movie, it was his third Globe: he was Best Actor – Comedy for Heaven Can Wait in 1978, and Best Director for Reds in 1982. With his win for Bugsy (as a producer for Best Film), and his Cecil B. deMille Award in 2007, Beatty completed the unprecedented HFPA/Golden Globe's Grand Slam.
At the 49th Golden Globe Awards, held on January 18, 1992, the other nominated films were The Silence of the Lambs, The Prince of Tides, Thelma & Louise and JFK: not a bad year for dramas! Annette Bening lost to Jodie Foster (Silence of the Lambs), while Beatty, also nominated for Best Actor, lost to Nick Nolte (The Prince of Tides). Also nominated were Robert De Niro (Cape Fear), Kevin Costner (JFK) and Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs), who would later win an Academy Award.
Arnold Schwarzenegger presented the Golden Globe to Bugsy, and Beatty went on stage to accept the award. He said: “I want to thank the HFPA, Peter Guber, Barry Levinson and Jimmy Toback who so brilliantly brought this picture to life, a film that says so much about 20th-century American life... And I want to thank a person that for me has the greatest knack for bringing things to life, the greatest actress I know, Annette Bening!” In fact, Beatty and Bening met on the set of Bugsy and immediately fell in love. They were married by the time the Golden Globe Awards were bestowed, already parents of their first child.