Plot & Details
Novelist/journalist Pete Hammill was responsible for the screenplay of the two-part TV movie The Neon Empire. Ray Sharkey stars as a Bugsy Siegel-like New York gangster. It is Sharkey's dream to turn the sleepy Nevada town of Las Vegas into the gambling capital of the world. Part One, running 105 minutes details Sharkey's "blueprinting" of his vision. In the concluding 85-minute chapter, having transformed sedentary little Las Vegas, Nevada, into a gambling mecca, Sharkey finds that his ambitions have made him a pariah to his New York mob colleagues. Linda Fiorentino, Gary Busey, Dylan McDermott and Martin Landau costar in this "a clef" drama. Neon Empire premiered over the Showtime Cable Network; later on, both portions of the film were melded into one three-hour "special." Neon Empire was first telecast on the Showtime Cable network on December 3 and 4, 1989.