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Arnold Rothstein: A Deadly Serious Man


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#1

Shylock

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Posted Oct 17, 2010 @ 1:48 PM

“There was a man once—I don’t recall his name—frequented the billiard parlors downtown. He made a comfortable living wagering whether he could swallow certain objects, billiard balls being his specialty. He’d pick a ball then take it down his gullet to here, and regurgitate it back up. And one evening, I decided to challenge this man to a wager: ten thousand in cash for him to do the trick with the billiard ball of my choosing. Now, he knew I’d seen him do this a dozen times, so I can only surmise that he thought I was stupid. We laid down the cash, and I handed him the cue ball. He swallowed it down, it lodged in his throat, and he choked to death on the spot. What I knew and he didn’t was the cue ball was one sixteenth of an inch larger than the other balls—just too large to swallow. Do you know what the moral of this tale is, Mr. Yale?"

"Don’t eat a cue ball?"

"The moral of the story is that if I cause a stranger to choke to death for my own amusement, what do you think I’ll do to you if you don’t tell me who ordered you to kill Colosimo?”


For me, Michael Stuhlbarg's Rothstein has been far and away the most electric and chilling character on the screen. Completely terrifying and dangerous in a way that scares me far more than Capone's curb-stomping machismo. We've only seen him for a few minutes over a handful of scenes, but he's already one of my favorites.

Also, if you can be that scary in a bow-tie, congratulations, you're one scary motherf*er. (Nucky: A scary what-now?)

#2

eejm

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Posted Oct 17, 2010 @ 9:38 PM

His quiet, cold demeanor still reminds me of Alby Grant. I like that Rothstein's part in the 1919 World Series scandal is finally being addressed. It sounds as though that followed him for a long time. I guess the horseshit never really dried enough to brush it off his pants.

#3

tapshoes

tapshoes

    Channel Surfer

Posted Oct 27, 2010 @ 12:23 PM

Arnold Rothstein was on screen for one minute in "Family Limitation" and his menacing cool effectively stole the scene from the nekkid Lucky and Gillian. Looking forward to more Rothstein in the future.

#4

clack

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Posted Oct 27, 2010 @ 4:24 PM

Historical Rothstein was actually kinda like the way BE portrays Nucky. That is, AR was a backslapper who made his way to the top by making friends and having people like him. His generosity was legend.

The sinister BE version though is fascinating...

#5

tapshoes

tapshoes

    Channel Surfer

Posted Nov 8, 2010 @ 10:39 AM

Loved the scene in "Hold Me in Paradise" where Rothstein is practicing his testimony for the World Series trial. His righteous indignation was perfect.

#6

Emily Thrace

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Posted Nov 26, 2010 @ 11:44 PM

From the History thread

It said that Rothstein was quiet, conservative, introverted and intellectual. Seriously, same guy the show is discussing and whereas I'm not saying that a program on Biography has the highest level of accuracy out there, it would suggest that there are other takes on Rothstein's personality.


It is possible for Rothstien to be a quiet introvert and been good with people, a lot of introverts are good at evaluating people and giving them what they want. Introverts can often be skilled manipulators because they tend to listen and understand those around them opposed to charming them the way someone like Nucky would. I also think since we're mostly seeing Rothstein threaten people that's what coming across more often, Rothstein seems very much like someone who puts on the face needed for the situation.

#7

klutzygirl76

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Posted Dec 9, 2010 @ 9:42 PM

I love A.R.'s portrayal in this series. As everyone upthread has said he is cool, calm, and in check of his emotions at all times but also heavily calculating his next move. I find it interesting that Nucky is seen as more feeling and human than Rothstein, this last episode we saw A.R. listen to his proteges (after jabbing them with "I didn't know I paid you for advice") or something like that and then taking their advice to heart. He always treats Charlie with respect (first calling him by his real name), educating him, dressing him and giving him his time. Nucky can hardly be bothered with someone he practically brought up.

In reference to the name of the thread, Stuhlbarg was incredible in A Serious Man. The contrast between the used, abused, lost and torn apart, but also totally hilarious man that he played and who he has made this version of Rothstein into are definitely something to see. it's funny how clothing does help portray who someone is (or maybe at least give the actor a better feel for who they are).

#8

babyfoot

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Posted Nov 29, 2011 @ 5:00 PM

It's disappointing that Rothstein has been given so little to do so far in Season 2. As it's been noticed by many posters here, his calm, cool, yet menacing demeanor, makes him by far the cleverest of the assorted gangsters. Stuhlbarg delivery is amazing and he is simply not being given the recognition he deserves.

#9

Saint Adalberto

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Posted Nov 29, 2011 @ 6:08 PM

Rothstein is by far my favorite of the gangster group.

Edited by TWoP Howard, Nov 30, 2011 @ 1:06 AM.
There’s no need to say hello here—it’s a given


#10

estebanrey

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    Channel Surfer

Posted Dec 12, 2011 @ 10:57 AM

Deadly serious but hard to take seriously when he looks like Jimmy Carr dressed as Pee-Wee Herman.

Edited by estebanrey, Dec 12, 2011 @ 10:58 AM.


#11

spiritfox

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Posted Sep 17, 2012 @ 3:31 PM

One of my favourite moments from last night was when Rosetti went around the table insulting everybody, and while most of them glowered with varying shades of anger, Rothstein looked quite amused - maybe even pleased - by Rosetti's choice of derisive words for him. Awesome.

#12

babyfoot

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Posted Sep 18, 2012 @ 4:16 PM

You're right, spiritfox! I rewatched the episode and loved the subtle smile he had throughout.