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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

'Leaving Las Vegas'

The poison: Alcohol -- a.k.a. booze, hooch, liquor, John Barleycorn, sauce, firewater, tipple The contenders: "Strange Brew," "The Lost Weekend," "Leaving Las Vegas," "Days of Wine and Roses," "Animal House" Our pick: Boozing movies come in two flavors: "Drinking is good!" or "Drinking is bad!" In the interest of compromise, we decided on "Leaving Las Vegas," the movie that takes a little from column A and a little from column B. Suicidal alcoholic (Nicolas Cage) heads off to Las Vegas to kill himself. (Bad.) Along the way, he meets a beautiful hooker with a heart of gold, played by Elisabeth Shue. (Good.) He dies. (Bad.) He wins an Oscar. (Good.) Suzanne Hanover / MGM
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