Art, Elvis, Movies

ELVIS MONTH Day 14 Viva Las Vegas (1964)

Year:  1964

Age:  29

Movie:  14th

Welcome to Viva Las Vegas.  If you’ve only seen one Elvis movie it may just be this one.  Probably the most quoted and watched Elvis movie ever made.  For good reason too.  Ann-Margret is the co-star in this one and holds her own opposite Elvis.  Known as the female Elvis she matches him in looks, talents and sex appeal.  There is a number of duets in the movie, and, apparently Tom Parker was unimpressed with the amount of screen time that AM received.  Due to multiple camera angles and multiple takes the movie went substantially over budget, and Tom Parker compensated this by cutting the budget of several upcoming movies.  Most future movies were completed within three weeks with the majority of filming done on sets or back lots.

Viva Las Vegas is great fun from the beginning.  Cue the title song…yay.  Cue sexy Elvis in black and red.  Lucky (Elvis) is lucky at the tables in the casino and can now afford the new motor for his race car, so that he can race in the Las Vegas Grand Prix.  He meets The Count at the garage and The Count offers him a car to drive in the Grand Prix.  Declined… but this sets The Count up to be the rival…and then Ann-Margret’s legs show up….and then her butt, and the boys are falling over themselves to help her.  But The Count lets her slip away and now neither of them know where to find her.  So they embark on a tour of all the shows in Las Vegas in hopes of finding that girl.

Apparently Teri Gar plays a dancing girl in this somewhere…I’ll keep looking…oh and she was in 5 Elvis movies.

Welcome sons of the Lone Star State, that rowdy lot.  The can only be calmed with a song…one of my favs…The Yellow Rose Of Texas.

Lucky and The Count are staying at a hotel where AM is the swimming instructor,  Lucky spots her first and borrows The Counts guitar to serenade her…by the pool.  The Lady Loves Me (My daughters fav Elvis song) is a fun song.  The girls behind Lucky and Rusty at the bar are enjoying being in the movie.  Somehow they end up on the high dive platform, and Rusty pushes Lucky into the pool where he promptly loses all of his money he had save for the new motor, and has to take a job as a waiter at the hotel.

Rusty spends the day with Lucky and they start off with Elvis singing and Ann-Margret dancing, man the girl can wiggle, then they fall at the end, it’s really cute.  They go shooting, riding motor bikes (which they both know how to do quite well in real life), dueling in the old west, and helicoptering.  Then they go fake waterskiing.  Then they meet Rusty’s Dad (William Demerest).  At this point Lucky mentions he was in the Armed Forces (Air Force this time) again.  Today, Tomorrow and Forever, such a nice slow song. Then a few more songs back to back, very groovy songs too.  They do look really cute in yellow.  Very enthusiastic dancers in this number.

Rusty get cranky with Lucky and then Lucky sends Rusty a tree.  Then she’s all good.  Then she’s not.  You know how that is.  They both have entered the talent competition and both intend to win.  Lucky needs the money to buy a motor so he can race.  Rusty accepts a dinner invitation with The Count and guess who is there waiter for the night?  Strange this movie doesn’t have 2 women fighting for Elvis but has 2 men fighting for Ann-Margret.

Ann-Margret’s number is just awesome, she gets rid of the fur coat and she has a little lavender outfit on, to me it demonstrates how much the materials have changed since then.  My son was questioning what this message was sending to young girls…ah well it was a different time, nice to know he thinks this way though.

Then Elvis performs Viva Las Vegas in one shot.  Very unusual to see this, but it ends a bit weirdly.  Rusty and Lucky tie for first then they flip a coin to determined the winner and he wins…a honeymoon, and no money.

Rusty and Lucky resolve their issues and Rusty’s dad buys Lucky his motor.  Let the race begins.  Probably the cheesiest race ever to make it to film, it goes into the category of “it’s so bad that it’s great!”, complete with the fake helicopter scenes.  And the crash scenes seem very dramatic, and a bit scary.  It looks like someone could have been seriously injured during this race.

Co Stars Alive?  Ann-Margret  YEP

                                     Cesare Danova  NOPE

                                      William Demarest  NOPE

My Favourite Song:   If You Think I Don’t Need You

Most Popular Song:   Viva  Las Vegas

Stay tuned for Day 15 of ELVIS MONTH

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