In this 1964 hit, Elvis plays race-car driver Lucky Jackson, who arrives in Las Vegas for an upcoming Grand Prix race. Lucky's car needs a new engine, so he gets a waiter job at a casino and starts working his crooning charms on Rusty Martin (Ann-Margret). The chemistry between the two actors makes it easily the most electrifying pairing Elvis ever had on-screen. Viva Las Vegas is one of the Elvis films that stands the test of time, when the legend was at his peak. For this Special Edition, the film is digitally re-mastered with exceptional sound and includes bonus features.
Releases in 1964, Viva Las Vegas outgrossed Elvis massive 1961 smash Blue Hawaii for box office takings in America. It also outgrossed the Beatles Hard Days night; the King was still more popular than the fab four.
The music is very very good as is the race scenes, but it's the interaction between Ms Margaret and Mr Presley that makes this so good; especially the What'd I Say sequence and the C'mon Everybody sequence; also the scene where Elvis is a waiter, this is so very funny,
Critics and many fans have called this Elvis best film of the sixties and the only film of that decade that should be looked at; this aint true, as this is good fun, it does not in any way come close to his best work: Flaming Star, Wild In The Country, Trouble With Girls, Change of Habit, Blue Hawaii, Follow That Dream etc.....but check it out, it is a fun, feelgood film!
Cesare Danova is the Count Elvis will have to compete with on the race track and off, his rival for Ann-Margret from the moment she shows up at the garage, leggy and gorgeous, and asks, "Can someone look at my engine, it whistles?" She is sweet dynamite in this film and is the only one of his leading ladies to match him. They are magic together, and only years later would she reveal their love for each other, but not revealing any details. She was all class then and she's all class now.
This Elvis film is in a class by itself. There are teriffic songs with no 'throw aways' here. "What'd I Say," "I Love My Baby, and My Baby Loves Me," "You'll Always be My Love," and of course, "Viva Las Vegas," capturing perfectly the excitment of the Las Vegas Strip are all here to enjoy. The most fun though is the back and forth of Elvis and Ann on "The Lady Loves Me, But She Doesn't Know It Yet" that culminates in her pushing him into the pool!
Their first date captures all the fun of this movie as they go skeet shooting (she beats him), water skiing, get to ride mopeds around an airfield, dress up and play gunfight (she beats him again), and get to take a helicopter ride over hoover dam and the marina where her dad (William Demarest in a nice role) lives on a boat. He likes Elvis and knows his daughter does to, in spite of Rusty's fear that he'll get hurt racing.
Shorty Fansworth offers nice support as Elvis's mechanic pal and the race is actually pretty good to. This is just a fun time at the movies with Elvis and Ann-Margret, some fine musical numbers, nice support from the cast, and the bright lights and hot desert of Las Vegas. If your going to pick up an Elvis movie, this is the one to get!
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