Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Overlooked Movies -- Viva Las Vegas

Maybe there's no such thing as a good Elvis Presley movie, but this one comes close, and not just because it costars Ann-Margret at the top of her powers.  It has a lot more going for it, too.

Not the plot.  That never amounts to much in an Elvis movie.  This time he's in Las Vegas to compete in a road race.  His car needs a new engine, though, so he works as a waiter to raise the money.  He also falls for Ann-Margret, and who can blame him?  Did you take a look at the trailer?

What it does have is Las Vegas in the '60s in Technicolor.  And Ann-Margret.  Or did I mention her already?  Okay, maybe I did, but in this movie she and Elvis have real on-screen chemistry, something that was lacking in a lot of the other Elvis flicks.  Check the trailer again if you don't believe me.  And it even has a pretty good soundtrack, something that was sorely lacking in most of the King's films, which were usually filled with duds.  

I never recommend Elvis movies to anybody.  Most of them are pretty bad, and they got steadily worse as his movie career started to wind down.  But this one is a lot of fun.


Jerry House said...

As a teenager, I never missed an Elvis Presley, Beach Party, or Jerry Lewis movie at the drive-in. I was a very unsophisticated teenager.

Anonymous said...

We used to go Friday nights to see whatever was playing and the "free preview" of the upcoming movie, which was often an Elvis film. VIVA LAS VEGAS was definitely one I saw that way. Another was SPINOUT with Shelley Fabares. And then there was SPEEDWAY with Rex Reed's favorite "pizza waitress" Nancy Sinatra.

VIVA LAS VEGAS was a lot better. Of course, there was also CHANGE OF HABIT with Mary Tyler Moore as a nun, which was really embarrassing....