Review: ‘Viva Las Vegas’

The sizzling combination of Elvis Presley and Ann-Margaret is enough to carry Viva Las Vegas over the top. The picture is fortunate in having two such commodities for bait, because beyond several flashy musical numbers, a glamorous locale and one electrifying auto race sequence, the production is a pretty trite and heavyhanded affair, puny in story development and distortedly preoccupied with anatomical oomph.

The sizzling combination of Elvis Presley and Ann-Margaret is enough to carry Viva Las Vegas over the top. The picture is fortunate in having two such commodities for bait, because beyond several flashy musical numbers, a glamorous locale and one electrifying auto race sequence, the production is a pretty trite and heavyhanded affair, puny in story development and distortedly preoccupied with anatomical oomph.

The film is designed to dazzle the eye, assault the ear and ignore the brain. Vegas, of course, is the setting of Sally Benson’s superficial contrivance about an auto racing buff (Presley) trying to raise funds to purchase an engine for the racer with which he hopes to win the Grand Prix. His main obstacle is a swimming instructress (A-M) who doesn’t approve of his goal, but ultimately softens.

Hackneyed yarn provides the skeletal excuse for about 10 musical interludes, a quick tour of the US gambling capital and that one slam-bang climactic sequence that lifts the film up by its bootstraps just when it is sorely in need of a lift.

Viva Las Vegas

Production

Cummings/M-G-M. Director George Sidney; Producer Jack Cummings, George Sidney; Screenplay Sally Benson; Camera Joseph Biroc; Editor John McSweeney; Music George Stoll; Art Director George W. Davis, Edward Carfagno

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1964. Running time: 85 MIN.

With

Elvis Presley Ann-Margret Cesare Danova William Demarest Nicky Blair Jack Carter
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading