Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Viva Las Vegas (1964)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Viva Las Vegas (1964)

In director George Sidney's lightweight and banal musical, but the best of the Elvis musicals (it was the 15th film of his 31 theatrical feature films):

  • "Viva Las Vegas," the opening title credits song (the city's anthem), sung by pop-star Elvis Presley under the glittering neon lights of the famed Las Vegas night-time strip and its numerous casinos (seen in aerial views and from the street level)
  • the first appearance of red-headed Rusty Martin (Ann-Margret, Elvis' co-star, known as "the female Elvis"), seen from under a hot-rod as she walked forward in tight, white short-shorts, and had a memorable first conversation with race-car driver Lucky Jackson (Elvis Presley): (Rusty: "Can you help me please?" Lucky: "Can we help you? Yes ma'am." Rusty: "Well, I'd like you to check my motor, it whistles." Lucky: "I don't blame it!"); afterwards, she strutted directly into the camera, and then the camera reversed itself as she walked away; they followed her sexy, swaying bottom (seen in close-up) as she sashayed out to her white sports car; Lucky quipped: "That's what I call a really sporty model"
  • the sequence of the duet "The Lady Loves Me," after Lucky had located Rusty working as a swimming instructor/singer/dancer at his own hotel, the Flamingo; to woo her, he strummed his guitar as they took a brief tour of the hotel pool, while they sang, flirted and traded barbs with each other (Lucky: "Tonight, she'll hold me in her arms" Rusty: "I'd rather be holding hydrogen bombs" Lucky: "She wants me" Rusty: "Like poison ivy" Lucky: "Needs me" Rusty: "Like a hole in the head" Lucky: "Anyone can see she's got it bad" Rusty: "He's mad"); after the song concluded, she pushed him into the swimming pool from the pink high-diving platform, when he accidentally lost his money roll that was sucked up into the pool's drain - and she sang the final line: "The gentleman's all wet!"; Lucky was forced to work as a Flamingo Hotel waiter to finance his racing
  • the many verbal duels, solos, and musical numbers during a Las Vegas talent show competition
  • the rockin' face-off song "C'mon, Everybody" between hip-swinging Lucky (on-stage) and shimmying bombshell Rusty (on the gym floor below)
  • their joyous travelogue tour of the Las Vegas area with all its sights and attractions, including shooting skeets together, riding motorscooters (with no hands), engaging in an old-fashioned western shoot-out, riding in a helicopter over Hoover Dam, water-skiing on Lake Mead, and visiting a nightclub
  • Ray Charles' "What'd I Say", energetically danced and sung by Lucky (with a guitar) and Rusty - both wearing matching yellow outfits
  • at the end of the talent competition decided by the toss of a coin, Lucky won first prize - (a silver trophy and an all-expenses paid two-week honeymoon in Las Vegas), and Rusty won second place (a genuine, regulation-sized pool table!)
  • the exciting but short sequence of the climactic Grand Prix race, throughout the desert environs of the Las Vegas area, and ending at the finish line on the strip in front of the Golden Nugget casino, with Lucky the winner!
  • in the brief blink-and-you'll-miss-it ending, Lucky's marriage to Rusty (and although the Count crashed during the race, he appeared uninjured to congratulate the couple)


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