Director George Sidney’s 1964 musical is one of Elvis Presley’s most irresistible showcases, thanks partly to an on-form star with some good songs to perform, partly to a zestful co-star in Ann-Margret, partly to the attractively gaudy Las Vegas location, and partly to a director who is unafraid to relish all the vulgarity.
Presley plays Lucky Jackson, a singing race car driver who comes to Las Vegas for the grand prix, and has to work as a waiter to pay for a new engine. But, living up to his name of Lucky, he finds true love with swimming instructress Rusty Martin (Ann-Margret). Just how Lucky can you get!
There’s lots of Las Vegas flavour and it’s great that there is a clutch of more than decent songs, including ‘Viva Las Vegas’, ‘What’d I Say’, ‘The Lady Loves Me’, ‘Come On Everybody’. ‘The Yellow Rose of Texas’ and ‘I Need Somebody to Lean On’.
Also in the cast are Cesare Danova as Count Elmo Mancini, William Demarest as Mr. Martin, Nicky Blair as Shorty Fansworth, Jack Carter, Bob Nash, Robert B Williams, Roy Engel, Barnaby Hale, Ford Dunhill, Rickey [Rick] Murray and Eddie Quillan.
Ann-Margret appears to join in and sing a disco version of her hit song, Viva Las Vegas, now called Viva Rock Vegas, in The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000).
© Derek Winnert 2016 Classic Movie Review 3898
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