Viva Las Vegas (1964)


“And I’m just the devil with love to spare”

Director Steven Spielberg has said this Elvis film is one of his all-time favorite movies, and I would have to agree. Taking the last spot on my top ann-margret and elvisfive Elvis films, Viva Las Vegas was released May 20th, 1964. Co-starring alongside Elvis is Ann-Margret. Made for $1 million, this movie grossed over $10 million dollars. The chemistry between Elvis and Ann-Margret is undeniable, and it is clear that something happened beyond the sets of the movie. The ending scene where Lucky Jackson (Elvis) and Rusty Martin (Ann-Margret) are married was used in tabloids. They were claiming the two were actually married.

Today, Tomorrow, and Forever

There was a love affair between the two which began on the set of Viva Las Vegas. The director, George Sidney, also directed Bye Bye ann and elvis 2Birdie (which is a musical that somewhat mocks Elvis’s career). That film starred Ann-Margret and many believe she only got the role of Rusty because of director George Sidney. There was a situation between Sidney and Elvis’s manager Colonel Tom Parker. The Colonel noticed that Ann-Margret was getting a lot of camera times and because of this he wanted to remind Sidney that it was an Elvis film and he would not be taking second billing.

Lucky Jackson, portrayed by Elvis, is a race car driver. He is in need of money to buy a motor for his car. Hoping for the best, the film begins with Lucky gambling and winning the money he needs. Being far away from the shop he needs to buy the motor from, he stays in Las Vegas and winds up meeting Rusty. Rusty is in need of help with her car. He and his new “friend” Count Elmo, attempt to fix her car. After she leaves the shop, much to Lucky’s dismay, he goes on a search to find her. Successful in his venture, he uses his best talent to try to win her over which was singing. Rusty pushed Lucky in the pool of the hotel and he loses all of his money.

The Lady Loves Me

Because he cannot pay the hotel the bill, he winds up taking a job as a waiter along with his friend Shorty. Lucky and Rusty begin dating despite their original meeting and end up falling love.

C’Mon Everybody

There is a talent contest for employees of the hotel both Lucky and Rusty work at (Rusty is a swim instructor) so they are forced to compete against one another. Rusty is already upset with Lucky because he will not stop racing and decides to go on a date with the Count. Lucky is their server and messes up their date. After this is when the iconic Viva Las Vegas scene takes place. Lucky wins the contest, but instead of money, he wins a stay at the hotel he works at.

Viva Las Vegas

Losing out on the motor, Lucky is lucky enough to have funding from Rusty’s father to finish the car just hours before the Vegas race begins. Just like his name, he lucks out and wins the race and has a very happy ending marrying Rusty.

As I said before, I absolutely love this movie. Going to Fremont Street and seeing the original signs from the movie seemed completely unreal. I remember getting this movie on VHS from my sister Misty for my birthday. Ironically enough, I received this movie and Bye Bye Birdie as I was obsessed with both at the time. There was one day after church when I was a child that when we got home I was wearing an orange sweater and black nylons and danced around like Ann-Margret. This movie will always be one of my absolute favorites. For being a romantic comedy musical, this is one of his absolute bests.




You Might Also Like

1 Comment

  • Reply Elvis Presley's Love Life: The Women Who Captured His Heart - Moody Blue ElvisMoody Blue Elvis February 14, 2024 at 1:46 pm

    […] of the most famous women linked to Elvis, Ann-Margret co-starred with him in the film “Viva Las Vegas” in 1964. Their on-screen chemistry was undeniable, and rumors of a real-life romance between […]

  • Leave a Reply