Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Elvis Presley, Ann-Margaret
Written by: Sally Benson
Directed by: George Sidney
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 85
Date: 03/18/2013
IMDB

Viva Las Vegas (1964)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Lucky in Love

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Elvis Presley's career is a thing of lost opportunity. On screen, theKing could have been a decent actor, as evidenced by his expertperformance in Don Siegel's Flaming Star (1960), or had he saved hisenergy for bigger, more sporadic releases, he could have been anevent-worthy star. Instead, he saturated the market by cranking out ahuge quantity of half-baked, forgettable films over a relatively shortperiod of time. Of these, Jailhouse Rock (1957) is probably the mostrespected, but Viva Las Vegas (1964) is the most fun, and no filmkicks off with a cooler theme song blasting across the screen. Directedby George Sidney, it has a carefree spirit as opposed to thecarelessness of the other films, and for once Elvis is paired with aworthy co-star. Sex kitten Ann-Margaret could shake it as well as Elvis,and could match his physical allure inch for inch. The plot -- such asit is -- involves a car race in which fair Ms. Ann-Margaret is theprize, but in the process Viva Las Vegas captures a cartoony side ofVegas with just a bare hint of wanton corruption.