It's pretty tough to beat Jailhouse Rock in terms of sheer entertainment, but Elvis lovers are particularly fond of this 1964 hit. The Big E plays race-car driver Lucky Jackson, who arrives in Las Vegas for an upcoming Gra... more »nd Prix race. Lucky's car needs a new engine, so he gets a waiter job at a casino and starts working his crooning charms on Rusty Martin (Ann-Margret). It's their on-screen chemistry that makes this flick a lot of fun; Presley never had a better costar than Ann-Margret, and their race-car romance is quintessential 1960s fluff. Then there are the songs, of course, including the snappy title tune, a rockin' rendition of Ray Charles's "What'd I Say?," and "The Yellow Rose of Texas." Viva Las Vegas is one of the Elvis movies that stands the test of time, when the legend was still at his peak. And if you're wondering if the King gets his car fixed in time to win the race, well, check out the movie to find out. --Jeff Shannon« less
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 08/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On the 25th anniversay of Elvis' passing, I thought I'd watch one of his films...this is perhaps his best, and in pairing him with Ann-Margret, he met his match. She sizzles in the musical numbers, and sometimes outshines the King when they're on-screen together.Don't expect a plot or much in the way of dialogue, as everything revolves around the songs. The standouts are the title song, "Come On, Everybody", "What'd I Say", and "Appreciation"...but all of them are good, and the other numbers are: "The Lady Loves Me", "I Need Someone to Lean On", "Today, Tomorrow, and Forever", "My Rival", and "If You Think I Don't Need You".The choreography by David Winters (who played A-Rab in the "West Side Story" film) is quite difficult, and almost awkward, with many direction changes, in Ann-Margret's "Appreciation" number (if you watch closely, you'll notice there's a switch to ballet slippers instead of high heels for a short time), but she manages all the dance numbers well, with sparkle and pizazz, and her singing is excellent.
The costume department did a good job, putting Elvis into a lot of very becoming red and black togs, and Ann-Margret's 101 outfits cling to every curve.
The car race footage in the finale is outstanding, and car aficionados will find a lot to like in this film as well as the music.This was a much appreciated gift, and one I watch when I need some brain candy. Though it's got its flaws, I'm giving it 5 stars for being pure, undiluted entertainment, served up by the Kitten and the King, both in top form, with the glitter and glitz of Las Vegas as their backdrop."
Scott T. Rivers | Los Angeles, CA USA | 03/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After years of second-generation VHS releases, "Viva Las Vegas" (1964) finally can be seen in a widescreen format. This Elvis Presley-Ann Margret musical looks and sounds great on DVD - and you also get the original trailer. With director George Sidney at the helm, it's easy to see why "Viva Las Vegas" is considered one of Presley's best films."
Viva Las Vegas
Mike Kurosky | Rosston, Texas United States | 08/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Perhaps his best musical comedy, in Viva Las Vegas Elvis was finally teamed with a co-star whose talent matched the intensity of his own style. Ann Margret plays Rusty Martin who perfectly compliments Elvis's character of Lucky Jackson. Lucky is a race car driver who is in desperate need of a new engine for his car. He arrives in Las Vegas for the Vegas Grand Prix and runs into Count Elmo Mancini (Cesare Danova) who is his rival on and off the track and are both competing for the affection of Rusty. Rusty works at the same hotel as Lucky, who throughout the film is trying to raise money to repair his car. Rusty is reluctant to become seriously involved with Lucky because of the dangers of his occupation. Eventually, she changes her mind and assists him in his last-minute efforts to complete his repairs. Lucky lives up to his name and wins the Grand Prix.Viva Las Vegas is perhaps best remembered for the romance between Elvis Presley and Ann Margret. The romance was played out on front pages of the newpapers after the two were noticed attending restaurants and nightclubs together in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the romance between these two high-profile stars
did not survive the production of the film. Rumours about as to what split them up, ranging from Elvis's relationship with Priscilla Beaulieu to Ann Margret's hasty confession to the press that she and Elvis were engaged. Though the relationship did not work out in the long term, Elvis and Ann Margret remained friends for the rest of his life. According to Ann Margret, Elvis sent her flowers in the shape of a guitar on the opening night of every one of her Las Vegas engagements."
FUN! FUN! FUN!
Gary Ragaglia | Boston, MA | 01/26/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I can't say that I'm a fan of either Elvis Presley or musicals and bought this video only as an experiment in watching something 180 degrees from my norm. Having said that-and standard Hollywood boy gets girl/loses/gets again simplicity aside-this film rocks! A technicolor kitsch fest with so-bad-it's-good Vegas cheese costumes and sets, this is a truly compelling time capsule...and it has THAT song. "What'd I Say?" is one of the most entertaining, hi-energy, goofy/silly, exuberant, infectious, fun dance numbers ever filmed (you have to play it again and again to get all the detail). A lot of what shows on MTV and VH1 is such a bore by comparison. The "Viva Las Vegas" number and the car race are great too."
I should have been born 60 years ago...
Jamie Boudreaux | Fresno, California | 07/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm all about Elvis. I'm 24 and my room is covered in his pictures. I LOVE this movie. I think personally that it's one of his best. I could sit here and watch him sing and move and never get tired of him. My favorite scenes are 1. when he's singing "The Lady Loves Me". And 2. when he's on her dance stage singing "My Baby Loves Me". Of course also when he performs the title song. I hope all avid Elvis fans have this movie in their collection."