"About as pleasant and unimportant as a banana split," said the New York Times of Viva Las Vegas. Sure it's light and formulaic, but Viva Las Vegas is also smooth, hyperactive, genuinely infectious, and a fantastic vehicle for Elvis Presley at the peak of his powers. And it helped turn a still emerging desert town into an American icon. Elvis plays Lucky Jackson, a race-car driver who takes a job as a waiter in a Vegas casino to earn some money to fix his car in time for the big race. He was still lean and energetic in 1964, the sexual chemistry with Ann-Margret is volcanic, and director George Sidney was a master of this kind of thing.
Viva Las Vegas
Related Exhibition Double Down
Saturday, December 20, 2008, 1:00 p.m.
George Sidney, 1964, 85 min.
Viva Las Vegas (still), 1964; photo courtesy of Photofest NYC
Film at SFMOMA is generously supported by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.
Thursday Nights at SFMOMA are sponsored by Banana Republic. Virgin America is the official airline of Thursday Nights at SFMOMA.