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Movies: “Viva Las Vegas”

May 20, 1964 - Opening today is “Viva Las Vegas,” a rock ’n’ roll musical film — with some auto racing thrown in — directed by George Sidney and starring Elvis Presley, Ann-Margret, Cesare Danova, and William Demarest.

Set in Las Vegas, the film tells about two competing race car drivers (Presley and Danova) who also compete for the same girl — Rusty Martin (Ann-Margret), a beautiful swimming instructor.

The film presents a set of 10 musical song-and-dance scenes. The scene where Presley sings the title song is performed in one single unedited shot, the only known example of such a technique in Presley’s film career thus far.

The film also includes a scene with the showgirls of the Folies Bergère at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas.

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