Las Vegas Sun

May 25, 2019

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Las Vegas the scene of new Elvis film

"The Lady Loves Me" may be the new title of "Viva Las Vegas," an MGM movie currently being filmed here.

Reason for the change, a studio spokesman on the set attests, is because of a budding romance visible even to casual onlookers, between the stars of the flicker, Elvis and Ann-Margret.

The boy who owns the only Rolls-Royce in the world with Tennessee license plates and the girl who billed herself as the "Female Elvis Presley" at the start of her career, make a torrid combination, on or off the screen.

And the 109-degree temperature on the set was upped several degrees when the stars did a scene on the parking lot of the Sahara Hotel.

Until one has visited an "on-location filming," it is difficult to comprehend how little glamour it really entails. Rather, the one word which aptly describes the entire process is "work."

For the more than 200 actors, cameramen, stand-ins, make-up artists, technicians and other specialists necessary for making the movie, the workday begins at 6 a.m.

Work, work, work.

What's more, it doesn't end until 12 hours later. Of the film shot in the day, approximately six minutes is usable. Therefore, it is understandable that "Viva Las Vegas" will cost in excess of $3,000,000.

Each day's filming is viewed the following day by director George Sidney and producer Jack Cummings. Then, if any scenes need a re-take, it can be done immediately in order to prevent a costly return trip to Las Vegas after the group has returned to Hollywood.

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Sidney hopes to finish shooting here by the weekend, but the movie will not be wrapped up until late September. Cummings told the Sun that there is an excellent possibility that the pictures will be premiered here at Easter-time.

For the first time in his amazing career, Elvis has a name for his romantic lead and one who can share the vocal assignment.

Although the emphasis is primarily on the story, both he and Ann-Margret have production numbers, as well as duets.

The story line is relatively simple — the struggle by a young racing enthusiast to raise money to get his own car. Complicating matters is his romance with a shapely swimming instructor who doesn't cotton to the idea of a husband who spends Memorial Days whizzing around the Indianapolis Speedway.

There is a personal and professional rivalry, too, between Elvis and the leading European sports car racer, played by Cesare Danova.

Ah, there is a man! Cesare's latest film is "Cleopatra" in which he play's Liz' lover Apollodorus. After seeing him, one wonders how Burton stood a chance with Miss Taylor.

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Master of five languages, the handsome Italian made his first film in his native Rome when he was 20. The six-foot-four former medical student with curly black hair, melodious voice and flashing smile, also recently starred in "Gidget Goes to Rome."

"Viva Las Vegas" is unique in that the spotlight is on "the other side" of Las Vegas rather than its casinos. The city is shown for the first time in a motion picture as a family vacation center, which it is to thousands of people, instead of just an oasis for quenching the gambling thirst.

The climax of the film will be a roaring, screeching sports car race through Las Vegas streets, across Boulder Dam and through the blazing desert.

At least six new numbers will be introduced in the picture, all of which Elvis will record. Interestingly enough, the 29-year-old often imitated bachelor has had 31 singles pass the million mark in sales, while Frank Sinatra has had none.

Although spectators are not allowed directly on the set, one can easily stand within seeing range. Filming will continue today, tomorrow and Friday at Lake Mead Marina.

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