Join Fox News for access to this content

Plus special access to select articles and other premium content with your account – free of charge.

Please enter a valid email address.

Viva Las Vegas” is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

In one of his most well recognized roles, rock star Elvis Presley stars in the movie as Lucky Jackson, a race-car driver preparing for the Grand Prix, who along the way falls in love with the beautiful Rusty Martin, played by Ann-Margret.

A love affair, a sultry deleted scene and friction between the two leads made the set of the film just as exciting as the movie itself.

Here are some of the juiciest stories from the set of the iconic movie.

Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret starred together in “Viva Las Vegas” in 1964. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)


On-set romance

Elvis Presley and Ann-Margaret filming a scene for "Viva Las Vegas"

Ann-Margret wrote in her memoir that she and Elvis Presley had a brief romance while filming “Viva Las Vegas.” (Getty Images)

Although Elvis was in a relationship with Priscilla Presley at the time, he engaged in an on-set romance with costar Ann-Margret. 

The actress wrote about their brief romance in her 1994 memoir, “Ann-Margret: My Story,” explaining it came to an end when Presley got the impression Ann-Margret sold a story to the tabloids that the two of them were getting married.

“It probably couldn’t last,” Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz told Fox News in August 2017 of the relationship. “But they had a real meaningful connection with each other. They understood each other, they both come from small towns, they both loved motorcycles, and they both were uncomfortable in their spotlight of Hollywood… And I think that’s what connected them to each other during the duration of Elvis’ life.

“I think my understanding of it is we should all be so lucky to have a friendship that’s as meaningful as the one between Ann-Margret and Elvis Presley.”

Despite ending their romantic relationship, the two remained good friends until the singer’s death in 1977.

Ann-Margaret and Elvis Presley in yellow outfits

Ann-Margret and Elvis Presley remained close friends until his death in 1977. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

When speaking with Fox News Digital in May 2023, Ann-Margret looked back on her time making the movie fondly, sharing “it was a joy to work with E.P.”

In a separate interview with Fox News Digital in April 2021, Ann-Margret said she cannot think about “Viva Las Vegas” without smiling, adding “it was one of the happiest times of my life.” 

Aside from her friendship with Presley, Ann-Margret also had a close relationship with director George Sidney, who, prior to directing her in “Viva Las Vegas,” directed her in the movie musical, “Bye Bye Birdie.”

Ann-Margaret and Elvis Presley dancing in a scene for "Viva Las Vegas."

Ann-Margret says she and Elvis Presley “moved” to music the same way. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)


Deleted scene

Elvis Presley and Ann-Margaret standing around the piano in "Viva Las Vegas."

A deleted scene from the movie features Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret singing a duet. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)

While the movie has its fair share of song and dance numbers, 10 in total, it seems the 11th number was left on the chopping block, according to Country Living.

A deleted scene posted on YouTube starts with Presley playing the piano and singing “Today, Tomorrow and Forever” on his own. Soon after, Ann-Margret walks into the room and slowly starts to make her way closer and closer to Presley.

As they continue to sing together, a montage begins to play of the two characters engaging in different activities, including dancing, biking and waterskiing. The clip ends with the two falling to the floor laughing as they messed up a dance move.

“We felt music the same way. We would listen to music, we would look at each other and woo! We would be moving the same way,” Ann-Margret told Fox News Digital in May 2023.

The song was originally written for the film and was released on its accompanying EP. It was then re-released as part of the 2002 Elvis Presley compilation album, “Elvis: Today, Tomorrow, and Forever.”

‘The only problem’

Ann-Margaret and Elvis Presley dancing in "Viva Las Vegas."

Elvis Presley was reportedly jealous of the attention director George Sidney gave Ann-Margret. (Photo by FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images)

Although Ann-Margret and Presley were reportedly in love during the time of filming, Sidney revealed Presley was very jealous of the attention his costar was getting on set.


“We made this picture, no problem. The only problem was Elvis didn’t want the girl Ann-Margret to have any close-ups,” Sidney once told the media. “He wanted all the close-ups. And he didn’t want her to have any numbers. Well, I said, ‘No… I’m directing the picture. I’ll do it my way.'”

Express reported the reason the final scene in the movie was done with a split screen is because Presley wanted to keep the spotlight on himself and appear in the final scene alone. This reportedly led the director to film Ann-Margret’s part of the scene separately and put the two clips together when editing.

The movie ended up being a box office hit, elevating the careers of both Presley and Ann-Margret. In addition to Elvis’ thriving music career with the release of his albums “Love Letters from Elvis” and “Promised Land,” he would go on to star in 17 more feature films. 

Ann-Margret went on to have a successful acting career and has had a series of successful residencies in Las Vegas. Her first performance in Las Vegas was in July 1967, which Presley attended. He also sent her a bouquet of flowers before each new residency opening night.


‘Viva Las Vegas,’ the song

Elvis Presley playing the guitar

Elvis Presley wrote the song “Viva Las Vegas” for the movie. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

Presley wrote the song “Viva Las Vegas” for the movie, and it quickly became the theme song for Sin City, a city which also became synonymous with the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” as well.

The singer never performed the hit live, but it remains one of his most well-known songs. It was initially released as a single on the EP associated with the movie, which also featured three other songs from the film.

Presley would go on to have a long history with the city. He performed there for the first time in 1956 as part of the closing act at a show in the New Frontier Hotel. In 1969, he began a residency at the International Hotel, continuing to perform shows at the location until his final one in December 1976. 

While Presley died eight months later, in August 1977, he remains a major presence in the city. All throughout Sin City, Elvis impersonators continue to put on shows, act as ministers in wedding chapels, and visitors can hear his music played everywhere they go. 


Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here