Viva Las Vegas (1964) is an American romantic musical motion picture co-starring Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret.
The movie is regarded by fans as one of Presley’s best and is noted for the on-screen chemistry between Presley and Ann-Margret, plus 10 musical numbers.
Lucky Jackson (Elvis Presley) goes to Las Vegas, Nevada to participate in the city’s first annual Grand Prix. However, his race car is in need of a new engine in order to compete. Jackson raises the money but mislays it when distracted by a local swimming instructor, Rusty Martin (Ann-Margret). Soon, Jackson’s main competition arrives in the form of Count Elmo Mancini (Cesare Danova), who attempts to steal both the race and Rusty.
Lucky, a race-car driver whose car desperately needs a new engine, arrives in Las Vegas for the Vegas Grand Prix. Sporting the impossibly comic-book perfect names Lucky Jackson and Rusty Martin, the two stars forge a romance against the backdrop of the Vegas Grand Prix, which Elvis, naturally intends on winning. Lucky Jordan arrives in Las Vegas for the big Grand Prix race, but has engine trouble. He also falls in love at first sight, with a girl, Rusty Martin. Not knowing her name or address and assuming she is one of the showgirls in Las Vegas, Lucky and his racing rival, Count Elmo Mancini, search various nightclubs for the girl.
Ann-Margret was Elvis Presley’s leading lady, playing Rusty Martin to his Lucky Jackson in the movie. They had a brief romance and then remained friends throughout Elvis’ life. The Swedish born singer/actress was raised in Illinois and was discovered by George Burns. She had appeared in ‘Pocketful of Miracles’, State Fair’, and the Elvis-inspired musical ‘Bye, Bye Birdie’ prior to being cast in ‘Viva Las Vegas‘. She went on to receive numerous accolades including ten Golden Globe nominations with five wins and five Emmy Award nominations. She also received two Academy Award nominations, one for her work in ‘Carnal Knowledge’ and the other for ‘Tommy’.