The Las Vegas Story (1952)

87-88 mins | Romance | February 1952

Full page view
HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Miami Story . According to a HR news item, the title was changed after RKO dropped plans to shoot some of the picture in Florida. The film opens with voice-over narration spoken by Hoagy Carmichael as his character "Happy."
       Contemporary news items add the following information about the film's production: In Dec 1948, Warner Bros. purchased Jay Dratler's original screen story and hired him to produce the picture. Burt Lancaster was announced as the film's star in Apr 1949. RKO acquired the rights to Dratler's story in Jan 1950 and signed Dratler to produce, write and direct. Robert Mitchum and Robert Ryan were each announced as the film's probable star in various news items in Jan 1950. In Nov 1950, Samuel Bischoff took over as producer and Victor Mature was cast as the male lead. RKO borrowed Mature from Twentieth Century-Fox, whose contract with the actor required that he appear in one RKO film per year. In order to get out of appearing in one particular RKO picture, Mature reportedly feigned an injury and was suspended for several weeks just prior to being cast in The Las Vegas Story . Robert Stevenson was hired as director in mid-Dec 1950. Ed Begley was announced as a cast member in early May 1951, but he did not appear in the picture. Rudy Germaine was also cast, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed.
       Location shooting took place in Las Vegas, NV, at the Moroc Naval Air Base near Mojave, CA, and in the Mojave Desert. Colleen ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Miami Story . According to a HR news item, the title was changed after RKO dropped plans to shoot some of the picture in Florida. The film opens with voice-over narration spoken by Hoagy Carmichael as his character "Happy."
       Contemporary news items add the following information about the film's production: In Dec 1948, Warner Bros. purchased Jay Dratler's original screen story and hired him to produce the picture. Burt Lancaster was announced as the film's star in Apr 1949. RKO acquired the rights to Dratler's story in Jan 1950 and signed Dratler to produce, write and direct. Robert Mitchum and Robert Ryan were each announced as the film's probable star in various news items in Jan 1950. In Nov 1950, Samuel Bischoff took over as producer and Victor Mature was cast as the male lead. RKO borrowed Mature from Twentieth Century-Fox, whose contract with the actor required that he appear in one RKO film per year. In order to get out of appearing in one particular RKO picture, Mature reportedly feigned an injury and was suspended for several weeks just prior to being cast in The Las Vegas Story . Robert Stevenson was hired as director in mid-Dec 1950. Ed Begley was announced as a cast member in early May 1951, but he did not appear in the picture. Rudy Germaine was also cast, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed.
       Location shooting took place in Las Vegas, NV, at the Moroc Naval Air Base near Mojave, CA, and in the Mojave Desert. Colleen Miller, a Las Vegas chorine who was reportedly "discovered" during production and given an RKO contract, made her screen debut in the picture. Although HR announced in Jul 1951 that songwriter-actor Hoagy Carmichael would also compose the film's score, only Leigh Harline is credited onscreen as composer. The film's extravagant Las Vegas opening benefitted the Heart Fund of the Variety Clubs of America. Modern sources note that the picture lost $600,000 at the box office.
       Although not credited onscreen, Paul Jarrico co-wrote the film's screenplay with Earl Felton and Harry Essex. According to a 19 Mar 1952 DV news item, RKO head Howard Hughes ordered that Jarrico's credit for this film be removed because Jarrico had been blacklisted in 1947 after refusing to cooperate with the House Committee on Un-American Activities. The DV item and a Mar 1952 LAEx item note that in Jul 1951, RKO advised the Screen Writers Guild that it was planning to remove Jarrico from the screen credits, claiming it had discarded all of his work on the script and hired new writers to reformulate the story. However, in Sep 1951, the Guild, after analyzing the script according to standard Guild criteria, ruled that Jarrico deserved a co-screenwriting credit. On 18 Mar 1952, in response to Jarrico's public accusation that Hughes had breached his contract by depriving him of his writing credit, RKO filed a lawsuit for "relief from Jarrico's demand for screen credit or a $5,000 settlement." The matter also was considered by a six-man conciliation commission formed by the Screen Writers Guild as part of its pact with the major studios, according to the DV item. Superior Court Judge Orland H. Rhodes eventually ruled that RKO was within its rights in denying Jarrico's screen credit; in Oct 1954, Rhodes's decision was upheld by the District Court of Appeals.
       According to a 1998 HR article, Jarrico's credit for The Las Vegas Story was officially restored by the Writers Guild of America West in Jul 1998, along with credits for three other films, Universal's 1957 release The Girl Most Likely (see above entry), Paramount's 1960 film Five Branded Women (see above entry) and the 1963 Rank picture All Night Long (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ). Jarrico, who became the leader of the Guild's Blacklist Credits Committee, which undertook to restore credits for blacklisted writers, died in a car crash nine months before the Guild's restoration of his own credits. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
5 Jan 1952.
---
Daily Variety
3 Dec 1948.
---
Daily Variety
2 Jan 52
p. 3.
Daily Variety
19 Mar 1952.
---
Film Daily
10 Jan 52
p. 8.
Hollywood Citizen-News
8 Feb 1952.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jan 50
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Nov 50
p. 1, 8.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Dec 50
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Mar 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Apr 51
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Apr 51
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Apr 51
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Apr 51
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
1 May 51
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
3 May 51
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
15 May 51
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
24 May 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jun 51
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jun 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jul 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jan 52
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Feb 1952.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Oct 1954.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jul 98
p. 1, 26.
Los Angeles Examiner
19 Mar 1952.
---
Los Angeles Times
1 Apr 1949.
---
Los Angeles Times
28 Jan 1950.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
5 Jan 52
p. 1177.
New York Times
30 Jan 52
p. 21.
New York Times
31 Jan 52
p. 37.
Variety
9 Jan 52
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Don Dillaway
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
Miss Russell's diamond necklace by
MUSIC
Mus dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Tech adv
Supv of helicopter scenes
SOURCES
SONGS
"I Get Along Without You Very Well" and "The Monkey Song," music and lyrics by Hoagy Carmichael
"My Resistance Is Low," music by Hoagy Carmichael, lyrics by Harold Adamson.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Miami Story
Release Date:
February 1952
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 30 January 1952
Las Vegas opening: 12 February 1952
Los Angeles opening: 16 February 1952
Production Date:
19 April--late June 1951
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
2 January 1952
Copyright Number:
LP1635
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
87-88
Length(in feet):
7,873
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15282
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On the train to Los Angeles, sophisticated Easterner Lloyd Rollins suggests to his wife Linda that they spend a few days in Las Vegas, her home town. Although reluctant to revisit her past, Linda agrees, and the couple disembarks in the desert city. Lloyd immediately starts gambling in the hotel casino, requesting a $100,000 credit limit, and insists that Linda show off an expensive diamond necklace he gave her. Linda, who has read a telegram addressed to Lloyd in which Monty, his Boston business associate, reveals that their company's trustees are demanding money, cautions Lloyd about gambling, but he dismisses her concerns. Unknown to Linda and Lloyd, they have been followed from the train by a man named Thomas Hubler, who watches Linda with interest. Outside the hotel, meanwhile, Linda's embittered ex-lover, Dave Andrews, a sheriff's lieutenant, learns that Linda is in town with her high-rolling husband. Later that night, Lloyd encourages the distracted Linda to confront her past, and she goes to the Last Chance, the bar at which she used to sing. There, she recalls her wartime romance with Dave and reunites with pianist Happy and Mike Fogarty, the bar's former owner. As she and Happy perform a favorite old song together, Dave enters, then angrily reminds Linda that she did not say goodbye to him the night he shipped out. Although Linda insists that her failure was due to a simple misunderstanding, Dave refuses to forgive her, despite his continuing attraction to her. The next day, Hubler approaches Linda in the hotel swimming pool and expresses interest in her necklace. Linda then tells Lloyd that she knows his credit ... +


On the train to Los Angeles, sophisticated Easterner Lloyd Rollins suggests to his wife Linda that they spend a few days in Las Vegas, her home town. Although reluctant to revisit her past, Linda agrees, and the couple disembarks in the desert city. Lloyd immediately starts gambling in the hotel casino, requesting a $100,000 credit limit, and insists that Linda show off an expensive diamond necklace he gave her. Linda, who has read a telegram addressed to Lloyd in which Monty, his Boston business associate, reveals that their company's trustees are demanding money, cautions Lloyd about gambling, but he dismisses her concerns. Unknown to Linda and Lloyd, they have been followed from the train by a man named Thomas Hubler, who watches Linda with interest. Outside the hotel, meanwhile, Linda's embittered ex-lover, Dave Andrews, a sheriff's lieutenant, learns that Linda is in town with her high-rolling husband. Later that night, Lloyd encourages the distracted Linda to confront her past, and she goes to the Last Chance, the bar at which she used to sing. There, she recalls her wartime romance with Dave and reunites with pianist Happy and Mike Fogarty, the bar's former owner. As she and Happy perform a favorite old song together, Dave enters, then angrily reminds Linda that she did not say goodbye to him the night he shipped out. Although Linda insists that her failure was due to a simple misunderstanding, Dave refuses to forgive her, despite his continuing attraction to her. The next day, Hubler approaches Linda in the hotel swimming pool and expresses interest in her necklace. Linda then tells Lloyd that she knows his credit request was limited to $10,000 and begs for a chance to help him with his financial troubles. Lloyd again shrugs off her concern and tries to act nonplussed when she relays a phone message that Monty has committed suicide. Drucker, who oversees the casino, then informs Lloyd that he cannot extend him additional credit based on the value of Linda's necklace and requests that he check out. Later, following an unpleasant encounter with Dave, Lloyd decides to visit the Last Chance with Linda before leaving Las Vegas. As he is exiting the hotel, he is accosted by Hubler, who identifies himself as an insurance investigator and demands to know where Linda's necklace is. Lloyd states that the necklace is in the hotel safe, but at the Last Chance, Hubler finds Linda and reveals that the necklace is missing. Furious, Linda questions Clayton, the Last Chance's owner, and he admits that he gave Lloyd $10,000 credit in exchange for the necklace. Disgusted with Lloyd, Linda leaves with Dave, and the two spend a romantic evening together at Dave's house. Meanwhile, at the Last Chance, a desperate Lloyd asks Clayton for more credit, but is refused. At Dave's, Linda announces that she has to return to Lloyd, and Dave angrily calls her a taxi. Later, Dave learns that Clayton was murdered at the bar and Linda's necklace stolen. Because Hubler states that he saw Lloyd leaving the Last Chance at the same time that Clayton was killed, Lloyd is arrested. At Clayton's inquest, Linda declines to give Lloyd an alibi, but does offer to bail him out after he is arraigned. Hubler then informs Linda that he observed her leaving the Last Chance soon after he saw Lloyd depart and escorts her to the bar. There, in front of Happy, Hubler tests a confused Linda to determine whether she saw Clayton's body near the piano, then shows her a blood spot overlooked by the police. After Dave finds out that Linda was also at the Last Chance the night before, he talks with Happy, who repeats Hubler's claims that Clayton died near the piano. Aware that Clayton was found behind the bar, Dave suddenly realizes that Hubler killed Clayton for the necklace. Dave telephones Linda to warn her about Hubler, but an armed Hubler has already appeared at her door. Hubler takes off with Linda in a rental car and, after the police set up a series of roadblocks, murders a tourist fishing at Lake Mead and steals his car. In a helicopter, Dave spots the stolen vehicle speeding along a desert road and forces Hubler into an abandoned airport. There, Dave and Hubler fight, and Dave finally corners Hubler on a tower and shoots him. Later, Dave gets word that the just-released Lloyd is being extradited to Boston on embezzlement charges and that Linda is filing for divorce and remaining in Las Vegas. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.