Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956)

111-112 mins | Musical, Romantic comedy | 9 March 1956

Director:

Roy Rowland

Writer:

Isobel Lennart

Producer:

Joe Pasternak

Cinematographer:

Robert Bronnor

Editor:

Albert Akst

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Urie McCleary

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

The working titles for the film were Weekend at Las Vegas and Viva Las Vegas . Preceeding the opening credits, members of the musical group “The Four Aces” appear onscreen, with each framed by a playing card, singing the title song. The opening onscreen cast credits differ in order from the closing credits. A written prologue following the opening credits reads: "In the early days of our country's history, the West was a place from which men took vast quantities of gold. Now--at least--they're bringing it all back." Although onscreen credit is given to Eastman Color, Aug and Sep 1955 HR production charts list Ansco Color.
       Throughout Meet Me in Las Vegas , lead actress Cyd Charisse performs a variety of dancing styles including ballet, modern, country western, can-can and jazz. According to a 1 Sep 1955 HR news item, conductor and pianist Pete Rugolo, who is credited in the onscreen as "Conductor," performed with his 20-piece orchestra in all floor show and dance numbers seen in the film. Sammy Davis, Jr., who sang the lyrics for the “Frankie and Johnny” number, was heard but not seen onscreen. Several guest stars who had brief appearances in the film as audience members for the casino shows or casual casino patrons, but were not credited onscreen, included: Pier Angeli, Vic Damone, Debbie Reynolds, Frank Sinatra, Elaine Stewart, Dewey Martin, Jeff Richards and Tony Martin, who is married to Cyd Charisse. Actress Henny Backus, who played “bossy wife,” was the wife of Jim Backus, who played “Tom Culdane.”
       Although a 3 Oct 1955 HR news item adds Marlene Dietrich ... More Less

The working titles for the film were Weekend at Las Vegas and Viva Las Vegas . Preceeding the opening credits, members of the musical group “The Four Aces” appear onscreen, with each framed by a playing card, singing the title song. The opening onscreen cast credits differ in order from the closing credits. A written prologue following the opening credits reads: "In the early days of our country's history, the West was a place from which men took vast quantities of gold. Now--at least--they're bringing it all back." Although onscreen credit is given to Eastman Color, Aug and Sep 1955 HR production charts list Ansco Color.
       Throughout Meet Me in Las Vegas , lead actress Cyd Charisse performs a variety of dancing styles including ballet, modern, country western, can-can and jazz. According to a 1 Sep 1955 HR news item, conductor and pianist Pete Rugolo, who is credited in the onscreen as "Conductor," performed with his 20-piece orchestra in all floor show and dance numbers seen in the film. Sammy Davis, Jr., who sang the lyrics for the “Frankie and Johnny” number, was heard but not seen onscreen. Several guest stars who had brief appearances in the film as audience members for the casino shows or casual casino patrons, but were not credited onscreen, included: Pier Angeli, Vic Damone, Debbie Reynolds, Frank Sinatra, Elaine Stewart, Dewey Martin, Jeff Richards and Tony Martin, who is married to Cyd Charisse. Actress Henny Backus, who played “bossy wife,” was the wife of Jim Backus, who played “Tom Culdane.”
       Although a 3 Oct 1955 HR news item adds Marlene Dietrich and Jimmy Durante to the cast, they did not appear in the released film. A 6 Oct 1955 HR news item adds the following dancers to the cast: Herman Boden, Buddy Bryan, Gene Dailey, Ward Ellis, Dick Humphreys, Maurice Kelly, Clark Lee, Roy Palmer, Frank Radcliffe, Frank Reynolds, Jerry Rush and Buddy Spencer, but the appearance of these dancers and actors in the released film has not been confirmed. Other 1955 HR news items add Gay Gallagher, Charles Campbell and Ken McClure to the cast. Modern sources adds Steve Forrest to the cast but he was not discernable in the viewed print. Modern sources also add Robert Fuller as a dancer and Jerry Velasco, as the piano player accompanying Lena Horne. Portions of the film were shot on location at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.
       Meet Me in Las Vegas received an Academy Award nomination for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture, but lost to The King and I . AA 16 Feb 1956 HR news item reported that on the eve of the film’s world premiere in Las Vegas, The Milton Berle Show was to broadcast an hour-long television tribute to Pasternak and the film.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
4 Feb 1956.
---
Collier's
20 Jan 1956.
---
Daily Variety
3 Feb 1956.
---
Daily Variety
3 May 56
p. 3.
Film Daily
7 Feb 56
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 1955
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jul 1955
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Aug 1955
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Aug 1955
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Aug 1955
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Sep 1955
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Sep 1955
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Sep 1955
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Sep 1955
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Sep 1955
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Oct 1955
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Oct 1955
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Oct 1955
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Feb 56
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Feb 1956
p. 6.
Los Angeles Examiner
6 Nov 1955.
---
Los Angeles Examiner
29 Mar 1956.
---
Los Angeles Times
22 Feb 1956.
---
Los Angeles Times
29 Mar 1956.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
4 Feb 56
p. 769.
New York Times
14 Mar 56
p. 29.
New Yorker
24 Mar 1956.
---
Variety
8 Feb 56
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Billy McLean
Katherine Sheldon
Lee Tung Foo
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
Screen story and scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus supv and cond
Lena Horne's num arr and cond
Vocal supv
Mus coor
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
DANCE
Dances and mus numbers created and staged by
"Rehearsal Ballet" and "Sleeping Beauty Ballet" cr
MAKEUP
Hair styles
Makeup created by
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Unit mgr
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col consultant
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Rondo brilliant" and "Rondo capriccioso" by Felix Mendelssohn
"The Sleeping Beauty Ballet" and "Invitation to a Waltz" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
SONGS
"Meet Me in Las Vegas," "The Gal with the Yaller Shoes," "If You Can Dream," "You Got Looks," "My Lucky Charm," "I Refuse to Rock 'n' Roll" and "Hell Hath No Fury" music by Nicholas Brodzsky, lyrics by Sammy Cahn
"Frankie and Johnny," words and music anonymous, adapted by Johnny Green and Nicholas Brodszky
"Hitori Botsuchi Wa Tsumaranai," words and lyrics by Mikai Minoru.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Viva Las Vegas
Weekend at Las Vegas
Release Date:
9 March 1956
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Las Vegas, NV: 21 February 1956
Production Date:
2 August--mid October 1955
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
6 February 1956
Copyright Number:
LP5963
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Color
Eastman Color
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
111-112
Length(in feet):
10,087
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17784
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Each year, rancher Chuck Rodwell returns to the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada where he hopes to make a fortune using that year’s profits to gamble, despite years of losses at the casino’s tables. One day in the casino, as temperamental prima ballerina Maria Corvier storms out of her rehearsal in the Copa Room, Chuck grabs her hand for good luck during his game of roulette and consequently wins. Insulted that she is forced to perform her “high art” in a chaotic hotel, Maria haughtily refuses her share of Chuck’s profits, but later apologizes for her behavior. When Chuck once again wins a slot machine jackpot as he takes Maria’s hand, he attributes his winning streak to her. Returning to her room, Maria calls her manager, Pierre, to break the Las Vegas engagement, but learns she must fulfill it. Meanwhile Maria’s chaperone, Mme. Seri Hatvany, having seen Chuck, tells Maria that romantic love motivated her during her dancing career, but Maria insists that her only love is dancing. Later, after hours of losing at the gambling tables, Chuck goes to Maria’s room, where he shares his belief that she is his good-luck charm and begs her to test his theory on a slot machine. Maria is bewildered when they win the jackpot two times in row and agrees to a game at a casino roulette table, where they win repeatedly. When Chuck, in his excitement, kisses Maria, she is immediately smitten with the rancher. Despite being anxious to earn more winnings, Chuck agrees to accompany Maria to dinner, after she pleads to spend time alone with him. While watching the evening stage performance, Maria bemoans that ... +


Each year, rancher Chuck Rodwell returns to the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada where he hopes to make a fortune using that year’s profits to gamble, despite years of losses at the casino’s tables. One day in the casino, as temperamental prima ballerina Maria Corvier storms out of her rehearsal in the Copa Room, Chuck grabs her hand for good luck during his game of roulette and consequently wins. Insulted that she is forced to perform her “high art” in a chaotic hotel, Maria haughtily refuses her share of Chuck’s profits, but later apologizes for her behavior. When Chuck once again wins a slot machine jackpot as he takes Maria’s hand, he attributes his winning streak to her. Returning to her room, Maria calls her manager, Pierre, to break the Las Vegas engagement, but learns she must fulfill it. Meanwhile Maria’s chaperone, Mme. Seri Hatvany, having seen Chuck, tells Maria that romantic love motivated her during her dancing career, but Maria insists that her only love is dancing. Later, after hours of losing at the gambling tables, Chuck goes to Maria’s room, where he shares his belief that she is his good-luck charm and begs her to test his theory on a slot machine. Maria is bewildered when they win the jackpot two times in row and agrees to a game at a casino roulette table, where they win repeatedly. When Chuck, in his excitement, kisses Maria, she is immediately smitten with the rancher. Despite being anxious to earn more winnings, Chuck agrees to accompany Maria to dinner, after she pleads to spend time alone with him. While watching the evening stage performance, Maria bemoans that she has missed out on life, having been sheltered by the ballet. After spending hours successfully gambling at various casinos, Chuck and Maria arrive at the New Frontier and within minutes have won a considerable sum. On express orders from the casino’s owner, dancer Kelly Donavan, one of Chuck’s old girl friends, flirtatiously lures the rancher away from the table to prevent him from bankrupting the house. She then invites Chuck and Maria to the Silver Slipper where she performs a sultry stage number. A drunken Maria, jealous of Kelly’s sexy routine, stumbles onto the stage and joins the chorus girls in high kicks and lewd hip movements while a photographer catches a snapshot. Later in her hotel room, Maria complains to Seri that she has no skills to seduce Chuck, and then refuses to take Chuck’s call. Fearing he will gamble the night’s profits away, Chuck gives the money to friend and blackjack dealer Lotzi for safekeeping. When the next morning’s paper features a picture of the drunken ballerina’s escapade, Sands manager Tom Culdane, fearing bad press, cancels Maria’s contract. However later, the Sands’ owners insist that the publicity will pack the house and order Culdane to book additional performances. Fearing the temperamental dancer will not accept his apology, Culdane asks Chuck for help, but Chuck refuses, saying he wants only to split the profits and leave Maria alone. Determined to have her own way, Maria approaches Culdane to demand that her contract be upheld, thus solving Culdane’s dilemma. That night, Chuck is entranced by Maria’s performance during rehearsal and compliments her. Maria at first rebuffs him, but seeing Kelly waiting to compete for Chuck’s affections, Maria agrees to go out with him, thus defeating Kelly’s efforts. As Maria prepares to leave, Chuck, sensing young Japanese singer Mitsuko Sawamura’s stage fright during an audition, encourages her to join him in a crowd-pleasing duet. Touched by his gentle nature, Maria asks to know more about him, prompting Chuck to take her to his ranch. As they tour the property, Chuck and Maria’s luck extends to the hens, who suddenly deliver dozens of eggs; to a pregnant cow, who suddenly delivers a healthy calf; and to a derelict oil rig which suddenly spouts the “liquid gold” as they pass it. Later, when his mother, Miss Hattie, declares Maria is the perfect wife, Chuck complains that he has only known her one day and the romance of the ranch will wear off if she was forced to stay there. However, after Maria joins them wearing Chuck’s grandmother’s western dress, Chuck is so entranced he invites her to stay for dinner. That night, when Miss Hattie asks if Maria has plans for Chuck, the dancer laments that they do not have much in common, but Miss Hattie retorts that they will have living together in common. When Chuck and the ranchhands serenade Maria and then entice her into country-western dancing, the versatile dancer enthralls the crowd with her quick steps. Later, as they leave for Las Vegas, Maria ponders life on the ranch and her growing love for Chuck, who then proposes to her. Upon reaching the hotel, Maria announces her engagement to the newly arrived Pierre, explaining that she will spend six months at the ranch and six months performing. Although he congratulates her on the decision, Pierre secretly hopes to dissuade Maria from the marriage by cunningly suggesting the couple prove their luck in the casino. Dozens of people crowd around the now famously lucky couple to witness the winning streak, but the roulette dice repeatedly fall on losing numbers. When a dejected Maria returns to her room, Pierre happily reports to Seri that "whatever [luck] they had, they lost.” Pierre finds Chuck at the bar, and after the rancher admits that the love spell has "broken," Pierre advises him to allow Maria to concentrate on her work the following day. The next morning, Maria and Chuck, disappointed by the change in luck at the tables, agree that that their romance has also come to an end. That night, Maria performs an elaborate modern dance stage rendition of “Frankie and Johnny” with co-star Kelly, while Chuck looks on, still enchanted by the ballerina. When a young bride and groom at Lotzi’s table tell him that they have had no gambling luck, but realize their fortune in having found each other, Chuck rushes to Maria’s dressing room, where the couple renew their vows and agree to quit gambling. +

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.