Thursday, April 24, 2014

Dear Jodie - V is for Viva Las Vegas

Dear Jodie,

I've mentioned it to you once or a thousand times that Elvis Presley once held me in his arms.

When I was a baby, of course.

So, I have to love Elvis's music and movies, right?

YES! And not only because of that  Elvis was the only exception to my father's belief that Rock and Roll was the music of the devil, and a complete breakdown of the moral integrity of America.

So there!

My father often said that Elvis was one of the most polite men he had ever met.

Firm handshake.  "Son, he was a 'yes, sir, yes, ma'am' kind of young man."

My mother called him "bashful."

Others have more transcendent thoughts of The King.  How about Martin Sheen ...

Elvis Presley almost single-handedly changed the musical landscape of the world.

Elvis movies usually teamed him with a female lead and surrounded them with a hint of a plot on their way to lifetime bliss.

Essentially they are Elvis concerts with a lovely guest star.  These movies, I think, are the genesis of the music video!


Viva Las Vegas is no exception.

What makes this one special is Ann-Margret.

Whoa!  What a pairing!  So good, and so believable. 

She and Elvis were an item for more than a year.

And in Viva Las Vegas, she more than held her own with The King.

Elvis plays a race car driver trying to buy an engine to race.

In one of the most outlandish meet cutes in the history of film, Rusty (Ann-Margret) has a whistle in her engine and instead of the neighborhood mechanic, heads into the garages of the first annual Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Ah, but here come the songs!

A song near and dear to the hearts of Texans, "The Yellow Rose of Texas."

The cute duet with Elvis and Ann-Margret, "The Lady Loves Me."

Rusty's ginormous, dance number.

"C'mon Everybody," which is my favorite in the movie.  Well, that and "What'd I Say."

Anyway, once the songs are over we have a plot to finish, so Elvis gets the engine, gets Ann-Margret (on and off screen) and there it is.

And the times I didn't have my eyes on Elvis was when Ann-Margret lit up the screen.  Like here in "C'mon Everybody."

Damn, there is a second there when Ann-Margret struts up to the stage, flips her hair back, shakes and, oh-my-God, glances at Elvis with these "I'm gonna F**k you to within an inch of your live tonight" eyes and smile . . . THAT was so doggone erotic!  Ann-Margret was erotic in this movie!

Even as I'm posting this, I've watched this number five (maybe ten) times on YouTube. DAMN!!

Most of my life, I've heard moanings that men age gracefully and women don't.  Here is a picture of Ann-Margret on her 72nd birthday, and, if she wasn't happily married, I would totally ask this woman out!

Guys . . .  wouldn't you?

Oh, by the way, Elvis (Lucky Jackson) won the race.

Hey, it's Elvis!

8 out of 10.

What did you think, Jodie?

And also, check out Ann-Margret's interview thirty years later in 1994about Elvis, here!


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