Sin and redemption. The ridiculous and the sublime. The carnivalesque excess of the Strip and the barrenness of the desert surrounding the city. Visited by millions of fortune seekers – and starry-eyed lovers – each year, Las Vegas is a city with as many apparent contradictions as Elvis impersonators, and this complexity is reflected in the diversity of films that have been shot on location there.
A copiously illustrated retrospective of Vegas’s appearances on the big screen, this new volume in Intellect’s World Film Locations series presents synopses of scenes from a broad selection of films – from big-budget blockbusters like Oceans 11 to acclaimed classics Rain Man, Casino, and The Godfather to cult favorites like Showgirls and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Insightful essays throughout explore a range of topics, including the Rat Pack’s Las Vegas, the cinematized Strip, Las Vegas as a frequent backdrop for science fiction, and the various film portrayals of iconic pop-cultural figures like Elvis and Frank Sinatra. Rounding out this information are film stills juxtaposed with photographs of the locations as they appear today.
World Film Locations: Las Vegas goes beyond the clichés of Sin City to examine what Hal Rothman and Mike Davis called 'the grit beneath the glitter', thus providing an opportunity to find out more about the unique position Vegas occupies in the popular imagination.
"Las Vegas exists in our minds as fantasies, dreams and images, as well as in echos of our experiences. Films we have viewed may even have preceded, in fact, a tourist trip there. Las Vegas looms larger than our ability to circumscribe its experience. Marcelline Block's edited essays nail down these different dimensions, existing at once both real and mythical, and as created by cinematic uses of the Las Vegas mise en scene. Ranging from science fiction to the Rat Pack's original Ocean's 11, now reproduced and advancing in numbers to 13, and America's celebration of excess, to James Bond, the Corleones, Hunter Thompson's famous visit, to Rocky Balboa, essays are backed up by an excellent editor's introduction, a filmography, and reviews of specific scenes. Containing a veritable treasure of reproduced images, this book is the one to have for any fan of Vegas' pleasure palaces and culture or for cinemaphiles throughout the world who will revel in its film stills and accompanying texts."
Mark Gottdiener, co-author (with Claudia Collins and David Dickens) of Las Vegas: The Social Production of an All-American City