Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hail to the King! :: The Big E Turns 75 : Viva Las Vegas (1964)

In desperate need of some quick cash, race car driver Lucky Jackson (The Big E) hits the Vegas strip. Taking what little he has to the craps table, hoping his name holds true, our boy lets it all ride ... Lady luck please let the dice stay hot. Let him shoot a seven with every shot, etcetera, etcetera ... Cut to a machine shop in Los Angeles, where Lucky's mechanic, Shorty, takes a phone call, and judging by his euphoria over the news from the other end Lucky won big and now they have the bankroll needed to repair their car and compete in the pending Las Vegas Grand Prix ... Meanwhile, back in Sin City, Lucky runs into his old racing rival, Count Elmo Mancini. Apparently, Mancini wants Lucky to drive in the Grand Prix for his team, meaning run interference so Mancini can win the race. But saying he only races to win, baby, Lucky refuses, and then their good-natured grandstanding over the size of their *ahem* stick-shifts is interrupted by the arrival of a beautiful damsel in mechanical distress. Both men are immediately smitten -- dumbstruck smitten, totally gob-smacked even, by the vivacious redhead (Ann-Margret), but still manage to get her car going without stepping on their tongues.

Alas, while these two were too busy gaping, tongue-dodging, and trucking some poorly disguised euphemisms, neither gets her name before she putters off. With that, the men part ways; Mancini to work on his car, while Lucky heads back to L.A. for his new motor. At least that's what they said they were gonna do, which later leads to an awkward moment when the men bump into each other on the strip, both looking for the vexing redhead. After putting their heads together, with that knock-out body she had, the Count figures their prey must be a showgirl, and so, after deciding to team up, mostly to keep tabs on each other in the race to find the girl first, the men begin scouring the showrooms and revues with absolutely no luck or sign of their elusive target. And after a fruitless night of searching, the men return to their hotel, where, after the defeated duo part company, Lucky overhears a familiar, kittenish voice coming from the pool area. And as our boy spies, and then zeroes in on his objective, someone should probably warn him this particular kitten has some very sharp claws and isn't afraid to bite. Click here to read more.

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