Las Vegas Lady

April 18, 2011 at 1:35 am (7 Heads, Las Vegas Lady) (, , , , )

Las Vegas Lady – 1975 – United States

A title like Las Vegas Lady can go many intriguing directions (call girl, gambler, gumshoe), all promising tough, sexy action. Actually, Las Vegas Lady details an infantile casino heist lacking any hardboiled elements (other than inspiring cleavage). Adorable Stella Stevens and rugged Stuart Whitman are hardworking veterans of hundreds of forgotten flicks in many genres. Here’s one more.

Three gal criminals (white girl, black girl, and leader Lucky) plan to swipe half a mil from Circus Circus’ sadistic gun crazy owner. Their scheme, involving a barehanded ten-story rope climb and hiding in an empty food service cart, is ridiculous, poorly explained, and fumblingly executed. Despite supposed criminal experience, the ladies’ heist owes success to non-existent security and dumb luck. Slightly more interesting are the girls themselves. All are cute as buttons and Lucky (Stella Stevens) has the biggest, most lovable dimples. Their personal lives add flair: one is a vertigo-prone trapeze artist, another is a gambling addict, and Lucky dates the casino security. The three share sisterly love and gush about reforming from crime. It’s utterly droll, unlike the lives of “real” Vegas hustlers. There are no deaths and only two scenes of faintly implied sex. In fact, Las Vegas Lady is rated PG.

Thankfully, the visuals are at least exciting. Superbly colorful and layered photography goes miles to capture the 70s Vegas feel. From the glowing neon title montage to Circus Circus’ magician, trapeze, and marriage chapel, the location is excellently utilized, as is the Wild West theme park where the final shootout goes down. But like our heroines, Las Vegas Lady’s Sin City is squeaky clean, free of the hookers, pushers, drunks, and desperate addicts that seedier flicks brought us to expect. This Vegas is full of handsome friendly-looking folks—even the villains.

Despite complaints, Las Vegas Lady is fun. It fails at drama, action, and crime, but its misplaced cheeriness is infectious. And interesting Las Vegas sights plus lovable Lucky and her charming crew stop it form being boring. Fine girl watching material.

Rating: 6/10 Shrunken Heads. Sans Stella Stevens: 5 heads.

9/5/2016 Update:

Las Vegas Lady wonderfully displays the unique garishness of vintage Vegas. Scenes on the strip and inside Circus Circus look incredible! It is amazing that the makers of Las Vegas Lady were allowed to shoot inside Circus Circus. In the film, the casino is run by a ruthless arms dealer who beats up prostitutes.

Actress Stella Stevens was 37 when Last Vegas Lady was filmed. Several characters make cracks about her age, but 37 is young anywhere except for Hollywood.

Rating: 7/10 Shrunken Heads. After going to Vegas, I like this film a little better.


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