Feel like dancing lately? Why not channel your inner Elvis and Ann-Margret as so aptly captioned by Country artist and actress, Julianne Hough in one of her Facebook posts.
Here’s one great memory from the rock and roll king Elvis and Ann-Margret from the film “Viva Las Vegas.”
Viva Las Vegas
Directed by George Sidney, the 1964 musical film “Viva Las Vegas” featured a young Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret Olsson. The film was regarded by both fans and critics of Presley to be one of the best films he’s ever done in his career. Thanks to the great on-screen chemistry of Elvis and Ann-Margret, that truly boosted the film’s creative flow.
As a musical film, Viva Las Vegas presented various dance and sing musical scenes choreographed by Dan Winters.
Presley played the role of Lucky Jackson who went to participate in the first annual city Grand Prix Race in Las Vegas, Nevada. But in order for him to participate in the said event, his car Elva Mk.6 Maserati needed to have a new engine.
Lucky was able to raise sufficient funds for the new engine, but soon lost it when he was shoved into the hotel pool by the hotel’s attractive swimming instructor, Rusty Martin played by Ann-Margret. In order to recover his lost, Lucky worked in the hotel as a waiter. He also participated in the hotel’s talent contest. He did both not just for his new engine’s sake, but so he could also pay for his hotel bills.
Besides working to raise the sum of money he needed, Lucky also romantically pursued Rusty. Of course, he was not without a strong competitor. Count Elmo Mancini also has the goal to win the Grand Prix as well as the affection of Rusty. Rusty soon fell in love with Lucky.
When the film was released in 1964, it started to gain some steam and rolled to the top of the movie charts. Coming off from a successful musical comedy film in 1963, Olsson was the perfect fit to be featured in Viva Las Vegas for her dynamic singing, dancing, and acting skills. This also helped Presley bring out his innate acting chops.
At that time, Presley was making about 2 movies in a single year. Critics gave the bad press of Presley not choosing suitable film roles. But for the Viva Las Vegas, fans and critics didn’t know much what to expect. The movie trailer released on April 28 gave everyone something to look forward to.
Elvis and Ann-Margret Post Vegas Film
Under all the bright lights and flashes of Las Vegas, the two stars’ personal lives were under heavy scrutiny. This included what went on after the cameras stop rolling. Soon after, it was reported that beyond their great on-screen chemistry, Elvis and Ann-Margret were also personally attached.
After the release of their film, both Elvis and Ann-Margret went on to solidify their roles in the entertainment industry. Elvis Presley, as we all know, did become “The King” and brought revolutionary changes both to the music industry and society.
Presley also continued his acting career and starred in several other films. Vegas soon became one of his favorite destinations. He returned quite frequently to Las Vegas and had residencies at the International Hotel and later at the Hilton.
Ann-Margret Olsson, on the other hand, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1962. She also earned several Golden Globe awards for the roles that she played both in television and films. She also had her spot in the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1973.
Olsson also had a great marriage throughout the rest of her life. She got married to fellow actor Roger Smith on April 28, 1941, in Valsjobyn, Swede. Smith starred with Olsson in several television shows like “77 Sunset Strip” and “Mister Roberts”. Smith eventually became Olsson’s manager. Their marriage spanned for five decades until Smith’s death in 2017.