Viva Las Vegas Movies!

26 Apr

True story: up until a few weeks ago, I had made it through 25+ years of life without a single visit to our nation’s adult playground, Sin City. Yes, it’s very sad, I know.

But that all changed when I had the chance to go to Vegas for work, with some time for play built in! To my surprise, there’s no actual movie tour or anything that shows the sights in Las Vegas; I guess they expect you to get your gamble on and not worry about all the movies that have been shot or set in there, but not this girl! So I decided to conduct my own pseudo-movie tour, which would include visiting some of the hotels made femous (to me, at least) by some of my favorite Vegas-based movies!

First up: The Hangover, of course. Almost entirely set in Vegas, The Hangover cast and crew spent 15 days shooting on location in Nevada. However, I learned that none of the hotel room scenes were actually filmed at Caesars Palace; rather, the whole penthouse was recreated at Warner Brother’s Burbank studios. This was a fun tidbit from my tour guide from a studio tour I took a few weeks ago (more on this to come!), and obviously makes sense. As he put it, rather than run up costs by filming and subsequently destroying a suite at Caesars, they could create the room in the studio, and then destroy it without actually damaging the hotel.

Look familiar? If they turned around, theyd see me! (*Not actually a factual statement*)

And, according to IMDB, the suite the characters stayed at was modeled after two of the resort’s luxurious suites in its Forum Tower: a well-appointed penthouse and the so-called “Rain Man (1988) suite,” located on the 68th and 69th floors of the Forum Tower.

Next up on my self-guided tour were some of the locations in Vegas Vacation. Unlike The Hangover, the majority of shooting for Vegas Vacation was on location, with The Mirage Resort serving as a major filming location and home base for the hapless Griswold clan.

Some other fun facts from IMDB:

  • The living room in which Wayne Newton and Ellen have dinner is Wayne’s actual living room from his home in Las Vegas. His home was also on MTV’s “Cribs” (2000), where that same room is featured.
  • The Keno scene at the end of the film takes place at the MGM Grand Hotel Casino. The family is seen entering through the original “lion’s head” entrance, which was present when the casino was first built. This entrance has since been remodeled to look like “regular” doors, with a lion statue on top. The keno section of the casino is no longer there either.
  • Out of the three wonderful buffets I dined at in Vegas, I was sadly unable to locate and consumer blue or yella, Uncle Eddie style.

Last up on my made up Vegas movie tour: Ocean’s 11! This is a movie that filmed all over Vegas including shots at the three hotels the main gang robs (the MGM Grand, The Mirage and The Bellagio). With so much filmed in Vegas, there was just one thing I really, really wanted to see was this:

Taken by moi...

Look familiar?

Another fun fact: According to IMDB, “during the scene where the gang is watching the Bellagio fountains, the lake that the fountains perform in was actually drained on one side and a rail/bar was constructed there so that there would be room for each person to walk away, rather than turn and walk straight into the street.”

So what’s your favorite Vegas-set movie? Have you ever done your own makeshift movie tour?

**Reminder: don’t forget to enter Oscartini’s first birthday giveaway! See what you can win and how to enter here!**

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2 Responses to “Viva Las Vegas Movies!”

  1. Sharp April 27, 2011 at 1:46 am #

    looking good :’)… I would really like to visit vegas one day…

    • Katie April 27, 2011 at 11:36 am #

      It’s definitely a little overwhelming, especially as a first time visitor, but I bet you’ll like it! There’s something for everyone, with all the shopping and entertainment (and gambling, of course!)

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