Elvis in Las Vegas

Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Hannes Rossacher
90 min

# Bright light city, gonna set my soul

# Gonna set my soul on fire... #

In the years before he opened in Las Vegas,

both Elvis and the city had sunk to a low ebb.

He, stuck in a mire of banal movies.

Vegas, recovering from decades of mob rule.

But all that would change when Elvis arrived in 1969

at the International Hotel.

There was a coolness factor, a hip factor that I think Las Vegas obtained

because of Elvis being here and changing the image of the city.

It was a marriage made in heaven.

Marrying Elvis with Vegas was the master plan of Colonel Tom Parker,

his manager.

Yet their moment of triumph had the seeds of destruction.

Elvis realised he needed the Colonel.

And the Colonel was a very forthright person.

You had two very powerful personalities.

# Viva Las Vegas With your neon flashing

# And your one armed bandits... #

He loved being Elvis Presley, there's no doubt about that.

But he loved it when he was great, he loved himself, loved his music.

Loved everything that he was doing. Who could blame him?

But I think he started to dislike himself,

and lost his desire to be Elvis Presley.

# So if your baby leaves

# And you got a tale to tell

# Just take a walk down Lonely Street to

# Heartbreak Hotel... #

Elvis reinvented would become the most adored

and caricatured performer in the world.

And the story began in Vegas.

# So lonely you could die... #

# I've been travellin' over miles... #

The rocky love affair between Elvis and Vegas began 13 years earlier

when he first arrived in the city, aged 21.

It was 1956 and the Nevada sands around Las Vegas

were an open-air testing ground.


It was a city of only 50,000 people yet it was a daunting prospect

for Elvis and his band.

We were a little afraid of going in there in the first place.

We were new,

a bunch of hillbillies from Tennessee.

What do we know about Vegas?

# The autumn leaves...

# Drift by my window... #

They were 50 and 60 year old people.

They were eating their 100 steaks in the main room.

Drinking their 50 drinks and all that stuff.

They don't want to hear that racket we were making.

So I guess it turned them off.

# Blue suede shoes...

# You can do anything but get off of my blue suede shoes. #

Elvis bombed.

It was his first big setback.

It didn't happen for him in the '50s in Vegas.

They were not ready for rock'n'roll.

Liberace was playing there and Elvis has pictures with Liberace,

cos he was the big one then in Vegas.

Elvis's manager learned plenty from this first false step.

Just one year earlier, he'd helped create the world's first rock'n'roll star

with a mixture of inspiration and guile.

He knew the importance of packaging.

The Colonel was good at reinventing Elvis.

I don't care what people say about him, a lot of people didn't like the old man,

but he was good at what he was doing and he took care of business.

He didn't take any prisoners.

"I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna do that. Take it or leave it"

And they had to take it cos he had the power and Elvis.

The Colonel, he was shrewd.

# Meet me tonight in dreamland... #

Parker had learned his trade in the East coast fairgrounds,

among the salesmen, card sharps and tricksters.

The Colonel learned to read people on the carnival.

You have a split second. That's all.

You don't have time

to learn to know a person

when you're a carnie.

He was able to gauge people within a few minutes of being around them.

# You ain't nothin' but a hound dog

# Cryin' all the time... #

The Colonel beamed his formidable marketing skills

at the teenage audience, who would later follow the mature Elvis

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Hannes Rossacher

Hannes Rossacher (born 16 October 1952, Steyr) is an Austrian film director and film producer. Rossacher has worked with Rudi Dolezal since 1976 in their production company DoRo Productions. His contributions to the ORF youth program "Ohne Maulkorb" were among his first major assignments. With the bankruptcy of DoRo Productions in 2003, Dolezal and Rossacher have separated and went their own ways. In 2008, Rossacher, together with Dolezal, received a Romy award for the documentary series Weltberühmt in Österreich – 50 Jahre Austropop. more…

All Hannes Rossacher scripts | Hannes Rossacher Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Elvis in Las Vegas" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 2 Aug. 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/elvis_in_las_vegas_7595>.

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