Howard Hughes' latest effort, The Las Vegas Story, has the same old Hughesian ingredients: Jane Russell's bust, Vincent Price's portrayal of a rich degenerate, a luxurious locale. (The Fabulous Hotel in Las Vegas), and a spectacular chase sequence near the finish. Only this time Victor Mature (not Robert Mitchum) plays the hero, and Hoagy Carmichael has been thrown in for kicks too, along with an incredible diamond necklace rented from Cartier, Inc. The result, as usual, is a preposterously silly picture.
When Jane Russell, an ex-night club singer, and her husband (Vincent Price) arrive at Las Vegas, everything starts happening at once: the necklace disappears, a night-club owner is killed, Mr. Price gets thrown in the clink, Miss Russell is kidnapped, and before long ex-boy-friend Mature is playing cat-and-mouse with the kidnap car in a helicopter over the Nevada desert.
The performances during these goings-on are ludicrous. Miss Russell once again tries to compensate for an inability to change her facial expression by changing her costume as frequently as possible. Mature simply wiggles his ears, whether hanging by his hands from an iron bar twenty feet off the ground or watching singer Russell sulk beside a piano. Hoagy Carmichael looks stupid as a troubadour-hillbilly-cupid type, and Vincent Price looks just plain tired.
Dialogue and direction are no better. In fact, The Las Vegas Story, at best, is a pretty perverse piece of entertainment. Unfortunately, not even this can be said for the co-feature, Harem Girl, which is merely dull. This weird little mess features Joan Davis, an aging comedienne, and a group of obese Arabs. In my book, Miss Russell gets the nod over Miss Davis and Arabs any day.