Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret’s Viva Las Vegas set mischief that ended up in the final cut

Viva Las Vegas: Elvis stars in 1964 teaser with Ann-Margret

Perhaps Elvis Presley’s best Hollywood movie is 1964’s Viva Las Vegas. The King starred opposite the gorgeous and extremely talented Ann-Margret, who he’s rumoured to have had a whirlwind romance with. And now Elvis’ cousin Billy Smith, a member of the Memphis Mafia who was on set with the star on many of his movies, has shared how some of their mischief actually ended up in the final cut of the famous musical.

Appearing on his son Danny’s Memphis Mafia Kid YouTube channel, Billy shared how Viva Las Vegas director George Sidney was particularly taken by the leading lady.

The King’s cousin said: “This man was wild about Ann-Margret, just totally obsessed with her.

“During Viva Las Vegas, he kind of wanted [her] standing out more so than Elvis.

“And as a director…they can interfere a lot with the way things go.”

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However, Elvis soon caught on to Sidney’s plan and knew just how to deal with the situation without jeopardising his relationship with Ann-Margret or the crew.

Billy continued: “You’ll notice Ann-Margret does everything a little better than Elvis in the movie, especially when you see the skeet shooting.”

In that scene, her character Rusty would make a hit and Elvis’ Lucky was supposed to just look at her in reaction, but The King decided to make a face so they’d have to redo the take.

Before long Elvis was messing around in similar ways with Ann-Margret throughout the rest of Viva Last Vegas.


For example, in the gunfight, instead of just falling on the ground, Elvis stumbles and decides to fall on the soft part of the grass.

Billy shared: “That went on all through the movie and it didn’t turn out quite like how good ol’ George thought it would.”

Elvis’ cousin even admitted that Ann-Margret knew what he was doing and would play along.

He added: “It actually added to the film so much more [with] them being…competitive.”

This year sees the release of the Elvis biopic starring Austin Butler as The King and Tom Hanks as his manager Colonel Tom Parker.

The Warner Bros biopic from director Baz Luhrmann will chronicle the star’s two-decade career.

Although at this stage it’s not clear if Viva Las Vegas will feature or if an actress will portray Ann-Margret.

Nevertheless, Elvis’ Las Vegas residency era will be recreated as teased by the director.

Last spring, the Elvis movie was getting ready to shoot in Queensland, Australia before shutting down when Hanks contracted COVID-19.

Speaking with Deadline, Baz said: “I was four days out from shooting…I had built the Vegas showroom, the International which became the Hilton, and you know that famous scene where Elvis is playing that showroom?

“Tom guides in Austin [Butler] as Elvis, and it’s a scene where basically hundreds of girls are kissing Elvis, in a ‘70s show.”

Elvis is released in cinemas on November 5, 2021.

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