Six Movies in Which Bad Things Happen in Vegas

By Matt Prigge
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jun. 2, 2009

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The Hangover

The Amazing Colossal Man (1957): One of the first filmic portrayals of Las Vegas was in Sullivan’s Travels (1941), wherein Joel McCrea makes a brief stop there a decade after gambling became legal. By 1957 it had blossomed into an appropriate movie destination for failure and horror. Enter this MST3K favorite, in which an officer made enormous by radiation tears up the Strip before being cornered at the Hoover Dam.

X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes (1963): Long before Dustin Hoffman counted cards there, mad scientist Ray Milland was using his “gift” to see through cards. In this uncharacteristically nightmarish Roger Corman production, Vegas proves Milland’s last stop before his grisly ending.

Lost in America (1985): The good news: Yuppies Albert Brooks and Julie Hagerty sold all their belongings, bought a Winnebago and plan to live off their sizable “nest egg.” The bad news: First stop is Vegas. In one amazing scene, Garry Marshall, as the firm casino boss from whom Brooks epically begs for his money back, atones for such atrocities as Beaches , Exit to Eden , The Other Sister and Georgia Rule .

Bugsy (1991): How evil is Vegas? You shouldn’t even invent it. Warren Beatty’s Bugsy Siegel dares to launch the Strip, and is rewarded with a repeat of the Bonnie and Clyde capper.

Leaving Las Vegas (1995): Nicolas Cage finds the ideal place for committing suicide by alcoholism. And this was around the same time it was Scorsese-ized in Casino and obliterated in Mars Attacks ! Is anyone working in the city’s publicity department?

The Hangover (2009): The Sin City bachelor party gone awry—already portrayed more misanthropically in the very bad Very Bad Things —gets another spin in the kindest, warmest portrayal of the city on this list.

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