My Favorite Movies Filmed In Las Vegas

1970 photo of Elvis taken by government official ~ He co-starred in "Viva Las Vegas" with Ann Margret.
1970 photo of Elvis taken by government official ~ He co-starred in "Viva Las Vegas" with Ann Margret. | Source
Ann Margret, Elvis' co-star in "Viva Las Vegas"
Ann Margret, Elvis' co-star in "Viva Las Vegas" | Source
The movie "Bugsy" starred Warren Beatty and Annette Benning, based on the life of the notorious Bugsy Siegel.
The movie "Bugsy" starred Warren Beatty and Annette Benning, based on the life of the notorious Bugsy Siegel. | Source
The cast and director of "Oceans Eleven" at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, entertaining troops.
The cast and director of "Oceans Eleven" at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, entertaining troops. | Source

I didn't know there were so many...

I had no idea when I decided to write this that there are over 200 movies that have been filmed (either partially or entirely) in Las Vegas! And if you throw in TV shows, made for TV movies, and short cameo shots filmed here, the number rises to more like 1,000.

There haven't been as many films made here recently, because Las Vegas hasn't offered the incentives to film makers that are available in other places. As a result, the last five years or so have seen fewer movies being filmed here. I did hear of a movie being made in July of 2012, with filming being done downtown, and with parts of it filmed on Fremont Street. That movie is an "Escape To Witch Mountain" sequel starring "The Rock."

Then of course, there was the Hangover 3 movie, released in May of 2013, filmed again at Caesars Palace among other places. This sequel tied the other films together so you understood some of the back stories behind the other two Hangover films. Other than that, filming of Hollywood movies has been slow here in Las Vegas.

After paging through lists of 200 or more movies, it wasn't an easy task to pick "favorites," but I'll give it a try here. See how many of these you remember as well!

(1964)-

Viva Las Vegas - starring Elvis Presley and Ann Margaret - Elvis plays a race car driver trying to win the "Las Vegas Grand Prix"... this is classic Elvis, and classic Vegas at their best! The sheer magnetism of the two co-stars (Elvis with Ann Margaret), blended with the glittering extravagant scenes filmed here make this a fun one to watch! And of course, Elvis's singing will bring back wonderful memories as well.

(1991) -

Bugsy - starring Warren Beatty and Annette Benning. This is the true story of mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel. He was living in California, and when he grew restless, he left to travel to Hollywood, where he was fascinated with movie lots. There he fell for an actress (Annette Benning) who wasn't just content to be a mistress.

Together they take a trip to desert Nevada, where Bugsy envisions a hotel and casino that could be built on the land there. In his mind, this hotel could draw thousands of visitors to the Las Vegas area. His dream hotel eventually became the "Flamingo" hotel, which is still open today on the Las Vegas strip. When you walk through the courtyard there and through the gardens, stop to read the plaques about Bugsy Siegel, they are fascinating!

(1991) -

Swingers - starring Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau. Two friends hit Las Vegas after one goes through a difficult breakup, and together they take a hilarious trip through the dating games of the 1990's, going to the strip, martini bars and other "hunting grounds."

(2001) -

Ocean's Eleven - Starring George Clooney, Bradd Pit, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, and Andy Garcia. In this movie, Brad Pitt and George Clooney (as Danny Ocean) steal money from the Bellagio hotel based on an elaborate scheme. Danny Ocean is just released from prison, and breaking his parole, travels to Las Vegas, then meets up with his former partner in crime, Brad Pitt to propose the scheme. The two men pitch this scheme to a former casino owner and wealthy friend. Their plan is to rob the Bellagio, Mirage and MGM Grand.


A very young Dustin Hoffman! Picture taken by nonprofit society from Stockholm, Sweden and released into public domain.
A very young Dustin Hoffman! Picture taken by nonprofit society from Stockholm, Sweden and released into public domain. | Source
The movie "Vegas Vacation" was filmed in Vegas, this might be the last sign seen when they were leaving Las Vegas ~ My photo
The movie "Vegas Vacation" was filmed in Vegas, this might be the last sign seen when they were leaving Las Vegas ~ My photo | Source

More Of My Favorite Movies Filmed In Las Vegas ~

(1988) -

Rain Man - parts of this movie were shot in Las Vegas. The stars in this 1988 film are Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. In a brilliant performance, Hoffman plays the part of the autistic savant named Raymond, who is the formerly unknown brother of Cruise. Tom Cruise plays the abrasive and selfish yuppie, Charlie Babbitt, who's wealthy father passes away and leaves his entire multimillion dollar estate to his autistic savant brother, Raymond. In some unforgettable scenes from the movie, Raymond uses his skills to win big at Blackjack at Caesar's Palace. This movie went on to win many awards, including four Oscars in March of 1989.

(1997) -

Vegas Vacation - starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Marisol Nichols, and Ethan Embry. This movie is the fourth in a series of "Vacation" movies, following a family known as "the Griswold's" as they take a vacation to Las Vegas, where they end up in dilemma's that seem like only the Griswold's could possibly find.

Scenes from the movie were filmed in downtown Las Vegas, as well as out in the desert, and even some hilarious scenes came out of a visit to Hoover Dam. Some of the funniest scenes star Wayne Newton (as himself.) The Mirage resort on the strip is where most of the filming took place. The film received not so good reviews but found quite a bit of success in the home video and television markets.

(2009) -

The Hangover - starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Barth, and Heather Graham. Hilarious adventures tell the tale of a bachelor party gone very, very wrong. Scenes were filmed all over Las Vegas, but some of the most memorable wedding scenes were filmed at the "Best Little Wedding Chapel" on Las Vegas Blvd. South.


(2013)

The Hangover- Part III - released in May of 2013, and starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis. This is the darkest film of the Hangover trilogy. In the beginning of the movie, Alan, who seems to be perpetually stuck in his 20's, has just lost his father, gone off of his meds and is searching for some meaning in life. Who would be better to help him than the guys from the original Wolfpack? The story behind the character Leslie Chow seems to take over a good part of the movie. We didn't find this sequel to be as funny as the other two Hangover films, but it was entertainment on a Saturday afternoon.

So, next time you are home on a rainy day, rent one of these films, and enjoy. You'll get a glimpse of this crazy town I'm living in... oh and please pass the popcorn!

Movies Filmed In Las Vegas

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Comments 3 comments

BobMonger profile image

BobMonger 5 years ago from Carlin, Nevada USA

Vegas sure isn't anything like I remember from when I was a small kid. Back then the Mafia ran the place so it was still safe to walk the streets at night. The Tropicana was out at the end of a dirt road in the desert-those were the days.


KathyH profile image

KathyH 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

I can't even imagine how it was back then, although my Dad was just here, and he talked about visiting Las Vegas when I was just a kid... that would have been in the 1960's. This place is constantly building and changing lately! :) We were downtown recently and the number of police on bicycles was just crazy! It must have been so different back then!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

MUCH different! Even when the Mob ran it, it was even crazier but more "civilized". You'd have to have been there to understand how. Apparently your dad was. ;D

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