The Legacy of Las Vegas in Film and TV Image

The Legacy of Las Vegas in Film and TV

By Film Threat Staff | January 13, 2023

Las Vegas, also known as Sin City, has become one of the most well-known entertainment cities in the world. It is known for its main street the Strip, with its impressive hotels, fountains, casinos, and wedding halls. Most of what people know has been made known to them through movies or by actors who have visited the city during their time off. But what is it about the city that has enthralled a world of viewers, and what does its film legacy actually mean?

Iconic Casino Backdrops and Sets

Due to its legacy as a gambling city, many of our time’s most famous Las Vegas movies also take place in casinos. Impressive buildings such as the Bellagio, MGM Grand, and Caesars’ Palace have hosted countless movies and superstars. Even though online casinos with top low deposit bonuses New Zealand are growing amongst the audience, the fascination with classic casino sets remains.

Perhaps, the proximity and accessibility of a round of roulette on our personal phones make us feel even more connected to the characters on the screen. Either way, there is no doubt that gambling culture played its part in the television market.

Some of the movies which have taken place in Las Vegas have become some of the most well-known dramatizations of our time. To name just a few, the Bellagio hosted the famous Ocean’s Eleven heist, Caesar’s Palace welcomed both Iron Man, Rain Man, and the Hangover, while the MGM Grand has hosted Austin Powers and James Bond in the form of Diamonds Are Forever.

The Metaphor: A Divided City

The location and structure of Las Vegas in itself has drawn many filmmakers simply for the aesthetic. The bottomless desert contrasted by the flashing neon lights speaks as its own metaphor, before even setting all the characters and life stories in place. Once in the city, there are fewer places so filled with such clear contrasts between misery and luxury, but also no place where they are so interwoven.

This division also plays its part in many of the Las Vegas-based movies. Sometimes it’s about the rise of the underdog in the poker tournament, sometimes it’s about the hero’s journey, sometimes it’s about the dark side of gambling, and sometimes it’s about all of it at once. The contrast between the happy winners and the storm cloud losers acts to embrace the good, the bad, and the dirty about Sin City.

Depicting the Multi-faceted Gambling Life

What Las Vegas movies have done really well is portray the vast and multifaceted lifestyles of people in the gambling realm. There are the winner stories, such as Ocean’s Eleven (2001), but there are also movies that depict the tragedy that can happen beyond the longing for wealth and fame. These themes occur in movies such as Rain Man (1988). Yet another perspective is that of the people behind the bars and gambling tables, as depicted in the Las Vegas-classic Casino (1985).

Some would even make the point that the Las Vegas cinematography has been essential in bringing out true stories from the gambling world. Though not taking place in the desert city, the biographical novel and later movie Molly’s Game (2017) likely built on the widespread destigmatization and familiarity with the world of gambling that’s consequential to Las Vegas films. By opening up for these types of stories, Las Vegas movies could be seen as a social movement instigator.

Of course, Las Vegas movies aren’t all about gambling – there is also a fair amount of romance and crazy adventures. However, in true television fashion, these too picture both the terrific, the tumultuous, and the tragic. For example, where tragic romance falls apart in Leaving Las Vegas (1995), all is well at the end of Viva Las Vegas (1964).

Conclusion: The Show That Never Stops

Las Vegas has, through these films and series, become synonymous with mindless spending and careless living. Whenever the audience leaves the tv-sofa, the neon lights keep shining away in the desert city. Though most viewers aren’t likely to ponder it, the movie legacy and its depiction of division, love and violence leaves its mark on the city.

While the audience processes the movies, they have also been invited to take part in a world of stories that may be far from their own. In time, these types of stories may help in destigmatizing gambling issues, as well as give us a glimpse into the glamorous halls that may influence our phone-based hobbies.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, even it if happened on screen.

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