Why Hollywood Fell In Love With Vegas

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Why Hollywood Fell In Love With Vegas

Hollywood and Las Vegas. There are few places in America that perfectly encapsulate the Atlanticist dream of celebrity and excess than these two glittering cities, and it comes as no surprise that their shared values of glamour, risk and overindulgence have forged a relationship between the two. Yes, Hollywood’s best and brightest indeed regularly frequent the casinos and resorts of Vegas, but these very same filmmakers are similarly captivated with their playground on the Strip, hundreds of films being created based on the city as a result. But why?

The Setting

Las Vegas is, by all accounts, a ridiculous city. Towering faux-Parisian, Egyptian and Roman structures line the Strip, pirate ships are moored in what should be an arid desert, and vast fountain displays burst out of the dusty, cracked surface of the Las Vegas Valley. It’s a city that speaks volumes of the American ‘can-do’ spirit; the triumph of man over desolation; and the creation of spectacle, excitement and wonder from what otherwise would be nothing. There are few places in the world that can boast such characteristics, features that make filmmakers very excited. With the rise in online casinos, ones that are currently far outpacing the growth of traditional casinos, one wonders if there will be online casinos of the ilk of Springbok Casino being featured in upcoming Hollywood flicks? With the rise in films based on hackers and the digital underworld, it’s not too far a stretch of the imagination!



The Characters

Whilst all manner of moguls, businessmen, celebrities, personalities and other celebrated, flashy individuals frequent Vegas, the normal, everyday people that truly make the city are similarly excellent subjects of and additions to movies. Surly door staff, Italian-American casino owners, card sharks, couples marrying on a whim; in such a Mecca of vice and hedonism, juicy plotlines and excellent character to character relationships run throughout the city, and it’s no bombshell that filmmakers would want to take advantage of such a citizenry.

The Risk & Reward

The nature of gambling itself explicitly revolves around the notions of risk and reward, and in these two potentials spring forth all manner of potential plotlines and character development opportunities. Staggering losses, coupled with dizzying wins; these are themes that run true throughout practically every casino film, and a city bursting with these sorts of issues is ripe in the eyes of movie producers, writers and directors. Couple this with the potential for dark criminal underworlds, political intrigue, corruption and the like – none of which can be said actually occur in Sin City – all manner of fanciful and electric concoctions can be birthed at the tip of the screenwriter’s pen.

Vegas and Hollywood are linked in more ways than just flashy tourism. Let’s hope the beautiful relationship between the two prospers and develops long in to the future.


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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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