The Las Vegas Story is a half-hearted, semi-noir crime thriller-romance that just can't seem to get it together, although it does feature a slam-bang finale that partially redeems it. It's also curious that a film that was created to, at least to some extent, "sell" Las Vegas doesn't make the setting more appealing -- but that kind of fuzzy thinking is part and parcel of Story. The plot has a number of worthy elements that could have been worked up into a tight, gripping story, but the writers never get a good handle on the story, and the dialogue is never as sharp as it so clearly wants to be. While Vincent Price turns in a good performance as the second male lead and Hoagy Carmichael is on hand to contribute his typical, laconically enjoyable performance, the leading couple are poorly cast. Both Jane Russell and Victor Mature look quite good, but their performances are dull and uninspired, never rising above the routine. Robert Stevenson's direction overall is scattered, but he does pull things together for the car/helicopter chase near the end, a truly exciting sequence which stands out even today. Carmichael's trio of songs are also winners, particularly "The Monkey Song." Story just doesn't make it, but watch it for that chase.
by Craig Butler review