Let’s face it – you’re probably not going to be hitting the casino floor at Caesars Palace, driving down a desert highway or catching a ‘90s popstar on stage at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel anytime soon.
But you can try to recreate some of the glittering lights, big band music and general debauchery at home. In celebration of Magnum’s new Las Vegas-inspired Caramelised Chocolate & Cookie flavoured ice-cream, here are five movies to bring Las Vegas to your living room.
Oceans 11 (1960)
The idea of Vegas as a mythical holiday hotspot was barely a decade old when Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack made it their own personal club and invited America along for the ride. The central heist is just an excuse for Frank, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Junior and the rest to display their ring-a-ding-ding swinging style (and occasionally sing a song or two), but the end twist is brilliant and the final scene – where the Rat Pack slowly walk down the road past a massive sign advertising their real-life Vegas performances – is a classic.
Viva Las Vegas (1964)
Elvis’ cinematic career has a bad rep, but this celebration of fast cars and swivelling hips is easily one of his best. That’s largely thanks to the unstoppable chemistry The King (here playing race car driver Lucky Jackson) displays with co-star Ann-Margret; cheesy this may be, but the songs are toe-tapping and the lead duo steam up the screen with a heat nobody was expecting back in 1964.
Warren Beatty was the Hollywood heartthrob who would never settle down – until he met Annette Bening while playing the gangster who single-handedly created Las Vegas out of nothing but a highway truck stop. The glamour here is more Old Hollywood than Vegas slick, but the off-kilter mobster is compellingly portrayed by Beatty’s powerhouse performance, and Benning shines as the only woman who could tame him. This may chart the rise and fall of Benjamin “don’t call me Bugsy” Siegel, but his creation shines brighter than he ever did.
Honeymoon in Vegas (1992)
A screwball comedy anchored by Nicolas Cage at his goofball best, this vision of Vegas is a camp classic. Private eye Jack (Cage) races off to Vegas with his sweetheart Betsy (Sarah Jessica Parker), only to get in way over his head in a crooked poker game. The only solution to pay off his debt? Let Betsy spend the weekend with the suave but sinister Tommy (James Caan). The hokey set-up barely matters: it’s the increasingly frazzled Cage, hammy Caan, and a fleet of skydiving Elvises (Elvii?) that make this romp a delight.
Ocean's Thirteen (2007)
The 2001 remake of Ocean’s Eleven revitalised the blockbuster heist film for the 21st century, but after a wobbly sequel this third instalment in the series pulled itself together and headed back to where it all began: the Vegas strip. This film is unapologetically just an excuse for George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and their buddies to look sharp and pal around, with Al Pacino gleefully hamming it up as the bad guy. Here, the style is the substance – and Vegas has never looked more seductive.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with the Magnum Destinations range. Magnum is giving four readers the chance to win the ultimate luxury holiday for two to their choice of their The Whitsundays, Sydney, Melbourne or the Gold Coast by purchasing any Magnum Destinations product. Enter here.