Las Vegas Lady (1975) from Brainscan

Las Vegas Lady (1975) is a perfect time capsule of made-for-TV movies in the early '70's. All the right elements are there:

1) A claustrophobic set. Supposed to be Las Vegas but if you take away the stock footage you know you're looking at a couple of rooms on the backlot of MGM studios. Rent for two bills, large, a week.

2) Thirty minutes of plot in ninety minutes of film. Leaves an hour to fill with talking and talking and more talking. Sorta okay if the people talking are given something interesting to say, but if they are not... and in Las Vegas Lady they weren't... it's not okay. Not even close to okay.

3) Faces of people you recognize if you were watching Lou Grant or Quincy or The White Shadow but names of people you will not.

4) A desperate walk along a fine line between what you could reveal of the female flesh and what you could not. Titillation replaces tits... cleavage and coverage in equal proportions. They wanted to give us guys something to see but if they gsve us too much, they were slapped upside the head by some seriously nasty censors. The more things change....

All of that is Las Vegas Lady. The plot involves a heist from a crooked Vegas casino owner by three gals. The only attempt at cleverness involves a room service cart, hollowed out so one of the gals could fit inside (saw that one in a Mission Impossible episode when I was 10 years old). There's some shootin' in the end for those who like gunplay and there's a hooker and a three-girl spa scene and there is Stella Stevens, Hefmate turned B-movie queen, with cleavage down to thar.

There was supposed to be some romantic heat between Stella and Stuart Whitman, but he looks so thoroughly enervated you'd swear he'd been pithed. I remember seeing him in some stuff where he looked and acted just fine, thank you, but in this movie a life-sized Stuart Whitman poster would have done a better job.



The only tension in the whole darn thing involves Stella's wardrobe. With one outfit after another cut down to her navel there was always the chance, to the bitter end, that she would give up the goodies for a frame or two. She got close... real close... but just like TV in the 70's, close was all ya got. I had to watch it, however... sometimes at verrrryyyy slooowwww speeds just to make sure. And that, you can imagine, pissed me off terribly. So I look at the IMDb score and see something in positive numbers... a 2.3.... and I'm thinking Stella and Stuart and all their friends must have voted because it is way too generous for this inflamed boil on the buttocks of Hollywood. A zero, that's what we have here.

Sad. So very sad. I suppose someone in this abortion got something out of it. Hope so, because sure as shit no one who watches it will.

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The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics, possibly even less, depending on just how low the rating is.

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