The Best Vegas Movies to See Before Your Trip
A quick IMDb search will show you that movie makers love Vegas—and why wouldn’t they? It isn’t exactly Switzerland, but it offers much in the way of flashy movie sets. The Bellagio, the towering resorts, and the neon lights in the dark all make for picturesque backdrops.
Here are some movies that made the city their muse:
The Godfather Part II
We’d be loath not to start with what’s considered one of the best movies ever made: sequel to The Godfather; a.k.a Francis Ford Coppola’s finest cinematic achievement. The movie follows Al Pacino as the new “Don” Michael Corleone, managing his new gigs in Vegas. Vegas is famous for gambling, and dons like money, so the two go together perfectly.
Most people remember Martin Scorsese from that other mafia movie starring Robert De Niro (we mean Goodfellas, and perhaps The Irishman too, now that we’re in 2020). But Scorsese followed Goodfellas with Casino in 1995, taking it all up a notch.
Displaying Vegas in all its gambling glitz and sunny splendor, Scorsese captures the essence of Vegas in the 1970s. It’s interesting to note that most people (who have never been in Vegas, that is) know Vegas from this movie alone.
The shot of old-school casinos being blown up and replaced by newer, more baroque buildings is one enmeshed in the history of cinema.
Bonus: Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks isn’t a movie (although there is one movie in the franchise, but it isn’t set in Vegas) but its unparalleled legacy makes this list incomplete without mentioning it. David Lynch (Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet, etc) brings together all kinds of elements in this show—from mystery to murder and from… aliens to parallel dimensions?
When the second season of Twin Peaks ended abruptly in 1991, one character in the show had announced: “I’ll see you again in 25 years.” We never got a season 3—until 25 years later, that is.
And we got The Return in Las Vegas.
In fact, one episode is titled “Vegas, Baby!” The third season of this Lynchian masterpiece features everything sunny about Vegas: the desert tracks and glitzy casinos, the jackpots and gambling—it’s all there, right up with Scorsese’s Casino. But where Scorsese is dark and gritty, Lynch is sunny and surreal.
Aside from the Cinema…
Now that you have enough movies on your list to watch before you leave for Vegas, there really is only one thing left: making arrangements. And if luggage storage is on that list, be sure to check Cubby out.