MEET ME IS LAS VEGAS is a star-studded entertainment highlighting Las Vegas, that temple of gambling and nightclub acts at those big hotels, heavily featured here. It re-teams Cyd Charisse and Dan Dailey from 1955's ITS ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER, which I posted about a while ago, another favourite musical - though Cyd is teamed with Kelly in that one while Dailey and Dolores Gray steal the show. It was Dailey's finest hour since Fox's 1954 THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS.
Here though in LAS VEGAS Dailey is the rancher on his annual trip to Vegas to gamble ... there is something rather oafish about him and his insistance of holding a woman's hand while spinning those dice. One girl he grabs is ballerina Cyd who is annoyed to find that the patrons will be eating while she dances, as hotel manager Jim Backus has just advised her. Cyd leads a very sheltered life as supervised by her manager Paul Henried and her chaperone/companion. So initially she fights off farmer Dan but they do have this amazing chemistry that they win whenever they hold hands ... so they become a well-known Vegas couple at the casinos constantly winning ... there are music interludes too, as in Fox's THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT, we are treated to lots of cabaret acts at the clubs: Lena Horne sings one number but the other one which was cut out (and is on the dvd) is a lot better: "You got looks". Frankie Laine sings up a storm too as the chorus girls go wild behind him, as choreograophed by Hermes Pan. We see lots of the famous names of the era too: there's Debbie Reynolds, and isn't that Pier Angeli? Frank Sinatra has a few more seconds playing the slot machines, and contract players like Jeff Richards and Elaine Stewart are in the audience, and Peter Lorre has a moment too.
One ritzy number is "I refuse to Rock and Roll" by Cara Williams, its a hoot and Cara tries to sink her claws into Dan to Cyd's aloof annoyance - Cyd also does some ballet, and that terrific "Frankie and Johnnie" number, as sung by Sammy Davis Jr. Cyd's tipsy ballerina also dances up a storm with the Vegas chorus girls, and young George Chakiris (after his chorus boy spots with Marilyn Monroe and Rosemary Clooney) and Betty Lynn are a pair of naive newly-weds.
We also head back to the ranch, an idealised version of chicken factory farming and happy animals, as presided over by Dans mother - none other than Agnes Moorehead, who comes to approve of Cyd. The hens in their cages lay eggs and the oil well even gushes! There is also another terrific Hermes Pan number "The Girl with the Yellar Shoes" .... back at the casinos manager Paul Henreid turns up to protect his protege, and then they lose their magic touch at the gambling tables ... will they still stay in love and continue with their plan of 6 months at the farm and 6 months for her careeer ? It is nicely resolved, and there is a lot to appreciate here, as directed by a Roy Rowland, produced by Joe Pasternak and script by FUNNY GIRL's Isobel Lennart.