Hotels in this story
Caesars Palace has defined excess on the Strip since it opened in the 1960s, so it’s no wonder it was selected as the bachelor party pad of choice in blockbuster hit The Hangover, which hits stores today in DVD and Blu-Ray formats. If we can’t actually travel, we love visiting places vicariously through movies, and fortunately our beloved Las Vegas has been featured in quite a few. The flashing lights, jiggling tassels, rolling dice, and 24-hour wedding chapels of Sin City have driven countless film plotlines, and Oyster’s favorite characters — hotels — often make cameos along the way. If you’re heading to Vegas and want to relive your favorite movie moments – or simply want to take a trip through the silver screen – check out our list of real hotels that have made it, one way or another, into cinematic history.
From Entourage to The Sopranos to the less thrilling romantic comedy, Fools Rush In starring Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek, Caesars Place has made its mark in entertainment. In the 2009 hit comedy The Hangover, the 24-hour stag party begins when the boys land at Caesars Palace. Caesars’ lobby, pool, elevators, front drive, and roof all appear in the movie, though the fellows’ elaborate room is actually a soundstage inspired by Caesars’ Forum Tower Emperors Suite. But before The Hangover, the Caesars Palace casino made an appearance in Rain Man (their elaborate duplex suite is the same one that inspired the set for The Hangover).
The Bellagio stars — along with Brad Pitt and George Clooney — in the 2001 remake of Ocean’s Eleven, wherein the group of thieves plan a Bellagio vault heist. The movie’s casino scenes were shot on the Bellagio’s casino floor, where set designers built a cashier’s cage right into the existing space. The Bellagio’s executive offices also played a big part in the 2007 Ocean’s Thirteen sequel. Flashbacks in the movie, however, were shot elsewhere to get a more classic look — the Barbary Coast (now Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall) for the 1960s, the Flamingo for the 1970s, and the lobby of Caesars Palace for the 80s — and the original Ocean’s Eleven was shot in the Sands hotel, which closed its doors in 1996 and was demolished to make way for the Venetian hotel in 1999.
Chevy Chase and the Griswold clan head to Vegas in 1997’s Vegas Vacation. The shenanigans that ensue were filmed all over The Mirage. Before Vegas Vacation, a scene from the 1996 Steve Martin comedy flop Sgt. Bilko was filmed at The Mirage. Video gamers might also appreciate the fact that the Mirage also appears in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (though in the game the hotel is named “The Visage”).
In Indecent Proposal, Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson play a married couple who gamble their savings away in a Las Vegas casino. The filming location? The Las Vegas Hilton. Also, in 1971, just two years after the Hilton was built, the building doubled as the Whyte House in the James Bond classic, Diamonds Are Forever. At the time the hotel was the biggest in the world.
In 2008’s What Happens in Vegas, Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz play strangers who get a little too drunk and wake up as a married couple. A few scenes in the movie were shot at Planet Hollywood, a place already packed with cinematic memorabilia. A Sofia Coppola flick with Stephen Dorff and Benicio Del Toro called Somewhere is set to hit theaters in 2010, and we hear that Planet Hollywood will make an appearance.
Treasure Island serves as the backdrop for Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous, in which Sandra Bullock stars as an FBI agent who launches her own investigation in Las Vegas to find her two kidnapped friends. She even mazes through canons and pirate ships — all part of the still-running Sirens of TI show — before diving underwater to set her friends free.
In the 2001 comedy Rat Race, the fictional owner of the Venetian hotel-casino, Donald Sinclair (John Cleese), pits random hotel guests against each other on a quest to find $2 million. The Venetian’s lobby, rooms, and casino all feature prominently in the beginning of the film.
In Honeymoon in Vegas, Nicolas Cage and Sarah Jessica Parker play a couple who check into Bally’s. The movie offers a good look at both the Bally’s pool and Parker in a bikini.
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