Siren Song – Ladies of Film Noir, Part 11: Jane Russell in The Las Vegas Story (1952)

Set in that most disreputable American den of vice, Sin City, The Las Vegas Story (1952, dir. Robert Stevenson) is a crime drama starring statuesque beauty Jane Russell as a café singer torn between her true love (Victor Mature) and her no-good husband (Vincent Price, who shows up in more 1940s and 50s noir than you’d think, given how much better he is remembered for his horror films). The Las Vegas Story benefits from the casting of renowned songwriter and pianist Hoagy Carmichael in a supporting role as “Happy,” who accompanies Russell in her club performances. Carmichael contributed three of his original compositions to the picture, the most interesting being “I Get Along Without You Very Well,” which Russell sings in a flashback sequence, wistfully recalling better times with Mature. As in many of the great songs used in film noir, the lyrics reflect the performer’s bittersweet longing for an old flame. Russell also sings “My Resistance Is Low” in a duet with Carmichael at the end of the film, and Carmichael gets a solo when he sings “The Monkey Song.”

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