American Experience: Season 18, Episode 3

Las Vegas: An Unconventional History: Part 1 (14 Nov. 2005)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, History
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Title: Las Vegas: An Unconventional History: Part 1 (14 Nov 2005)

Las Vegas: An Unconventional History: Part 1 (14 Nov 2005) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Episode credited cast:
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Herself (archive footage)
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Patricia Cunningham ...
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Brian Greenspun ...
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Dave Hickey ...
Jimmy Hoffa ...
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14 November 2005 (USA)  »

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The Vegas of yesteryear.
2 April 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The opening interview in this documentary is VERY ironic. A housekeeping lady from a hotel talks about how great things are in Vegas--how they are constantly building and expanding so jobs are easy to come by and how you can buy a house with no money down. Now, after the housing bust, the opposite is now very true. Las Vegas has one of the highest unemployment and foreclosure rates in the country--and many, many homes and businesses sit vacant. Apparently all this enthusiasm was a bit premature and much has changed since this episode of "The American Experience" first aired in 2005.

The beginning of the episode didn't seem that unconventional. It's a history of Nevada and how it suddenly blossomed after gambling was legalized. The rest is a discussion of the seedier sort of Vegas--the Vegas of yesteryear. Mob influence, gambling addictions, segregation, nuclear detonations nearby and the Rat Pack all are discussed--leaving the viewer with a feeling that this was indeed 'Sin City'. All in all, an interesting and exciting episode--full of the usual "American Experience" quality and craftsmanship. Well worth seeing.

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