Robin Holabird

The Misfits

The story of The Misfits (1961) was conceived when playwright Arthur Miller waited out his own divorce in Nevada and was impressed by the way the region's isolation and alienation affect and reflect its residents. He also saw a means of providing a suitable but challenging screen role for the woman he was planning to marry, Marilyn Monroe.

The Godfather Movies

The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather: Part II (1974) usually rank among the top five American movies ever made, which theoretically makes them the best movies ever filmed in Nevada. Despite their associations with the state, both spent little time using real locations.

Showgirls, The Movie

Showgirls (1995) is a film about a young woman's rise to the top of the Las Vegas showgirl circuit. Loosely based on the 1950 Oscar-winning Hollywood classic All About Eve starring Bette Davis, Showgirls features a snakelike chorus dancer lying in wait to star in a popular Las Vegas revue. Director Paul Verhoeven expected great success by adding nearly naked women to this familiar story.

Reno Divorce: The Women

The Women is a glossy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer release from 1939 featuring a group of women who visit Reno for divorces. Directed by George Cukor and based on Clare Boothe Luce's stage hit, the play was adapted to film by Anita Loos and Jane Murfin, with uncredited help from F. Scott Fitzgerald and Donald Ogden Stewart.

Reno 911

Reno 911 is a television series that airs on the Comedy Central network and features members of the fictitious Reno Sheriff's Department. Envisioned primarily as a spoof of reality television shows such as Cops, Reno 911 has become a cult favorite for its improvised comedy sketches and willingness to cheerfully crash through boundaries of taste.

Ocean's 11 and Ocean's Eleven

Both Ocean's 11 (1960) and Ocean's Eleven (2000) are star-studded, Las Vegas casino heist movies that rely more on style than substance.

The first, Ocean's 11, combines two icons of 1960s glitzy imagery—Las Vegas and The Rat Pack. With Frank Sinatra leading Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr., the group hopes New Year's Eve will make security operations too busy to notice robberies at four Las Vegas casinos: the Flamingo, the Riviera, the Sands, and the Desert Inn.

Nevada's Mob Movies

"Welcome Mob Bosses" read a Reno casino marquee for an entire day in 1997 and oddly enough, no one seemed to notice this proclamation that would never occur in real life—it was a gag for the spoof Mafia! filming in town that week. Movies, television, and history have forever linked Nevada and the mob in the public mind, so that audiences easily accept any plot element involving casinos run by organized crime.

Nevada's Award Winning Movies

While both the Academy Awards and Golden Globes have favored many projects set in Nevada with prizes and nominations, the state fares quite well with the Golden Raspberry Awards for worst achievements.

Nevada Women in Movies

Movies will tell you that much of what women do in Nevada involves work and marriage, but with the state's unique twist. When it comes to jobs, entertainment is a big field for women, with more singing and dancing opportunities than found in most states. Nevada is also the only state where women can work legally as prostitutes. And while marriage is common throughout the rest of the country, Nevada offers a strong lure with themed wedding chapels, originally flourishing because of less stringent license requirements.

Nevada Casinos and Gambling in the Movies

Cacophonies of color, sound, and movement, where an instant's action can change a life—Nevada casinos are ideal settings for screen stories. Even as gambling and casinos have filtered into almost every state ending Nevada's decades-long monopoly, Las Vegas reigns supreme as the iconic place for winning or losing a fortune. Movies gain visual excitement with a shot of the Strip that moves into one of the city's unique themed operations.


Subscribe to Robin Holabird