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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