18 May 2012

The Whyte House / Las Vegas Hilton

The Las Vegas Hilton with an extra building digitally added for the film
In Diamonds are forever Bond and Tiffany goes to Vegas. Bond is trying to find out who is collecting the diamonds and the multimillionaire, Willard Whyte, turns out to be of certain interest. Bond decides to take a show at his Casino "The Whyte House". For the exterior shots of the Whyte House, the Las Vegas Hilton was used. The tall building behind the original Hilton was edited in by the filmmakers, to make the entire complex look bigger and did not exist.

"The Whyte House" by night 
In 1971 the surroundings of Las Vegas was still a desert and like everything else, even the Hilton was smaller. It has been expanded in two directions since the film with the east tower added in 1975 and the north tower added in 1978.

"Darling, why are we staying at the bridal suite at the Whyte House?"
                                                              -Tiffany Case to Bond

The west side that was the original view in the film. 
The original hotel was built in 1969 an was originally named the 'International Hotel', the largest in the world at the time. Barbara Streisand was the opening night performer and it was on this hotel that Elvis had a record breaking 58 consecutive sold out shows, during a period of four weeks (breaking all previous Las Vegas attendance records). He would later break his own records in 1970 and again in 1972. When performing in Las Vegas he always stayed at the penthouse suite, room 3000, and did so until his last performance in December 1976.

View from the north side
The International Hotel was sold to Hilton Hotels Corporation in 1970 and was renamed the Las Vegas Hilton in 1971. During a number of mergers and splits in the late 90's and a sale in 2004 Hilton Worldwide terminated the franchise licence agreement with Las Vegas Hilton in 2011 and the name was changed to 'LVH-Las Vegas Hotel & Casino' in January 2012. But it still kept the initials from the time when it was Hilton property (LVH). Today, the hotel i called Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.
The original Las Vegas Hilton in the 1970's
The interior shots of 'the Whyte House' was filmed at 'the Riviera', where the cast and crew also stayed during the weeks of filming. In the film Bond is staying at the Hotel Tropicana and later in a suite at the Whyte House with Tiffany. Bond has never stayed at a Hilton hotel in the films, but in You only live twice, Bond is posing as Mr Fisher and informs Helga Brandt (as a cover) that he is staying at the Hilton in Tokyo.

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