Tag Archives: 1963

Fun in Acapulco

Fun in Acapulco is a 1963 American motion picture starring Elvis Presley and Ursula Andress.

While some exterior scenes were shot in Acapulco, Mexico, Elvis’s scenes were shot in Hollywood. He never went to Acapulco in his lifetime.

Mike works on a boat in Acapulco. When the bratty daughter of the boat owner gets him fired, Mike must find new work. A little boy named Raoul helps him get a job as a lifeguard and singer at a local hotel. Clashes abound when Mike runs into a rival lifeguard, who is the champion diver of Mexico. He is angry at Mike for taking some of his hours, and for stealing his woman.

In Fun in Acapulco, Elvis Presley stars as Mike Windgren, another version of his musical comedy persona: a former circus performer trying to escape his past. Mike’s circus career ended when he caused his partner to be seriously injured during their trapeze act. Traumatized by the accident, Mike has developed a fear of heights. At the beginning of the film, he finds himself in Acapulco, where he hires on as lifeguard at a resort hotel. In the evenings, he entertains the guests by singing.

Mike becomes involved with two exotic women – hotel social director Marguerita Dauphin, played by Ursula Andress, and lady bullfighter Dolores Gomez, played by Elsa Cardenas. Mike soon finds himself in competition with another hotel lifeguard, who every night performs a death-defying jump off the ocean cliffs near the hotel. This rival uncovers Mike’s past and tricks him into jumping off the cliffs. Ultimately, Mike’s decision to jump helps him overcome his fears. He decides to spend his life with Marguerita.

In much of the publicity generated during Elvis Presley’s Hollywood movie career, the press noted that the singer performed many of his own stunts. In Fun in Acapulco, Elvis chose to participate in a few stunts that the producers considered risky. In the opening scene, Elvis Presley’s character is performing as an aerialist in a circus. The scene called for the character to swing from a high trapeze without a net, 20 feet above the circus floor, and accidentally miss his partner, who plummets to the floor. Every precaution was taken to provide safeguards for Elvis out of camera range, but producer Hal Wallis was still nervous because his star insisted on doing the stunt himself.

As a precaution, the studio scheduled the stunt to be performed during the last days of the movie’s production, when all of Elvis’ other scenes had already been filmed. Elvis, who was in top physical condition, performed the stunt without incident. One stunt that Elvis did not do for the movie, was the thrilling 136-foot dive off the cliffs at La Quebrada.

It Happened at the World’s Fair

It Happened at the World's Fair is a 1963 musical film starring Elvis Presley as a cropdusting pilot.

The motion picture was filmed in Seattle, Washington, site of the Century 21 Exposition, the 1962 World’s Fair. The governor of Washington at the time, Albert Rosellini, suggested the setting to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer executives.

The Seattle Center, including the Seattle Center Monorail and the Space Needle, serve as backdrops for several scenes in the film. Security officers pursue Presley and the girl through the fountains at what is now the Pacific Science Center. The truck drives by the largest wooden trestle in the Pacific Northwest, the Wilburton Trestle, which is located in Bellevue.

Mike and Danny fly a cropduster, but because of Danny’s gambling debts, a local sheriff takes custody of it. Trying to earn money, they hitch-hike to the World’s Fair in Seattle. While Danny tries to earn money playing poker, Mike takes care of a small girl, Sue-Lin, whose uncle has disappeared. Being a ladies’ man, he also finds the time to court a young nurse, Diane.

It Happened at the World's Fair, a musical comedy filmed against the backdrop of the 1963 Seattle World’s Fair, Elvis Presley’s character, Mike Edwards, and partner Danny Burke, portrayed by Gary Lockwood, hitchhike to Seattle to find work.

The two desperately need money to reclaim their airplane, on which the sheriff has attached a lien. They hitch a ride with a Chinese farmer and his seven-year-old niece, Sue-Lin, played by talented Vicky Tiu.

When business unexpectedly occupies the uncle, Mike takes Sue-Lin on a tour of the World’s Fair, where he meets and falls for nurse Diane Warren, portrayed by Joan O’Brien. When Sue-Lin’s uncle fails to return, Mike takes responsibility for the little girl. Mike’s situation goes from bad to worse when Child Welfare takes Sue-Lin away and Danny inadvertently becomes involved with a smuggling operation. Mike, Danny, and law officials eventually subdue the smugglers. The film ends happily when Sue-Lin finds her uncle and Mike and Diane find each other.