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.