Tag Archives: 1965

Harum Scarum

Harum Scarum, released in Europe as Harem Holiday, is a 1965 musical film and comedy starring Elvis Presley. The film is regarded by many Elvis fans as one of his worst, despite being the only film he received a million dollar salary for appearing in. Some of the film was based on Rudolph Valentino’s The Sheik released in 1921.

Produced on a very low budget by Sam Katzman, Harum Scarum features Elvis Presley as matinee idol Johnny Tyronne. A takeoff on Elvis himself, Johnny is a famous movie and recording star who makes the women swoon and the men jealous. On a personal appearance tour in Lunarkand — a fictional country somewhere in the Middle East — Johnny is kidnapped by a gang of assassins and suddenly thrust into a plot to kill King Toranshah.

Johnny escapes and falls in with a band of pickpockets and rogues, all the while rescuing damsels in distress and singing a variety of pop-styled tunes. Johnny falls in love with a beautiful handmaiden, played by Mary Ann Mobley; unbeknownst to him, she is really Princess Shalimar, daughter of King Toranshah. Johnny thwarts the assassination attempt on the king, wins the heart of Princess Shalimar, and returns to America with a new act.

Tickle Me

Tickle Me is a 1965 western comedy-musical starring Elvis Presley. It is also the only Elvis film released by Allied Artists Pictures. It is said to have singlehandedly saved the Allied Artists studio from financial despair.

The film was first released onto the home video market in the VHS format in the early ’80s in a limited version from Allied Artists Home Video. It was issued again by CBS/Fox video in 1985, 1987 and 1992. Its final VHS issue was from Warner Home Video in 1997. In the summer of 2007, the film was released for the first time on DVD, in the wide-screen letterbox format.

Elvis stars as Lonnie Beale, a singing rodeo cowboy who moonlights as a handyman at a beauty spa. Though several women try to catch the attention of Lonnie, including spa owner Vera Radford, played by Julie Adams, the rodeo rider falls for Pam Merritt. Pam, portrayed by Jocelyn Lane, is visiting the spa to investigate a nearby ghost town where her grandfather has supposedly hidden a cache of gold.

Pam enlists the help of Lonnie and his sidekick Stanley, played by Jack Mullaney, to recover the treasure. Unscrupulous locals, also looking for the gold, try to frighten the hapless trio into leaving the territory, but the three eventually prevail. Lonnie and Pam marry at the end, marking one of the few times that one of Elvis’s characters actually weds on-screen.

Girl Happy

Girl Happy is a 1965 musical romantic comedy in the beach party film style, starring Elvis Presley.

Rusty Wells and his band are just about ready to leave Chicago for their annual spring break trip to Fort Lauderdale. That is, until Big Frank extends their stay at his club. Big Frank’s daughter decides to go to Lauderdale with her friends for spring break, so he gets Rusty and his band to look after her and to make sure she stays out of trouble. While he attempts that, Rusty has to contend with a good-time girl, Deena, who has no patience for guys who stand her up or keep her waiting.

Elvis stars as struggling pop singer Rusty Wells, whose musical combo works for a tough Chicago nightclub owner known as Big Frank.

Big Frank’s big weakness is his only daughter Valerie, who insists on spending her Easter vacation in sunny, sinful Ft. Lauderdale.

Frank sends Rusty and his friends to Florida to keep an eye on Valerie without her knowing about it.

Rusty attempts to pursue a few college coeds of his own, but he is constantly interrupted by the need to rescue Valerie from various Ft. Lauderdale loverboys. Naturally, Valerie, played by Shelley Fabares in her first Elvis Presley musical, falls in love with the smooth-talking Rusty.