Tag Archives: color

Clambake

Clambake is a 1967 musical film starring Elvis Presley and Shelley Fabares.

Scott Heyward is the son of a rich oilman. He decides to leave so he can discover life for himself. He runs into Tom Wilson, a water-skiing instructor who has no luck with the women. Tom offers to switch places with Scott so they can have a taste of what life is like in each other’s shoes. Scott goes to work teaching water skiing for a Miami hotel, while Tom has fun pretending he is rich. Scott is taken with Dianne Carter, who is searching for a rich guy to snag. She decides to make a play for James J. Jamison III, owner of a pajama company and a boat-racing champion. Scott agrees to help her land Jamison, but in the process falls for her.

Double Trouble

Double Trouble is a 1967 musical film starring Elvis Presley.

Despite being set in London and Europe, Elvis filmed it entirely in Hollywood.

Co star Norman Rossington holds a unique place in music/ film history as being the only actor to have appeared with Elvis and The Beatles (A Hard Day’s Night).

Priscilla Presley later claimed that when Elvis was told he had to sing Old MacDonald he screamed, “It’s come to this?”. He was eased when told that the song would not be released on the soundtrack album – It was. Like most of his films from the 1965-1967 period, Presley appears bored and tired.

Taking advantage of the latest craze for discotheque dancing and the popularity of spy movies during the mid-1960s, the producers of Double Trouble combined the two fads to form the basic plot of this mediocre Elvis Presley musical. Elvis walks through the role of Guy Lambert, a pop singer who becomes involved with intrigue while playing the discotheque scene in London and Antwerp. Guy’s problems begin when he meets heiress Jill Conway, played by young Annette Day, who has a crush on the singer — much to the chagrin of her guardian. Jill leads Guy through numerous adventures involving spies, counterspies, jewel thieves, and harebrained detectives. The latter, played by the zany Wiere Brothers, provide the film’s comic relief. Eventually, Jill succeeds in casting her spell over Guy, and the two marry. Based on a novel by Mark Brandel, the working title was ‘You’re Killing Me’ and the idea was to give the movie the same feel as that of the zany comedic Beatles films ‘Hard Days Night’ and ‘Help’. Although the movie is set in Europe, it was filmed in Hollywood.

Easy Come, Easy Go

Easy Come, Easy Go is a 1967 musical film starring Elvis Presley.

In Easy Come, Easy Go, his last film for Hal Wallis, Elvis Presley stars as Navy frogman Ted Jackson, who is about to be discharged from the service. On one of his last dives, Ted discovers a treasure chest on a sunken ship. Captain Jack, a local expert on nautical lore, is unable to tell Ted the exact treasure or cargo of the ship. But Captain Jack does reveal the name of the only descendant of the ship’s captain. Ted tracks down this descendant — a vivacious young woman named Jo Symington, played by Dodie Marshall. Jo believes the chest contains pieces-of-eight. She agrees to help Ted if the money is given to the community arts center. Their attempts to retrieve the treasure are impeded by scoundrels Gil Carey and Dina Bishop.

Carey and Bishop steal Ted’s equipment and kidnap Captain Jack, but Ted tracks them down and rescues Jack. When Ted opens the chest, he discovers that the coins are copper, not gold. Ted donates the money for a down payment on a new arts center, winning Jo in the process.

The story was written by Allan Weiss, who had written the scripts for five other Elvis movies. This film centered around Elvis’ character Ted Jackson, a former Navy diver who helps a free-spirited woman find a lost sunken treasure. Elvis, as marine-diver this time, searches for a treasure together with dancer Joe Symington (Dodie Marshall). But his final treasure is the dancer.

Spinout

Spinout is a 1966 musical film and comedy starring Elvis Presley as the lead singer of a band and part-time race car driver.

Elvis Presley stars as dashing Mike McCoy in Spinout. Mike fronts a popular singing group, and he is also the defending champion on the racing circuit.

Fast cars are not nearly as dangerous for Mike as beautiful women, all of whom want to race him down the aisle to marriage. Les, played by perky Deborah Walley, works as the drummer in Mike’s band, and she is extremely jealous of his attention toward other women. Also vying for Mike’s affection is sophisticated Cynthia Foxhugh, played by Shelley Fabares, who is the daughter of wealthy auto magnate Howard Foxhugh. Finally, representing the intellectual type is writer Diana St. Clair, played by Diane McBain, who falls in love with Mike while finishing her book The Perfect American Male.

In an ending that seems to mock Elvis films in general, Mike does not end up marrying any of these women. Instead, he succeeds in wedding them to friends and associates, while he remains free to begin a new romance.

Paradise, Hawaiian Style

Paradise, Hawaiian Style is a 1966 music comedy film starring Elvis Presley. It was the third and final motion picture that Presley filmed in Hawaii.

Rick Richards (Presley) returns to his home in Hawaii after being fired from his job as an airline pilot. He and his buddy Danny Kohana (James Shigeta) go into the helicopter charter business together. But Rick’s reckless flying and his careless negotiations with local women may cost Rick the business and Danny his home.

Disaster looms as Danny becomes overdue on a flight after Rick has been grounded by government officials. Rick must decide if he should risk losing his license forever by going to look for his friend.

Frankie and Johnny

Frankie and Johnny is a 1966 musical starring Elvis Presley as a riverboat gambler. The role of “Frankie” was played by Donna Douglas, star of the hit television series, The Beverly Hillbillies. Elvis gambles with his luck as he goes for a lucky redhead, Nellie Bly, instead of his beautiful blonde, Frankie.

Johnny and girlfriend Frankie are singers on a Mississippi riverboat, which also has a casino. Johnny is a gambler who is down on his luck and in debt.

Johnny and his friend Cully, a musician and composer, visit a gypsy camp to get his fortune told. A lady reads tea leaves and tells Johnny that he will soon meet a red-haired woman who will bring him luck.

Back on the boat, Johnny and Cully meet Nellie Bly, their boss Clint Braden’s on-again, off-again girlfriend. Nellie catches Braden seducing another singer, Mitzi. Since she has red hair, Johnny persuades Nellie to touch his chips for luck. After he wins, Johnny is convinced that the gypsy must be correct.

Frankie finds out and becomes jealous, as is Johnny’s boss. In a bit of musical theatre, Frankie shoots Johnny for dancing with Nellie Bly, while singing Cully’s new song. A Broadway recruiter sees the riverboat show and buys the rights to this new song, suggesting that Frankie and Johnny should work together in New York.

Landing in New Orleans, the musical cast and riverboat crew attend a masked ball. Frankie, Nellie and Mitzi all rent the same Madame Pompadour costume.

Johnny wants the luck of redhead Nellie to win more money, contrary to Frankie’s expressed wishes. Being masked and in costume, Frankie and Nellie switch places. Johnny wins ten thousand dollars at a roulette wheel, but when he kisses the woman he believes to be Nellie, he discovers the switch. Frankie is furious. She throws the ten thousand dollars out the window.

Blackie, who works for the boss, hears Braden drunkenly complain about how he has lost Nellie, so Blackie switches the blank in Frankie’s stage gun for a real bullet. The boss tries to prevent the impending disaster, but arrives at the theatre too late. Frankie has shot Johnny for real. Frankie forgives his gambling as he lies on stage. Johnny then stands up, apparently unhurt. Johnny was saved because he was wearing a lucky medallion that Frankie had given him, which the bullet struck.

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.

Roustabout

Roustabout (1964) is a Paramount Pictures musical feature film starring Elvis Presley as a singer who takes a job working with a struggling carnival. The film was produced by Hal Wallis and directed by John Rich from a screenplay by Anthony Lawrence and Allan Weiss. Roustabout was panned by Variety but was nominated for a Writers Guild of America award. The film’s spinoff album was one of Presley’s most successful.

Musician Charlie Rogers (Elvis Presley) is fired from a gig at a teahouse after brawling with a few rowdy college boys in the parking lot. After a night in jail, Charlie hits the road on his Honda 305 Superhawk motorcycle. He spots pretty Cathy Lean (Joan Freeman) driving along with her father Joe (Leif Erickson) and their employer, Maggie Morgan (Barbara Stanwyck). When Charlie tries to become friendly with Cathy, Joe forces him off the road and the bike is wrecked.

Maggie offers him a place to stay and a job with her struggling traveling carnival while the bike is being repaired. Charlie becomes a carnie. Maggie recognizes his musical talents and promotes him to feature attraction; his act soon draws large crowds. Off stage, Charlie romances Cathy, which does not endear him to Joe. After the two men repeatedly clash and Charlie is accused of stealing a customer’s lost wallet, Charlie leaves to star in the much better financed show of rival carnival producer Harry Carver (Pat Buttram).

Once again, he is a great success. However, when Charlie learns that Maggie is facing bankruptcy, he returns to her carnival. In the musical finale, he is happily reunited with Cathy.

Kissin’ Cousins

Kissin’ Cousins is a 1964 musical film starring Elvis Presley in two roles, one as an American soldier, the other his lookalike hillbilly cousin.

Elvis’ fourteenth film was 1964’s Kissin’ Cousins. In this film Elvis played the dual role of look-alike cousins: Josh Morgan, a dark-haired air force officer, and Jodie Tatum, a blond mountain man. Elvis Presley plays a dual role in Kissin’ Cousins, an extremely low-budget musical comedy set in the hills of Tennessee but mostly shot on Hollywood sets. As Air Force officer Josh Morgan, a dark-haired Elvis plays a responsible military man; as blond-haired Jodie Tatum, he appears as a girl-chasin’, guntotin’ mountain Romeo. Josh is assigned the task of persuading the Tatums, his distant relatives on his mother’s side, to sell their land for use as a missile site.

When he visits the Tatums, Josh runs into his blond-haired double as well as two beautiful country cousins, Azalea and Selena. The two girls, played by Yvonne Craig and Pam Austin respectively, both vie for Josh’s affections. Josh eventually chooses Azalea but not before pairing off Selena with his best friend. In the meantime, Jodie takes up with Midge, a beautiful but fiery WAG played by Cynthia Pepper. Josh persuades Pappy Tatum to sell one side of his mountain to the government as long as the military does not interfere with Pappy’s moonshining on the other side.

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.

Kid Galahad

Kid Galahad is a 1962 musical film starring Elvis Presley as a boxer. The film was released by United Artists.

The movie was filmed on location in Idyllwild, California and is noted for having a strong supporting cast. Most critics rate it as one of Presley’s best performances.

The film is a remake of the 1937 original version starring Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis, and Humphrey Bogart. UA had owned the original version at the time of the remake’s release.

Willy Grogan is a small-time boxing promoter, based in the Catskills resort region of New York. He has debts to pay and often pays too little attention to the woman who loves him, Dolly.

Into their midst comes Walter, a young man recently discharged from the Army who loves the peaceful setting almost as much as he loves working on old cars. Walter’s simple goal is to go into business as a mechanic at a nearby garage.

One day he intercedes on a lady’s behalf and decks one of Willy’s top fighters. Willy is persuaded to let this “Galahad” take a shot in a legitimate ring. Both men are reluctant, but each has a need for the money. Walter begins working out under the watchful eye of Willy’s top trainer, Lew.

The attractive Rose, younger sister of Willy, shows up unexpectedly. She and Walter almost immediately hit it off. The obsessively protective Willy doesn’t want his kid sister falling for some “grease monkey” mechanic and two-bit boxer. Dolly is envious of the young couple’s romance and resents Willy’s interference.

After several successes in the ring, Walter is readied for his biggest fight. Gangsters want him to take a dive so that Willy can pay off his debts to them, but “Galahad” throws his muscle behind Willy and saves the day. He wins the big fight as well as Willy’s approval, retiring undefeated to his vintage car and his new love.

Blue Hawaii

Blue Hawaii is a 1961 musical film set in the state of Hawaii and starring Elvis Presley.

Chadwick Gates (Presley) has just gotten out of the Army, and is happy to be back in Hawaii with his surfboard, his beach buddies, and his girlfriend. His mother wants him to go to work at the Great Southern Hawaiian Fruit Company, but Chad is reluctant. So Chad goes to work as a tour guide at his girlfriend’s agency.

Although it is mentioned in the film that Chad’s parents live in Kahala, one of the most expensive and exclusive areas of Honolulu as of 1961, the view from their lanai (porch or terrace) shows Diamond Head as it appears from Waikiki and downtown Honolulu. This is an error because Kahala is located on the other side of Diamond Head from Waikiki.

There were several scenes filmed in and around the famous Waikiki Beach, including the opening driving scenes as well as the office scene across the street from the “International Market”. The hotel scenes where Chad’s clients stayed and where he picked up his tour group were filmed on the property of what is now known as the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki Beach. This is also where Chad and his girlfriend spent time on the beach.

“Blue Hawaii” was the first of three Elvis movies to be filmed in Hawaii, followed by “Girls! Girls! Girls!” in 1962 and “Paradise, Hawaiian Style” in 1965.

Angela Lansbury, who played the mother of Elvis, was not yet 36 years old in 1961 when the movie was released. Elvis was 26 years old. Lansbury would later comment that her appearance here was one of the worst in her career.

It could be argued that this film set the tone for Presley’s future film career: pretty locations, gorgeous girls, and mediocre songs. Almost all of these musical-comedy films performed well, whereas more “serious” films such as Flaming Star, Wild in the Country and Charro!, did poorly at the box office. Blue Hawaii on the other hand was one of Elvis’ most successful films.

While some of the songs on the soundtrack album can fairly be described as “inferior,” others compare favorably to his non-soundtrack recordings. Presley’s remake of the title song did justice to the Academy Award-winning song, while also introducing it to an audience too young to remember Bing Crosby’s original hit version. His recording of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” compares quite well to his other Top 10 hits, and his recordings of “Rock-A-Hula Baby” and “Ku-u-ipo (Hawaiian Sweetheart)” are notable as well.

The “Blue Hawaii” soundtrack album was on the Billboard Pop Albums chart for 79 weeks, spent 20 weeks at #1 on the Pop Albums chart, and sold more than 2-million copies.

Wild in the Country

Wild in the Country is a 1961 film drama starring Elvis Presley in which he portrays a troubled young man from a dysfunctional family who pursues a literary career.

The movie starts off with Glenn Tyler (Elvis Presley) getting into a fight with, and badly injuring, his drunken brother. A court releases him on probation into the care of his uncle in a small town, appointing Irene Sperry (Hope Lange) to give him psychological counselling. Marked as a trouble-maker, he is falsely suspected of various misdemeanors including an affair with Irene. Eventually shown to be innocent, he leaves to go to college and become a writer. Filmed on location in the Napa Valley and in Hollywood Studios, although it is set in the Shenandoah Valley, the cast and crew created a public sensation in Napa for over two months of filming. The motel that they stayed at, Casa Beliveau (since torn down) was so mobbed that Elvis had to be moved to the St. Helena home that was being used in the film as Irene Sperry’s (Hope Lange) house where Glenn Tyler (Elvis) went for counseling. Now a top-rated Inn in the Napa Valley and known as The Ink House you can still stay in the room that Elvis slept in for over two months. Other Napa Valley locations figuring prominently in the movie are the downtown main street of the town of Calistoga where Glenn Tyler’s uncle and his cousin (Tuesday Weld) lived, the Silverado Trail between Calistoga and St. Helena, the old movie theater still in operation in downtown St. Helena where the dancehall scenes with Elvis and Tuesday Weld were filmed, and the hills and farmland behind what is now Whitehall Lane Winery just north of the town of Rutherford. At the Ink House you will recognize the house, the backyard where a drunken Glenn Tyler tries to hose down Irene Sperry through the porch window, and the 1885 barn where Irene Sperry drives her DeSoto in to attempt suicide when she is so distraught over her suspected romance with Glenn and the scandal it has caused.

This was Elvis’ last dramatic lead role until Charro! as his next film, Blue Hawaii, was his first big budget musical and was a box office sensation. All his subsequent movies were largely formula musicals which were quite lucrative but never gave him the chance to develop his potential as a serious actor that was very apparent in “Wild in the Country“.

Flaming Star

Flaming Star is a 1960 western film starring Elvis Presley, based on the book Flaming Lance (1958) by Clair Huffaker. A dramatic role, it is said that Elvis Presley gave one of his best acting performances as the mixed-blood “Pacer Burton.” The film’s working title was Black Star. Flaming Star was directed by Don Siegel.

Elvis Presley plays Pacer Burton, the son of a Kiowa mother and a Texas rancher father. Along with his half-brother, Clint, the four of them live a typical life on the Texas frontier. Life soon becomes anything but typical when a nearby tribe of Kiowa begin raiding neighboring homesteads. Pacer soon finds himself caught between the two worlds, part of both but belonging to neither.

Pacer (Elvis Presley) and Clint (Steve Forrest) Burton arrives at their parents’ ranch in the early evening. They are welcomed with a surprise party for Clint’s birthday by their parents, Neddy (Dolores Del Rio) and Sam (John Mclntire), and some friends. Among them are Tom (L.Q.Jones) and Will (Douglas Dick) Howard and their sister Dorothy (Anne Benton). The party breaks up early because the Howards have a ten-mile ride. A Kiowa war party, led by Buffalo Horn (Rudolpho Acosta), is waiting for the Howards and everyone is killed and their ranch burned.

A posse of white men led by Dred Pierce (Karl Swenson) arrives at the Burtons’ ranch. They demand a declaration that the Burtons are on their side. They insult Neddy (who is a Kiowa), which results in a shooting incident, after which the posse shoots some of the Burton cattle and scatters the rest. The next day Sam and Clint go to catch the remaining of the cattle, and Pacer stays to guard his mother. Pacer feeds two trappers, who, while he is outside, humiliate Neddy. She hits one with a ladle, and they fly when Pacer tells them that Sam and Clint have returned.

The next morning, Buffalo Horn arrives and asks Pacer to join him. When Pacer refuses, he is told that his ranch will be the next to go. Pacer and Neddy decide to go with Buffalo Horn to the Kiowa camp to try to stop this impending disaster for everyone. Neddy is refused by the Kiowa but Pacer is accepted and allowed to return home before making his decision. He and Neddy are escorted by his boyhood friend, Two Moons (Perry Lopez) . Will Howard has survived the massacre and is wandering the countryside, obsessed with vengeance. He kills Two Moons and badly wounds Neddy. At the ranch Sam takes care of his wife. But when he leaves to water the stock, she follows some deep instinct to go into the mountains in search of her ‘Flaming star’ of death. Sam sees her, and she dies in his arms. Pacer, Clint, Roz and the doctor arrive too late. In his grief, Pacer curses all those who delayed the doctor and decides to join the Kiowa.

Clint, decides to fight the Indians and attacks them in the middle of the night. He kills the chief, but gets badly wounded. In order to save his brother Pacer leaves the Kiowa again and ties his brother on his horse and sends him to the city. He keeps the Indians busy until he’s sure his brother is safe. Clint wakes up in bed and wants to get up to help his brother. He sees Pacer arriving in the city and wants to take care of him. But Pacer, who is still too much Kiowa knows his time has come and rides towards his flaming star.

Andy Warhol’s famous diptych of Presley as a cowboy came from a shot in this movie.

Loving You

Loving You is an American motion picture directed by Hal Kanter, released by Paramount Pictures on July 9, 1957. The film stars Elvis Presley, Lizabeth Scott (in her final major film role) and Wendell Corey. It is Presley’s second movie, his first in Technicolor and the first with Elvis as the primary focus. The story mirrors that of his own rise to fame, and Presley’s mother and father appear as extras in the audience during the final song, “Got A Lot Of Livin’ To Do.” After his mother’s death, Presley refused to ever watch the film again.

In Presley’s first picture, Love Me Tender, he acted in a supporting role as part of a larger story for the first and last time in his film career. His second film, Loving You, sets the precedent for the remaining two films he would make before going into the army, Jailhouse Rock and King Creole, that of a rising young singing star, and of the effects that fame has on him and the people around him.

Loving You was the first Elvis Presley film in color. Presley’s parents were cast as audience members. After his mother’s death in 1958, Elvis never watched this movie again. Comedian Jay Leno said that he decided to become an entertainer after seeing this movie.