Tag Archives: Gary Lockwood

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.

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“.