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Robert Harris

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Norman Taurog's 1961 Blue Hawaii is a very good-looking 4k UHD release from Paramount. I just wish it was a better film. Apparently shot under the tutelage of the Colonel, it comes off as low of budget and high school quality of acting.

No matter how good a singer Elvis was, he just wasn't a quality actor. By virtue of the bio-pic Elvis, he comes off as more a product.

From 1956 in Love Me Tender through 1969 in Change of Habit, he appeared in 31 feature films, some of them entertaining, but seemingly always with an eye on keeping budgets to a minimum.

One of the nice things about Blue Hawaii, his eighth film, with much location material shot in Hawaii, is the location work, which looks wonderful on this new 4k.

Color is superb, grain appears natural, and one would presume that Dolby Vision is adding a bit of spice to the imagery. The transfer is top drawer.

The main title sequence has been replaced with digital art, and from a normal seating distance all is well. I you look closely, you'll note that the titles aren't film-based, but I'm not sure that anyone cares. I have no idea why the original artwork could not have been copied, but it is wha it is.

Image - 4 (Dolby Vision)

Audio – 5 (DTS -HD MA 5.1)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Upgrade from Blu-ray - Yes

Makes use of and works well in 4k - 3.75

Recommended - for Elvis fans this should be a treat!

RAH


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trajan007

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BLUE HAWAII was the best Elvis movie period. I would put VIVA LAS VEGAS a close second.
 
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John Hermes

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I think Elvis did a good acting job in several films, particularly King Creole. I find him very pleasant and charismatic in Blue Hawaii and many of his other films. I believe his acting is completely adequate.
 

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dpippel

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IMO, Elvis's best movies were "King Creole" and "Flaming Star". Not surprisingly, his directors in those two movies were Michael Curtiz and Don Siegel.
Gotta agree with you here, and I'd throw Viva Las Vegas into that pile as well because, well, Ann Margaret. :)

Still, Blue Hawaii is entertaining enough and is a very pretty time capsule. I'm happy to hear that Paramount didn't screw it up. Thanks for the review, Mr. Harris!
 

Robert Harris

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I think Elvis did a good acting job in several films, particularly King Creole. I find him very pleasant and charismatic in Blue Hawaii and many of his other films. I believe his acting is completely adequate.
Agreed. Adequate.
 

Alan Tully

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Well, you're either a fan or you're not. I was born in 1950 & started to get interested in music around '63-'64, the British beat boom; The Beatles, Stones, Kinks & The Animals, & Elvis just seemed so old fashioned, & all those duff musicals didn't help.
 

Robin9

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Well, you're either a fan or you're not. I was born in 1950 & started to get interested in music around '63-'64, the British beat boom; The Beatles, Stones, Kinks & The Animals, & Elvis just seemed so old fashioned, & all those duff musicals didn't help.
Well, I'm not a fan and haven't been since I was fourteen years old and discovered I much preferred singers like Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. But I've always got along with Elvis, the movie actor. Frequently he was saddled with inferior material but when he was given a decent screenplay and/or a good director, he was pretty good . . . . . . in my opinion. Others, I know, disagree. I like his work in Love Me Tender, Follow That Dream and Kid Galahad and I enjoy the film he did with Hope Lange.

I'm probably going to buy this Blue Hawaii disc. I saw the film when it first came out and I was in my teens. I didn't think it was any good . . . . . but I'm probably going to buy the disc anyway! Incidentally, is my memory of the film correct? Does it include the old Ralph Rainger standard Blue Hawaii which Frank Sinatra included on his Come Fly With Me album?
 

Scott Merryfield

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BLUE HAWAII was the best Elvis movie period. I would put VIVA LAS VEGAS a close second.
I always refer to Viva Las Vegas with my wife as "that Ann-Margret film that also had that singer guy from Mississippi. What was his name?" LOL.

She was smokin' in that film.
 

Dick

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The acting here wasn't up to TV standards.

I have to disagree that Elvis
The acting here wasn't up to TV standards.

In BLUE HAWAII, perhaps not. But I must respectfully disagree that "No matter how good a singer Elvis was, he just wasn't a quality actor."

In the above-cited KING CREOLE he was, I think, excellent. He was quite effective in FLAMING STAR. In JAILHOUSE ROCK, he was no slouch. He was, I think, mismanaged and tossed into a pile of crap movies that were only intended to sell record albums, singing a half-dozen completely forgettable songs in films with terrible scripts that had little or no plot.

By 1960, he was squeezed into identical roles that offered no personality beyond his singing ability. Illegal immigrant "Colonel" Tom Parker bled Presley, took huge sums from his earnings, exploited the shit out of him. He surrounded Presley like prison walls when the singer was at his most vulnerable. He pretty much didn't allow Presley to take on any serious parts, just junk that contained a bunch of rubber-stamped songs, which produced soundtracks that ultimately sold millions of copies but did not allow Presley any room for creative growth.

So, Robert, I believe he was simply held back from finding better dramatic roles by a possessive asshole of a manager, and had he been allowed to continue taking challenging roles, he might have really left his mark as a fine actor. He had it in him.
 

Robert Harris

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I have to disagree that Elvis


In BLUE HAWAII, perhaps not. But I must respectfully disagree that "No matter how good a singer Elvis was, he just wasn't a quality actor."

In the above-cited KING CREOLE he was, I think, excellent. He was quite effective in FLAMING STAR. In JAILHOUSE ROCK, he was no slouch. He was, I think, mismanaged and tossed into a pile of crap movies that were only intended to sell record albums, singing a half-dozen completely forgettable songs in films with terrible scripts that had little or no plot.

By 1960, he was squeezed into identical roles that offered no personality beyond his singing ability. Illegal immigrant "Colonel" Tom Parker bled Presley, took huge sums from his earnings, exploited the shit out of him. He surrounded Presley like prison walls when the singer was at his most vulnerable. He pretty much didn't allow Presley to take on any serious parts, just junk that contained a bunch of rubber-stamped songs, which produced soundtracks that ultimately sold millions of copies but did not allow Presley any room for creative growth.

So, Robert, I believe he was simply held back from finding better dramatic roles by a possessive asshole of a manager, and had he been allowed to continue taking challenging roles, he might have really left his mark as a fine actor. He had it in him.
We’ll never know, and if the talent was there, it’s a huge loss.
 

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