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Elvis Presley: The Actor Thread (1 Viewer)


Second Unit
Apr 6, 2018
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Elvis Presley will forever been remembered as the King of Rock 'n' Roll. No one will ever de-throne him there. His fame in the mid-to-late fifties as a singer naturally brought him to attention of Hollywood, who were eager to "cash-in" on his image in motion pictures. His film debut LOVE ME TENDER (1956) had its title changed specifically publicize Elvis's latest song of the same name. LOVING YOU (1957) and JAILHOUSE ROCK (1957) were both successes, while many critics feel Elvis gave his best performance as an actor in KING CREOLE (1958), which was apparently Presley's personal favorite.

After his time in the service, Elvis returned to America and starred in G.I. BLUES (1960), a quickie musical comedy. FLAMING STAR (1960) and WILD IN THE COUNTRY (1961) were more dramatic pictures, but not as commercially successful as desired. BLUE HAWAII (1961) established what became known as the "Elvis formula", consisting of cheaply made musical comedies usually with some exotic backdrop. VIVA LAS VEGAS (1964), co-starring Ann-Margret, was one of his biggest box office hits, although it was followed by such horrid outings as HARUM SCARUM (1965) and SPINOUT (1966).

Any fans of Elvis Presley's film work?



Senior HTF Member
Mar 23, 2012
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Now that they're all Paramount has for streaming (along with a few UA, like "Clambake"), I started watching them for required pop-culture-kitsch value, and the musicals are...not too bad, actually. :D

Elvis fans howled that after "GI Blues", the post-army Elvis wasn't the brooding teen punk of King Creole anymore but a goofy car-racer/boat-captain, etc., but, since I wasn't a core fan, I took it in stride that, y'know, nobody is a brooding teen punk forever, and sometimes you do have to grow up and settle down into a low-rent job. What made the later movies appealing is that Elvis the actor is such a good sport about it, never taking the movies too seriously, playing his character as enjoying life as it comes, and nudging us that he's having fun with the roles, too, for what they're worth.
Yes, it was good seeing him snarl and shake his 40-something pelvis again in the Vegas Comeback special, but I remember getting the dirtiest looks for saying that I thought it was cute watching him sing to a puppet in GI Blues.

(So far as I can tell, Viva Las Vegas is probably the definitive "location" musical, but Blue Hawaii is sunk by a dopey script, and Roustabout had the great idea of getting Barbara Stanwyck to tame the King.
Now I just have to track down the legendary insanity that is "It All Happened at the World's Fair", and, er...is "Harum Scarum" really that bad?)

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