Elvis Presley: The Movies - Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Bink, Aug 22, 2021.

  1. Hooperfan

    Hooperfan Your friendly neighborhood candy store owner

    Location:
    New York
    I think he wanted to do a scene doing his own stunts, and got hurt. So, that prompted the writers to incorporate Elvis getting into a motorcycle crash so filming wouldn't be delayed
     
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  2. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident Thread Starter

    It's Carnival Time

     
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  3. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    Oh yeah, a lot of people point to Poison Ivy League as one of the throwaway tracks, but I actually think the lyrics are kind of clever and the melody is also a bit catchy. The soundtrack for Roustabout is one of Elvis's best of the 1960's in my opinion, even if you discount the merits of Poison Ivy League, Lol.
     
  4. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    Although It's Carnival Time fits in well within the context of the movie, it's definitely my least favorite stand-alone song from the soundtrack. A far better song is Carny Town, though it should have had another verse or two to make it a bit longer, Lol.

     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2021
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  5. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Girl Happy

    Year of release: 1965
    Studio: MGM
    Director: Boris Sagal

    Plot:
    Elvis plays Rusty Wells, a nightclub singer who is tasked by his boss to ensure that his daughter does not fall for any sex crazed boys while on vacation in Fort Lauderdale.

    Songs:
    Girl Happy
    Spring Fever
    Fort Lauderdale chamber of commerce
    Startin' Tonight
    Wolf Call
    Do Not Disturb
    Cross My Heart and Hope To Die
    The Meanest Girl in Town
    Do The Clam
    Puppet on a String
    I've Got To Find My Baby

    Trailer:

     
  6. JamieC

    JamieC Senior Member

    Location:
    Detroit Mi USA
    Have no real clue why, but this is my favorite Elvis film. Ed Wood's girlfriend writes a song for Elvis. Wolf call. Shelley Fabares.
     
  7. Jayson Wall

    Jayson Wall Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I consider this the start of his “B” film years, as the production design and overall look of these are on the same level as a Dr. Kildare or Man From U.N.C.A.L. episode. Regardless of that Culver City TV look, Girl Happy with its’ lightweight story, not too many cringe-worthy songs, and a cast that had great chemistry on screen is simply breezy fun from start to finish. It’s also might be the funniest picture (where the comedy works) Elvis ever made—He’s still engaged, just barely, giving a good performance overall---yet I always found it strange he's always in long shirts and pants on the beach in this film.

    There are some guilty pleasures numbers on the soundtrack for me with “I Got To Find My Baby”, “Meanest Girl In Town” and “Startin’ Tonight”—even in the context of the film “Spring Fever” and “Do The Clam” are favorites (not for the right reasons). The title track is an earworm with “Puppet On A String” being the standout (yet “Do Not Disturb” is a close second)—even the junk like “Wolf Call” or “Fort Lauderdale Chamber Of Commerce” are in place to move the story so I do give them a bit of a pass when viewing the film….but not so much when I play the LP.

    As a kid, my parents would stay at the original MGM Grand Hotel in Vegas during the 70’s, and some of the rooms had abstract panting from MGM films, and Girl Happy was one. Being a young Elvis fan I really wanted a copy of that print, but they never sold them—and when the Hotel burned in 1980, I don’t recall ever seeing these panting in rooms again. Would love to find one someday, if any survived as it was very cool.

    Along with Viva Las Vegas and Blue Hawaii, Girl Happy is one of the 3 Elvis films I watch more often than the other 33--—Girl Happy is not great cinema but a very likable mid 60’s escapism fluff running just under 100 minutes. In my view, there is nothing wrong with that!!
     
  8. Yeah this one is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine, not sure why. It kinda loses steam in the 3rd act but up to that point I find it quite enjoyable. In context the songs work well too.
     
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  9. An abstract paining of Girl Happy??? Now this I would have LOVED to have seen!
     
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  10. JamieC

    JamieC Senior Member

    Location:
    Detroit Mi USA
    Didn't think to snap a photo? Or like me lost it?
    The old MGM was awesome.
     
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  11. garyt1957

    garyt1957 Forum Resident

    Location:
    mi
    Because it's unpretentious fun. One of my favorites also, and one I could probably watch today. Most Elvis movies I haven't seen since I was a kid so I have a kid's perspective on them. That's why Tickle Me is an absolute favorite. The one's I've seen as an adult are horrible, but these tend to be the worst of the worst like Double Trouble and Easy Come.
     
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  12. As an adult I tend to appreciate movies like Easy Come, Easy Go more than I did when I saw them as a kid due to their kitsch value, as well as the occasional location shot showing 1960’s Los Angeles.
     
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  13. Jayson Wall

    Jayson Wall Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I might have the image on a Super 8 reel taken in the room—I'll have to dig those out sometime soon to check— there were 3 titles we would always see: The Sandpiper, Dr. Zhivago, and Girl Happy. All from 1965, so I wonder if this was some sort of promotional artwork MGM produced that year and then used in various rooms at the hotel. And yes, the old MGM Grand was an awesome hotel—and as a kid, I loved the movie theater in the arcade level where I caught a ton of classic MGM films! I was in Vegas for NAB in 2019, went back into the old MGM (now Ballys) first time in 20 years, and my god, what a dump today—so sad to see.

    As for Girl Happy, shame that Elvis didn’t listen to director Boris Sagal who said (supposedly) during production to take some time off from these movies and study acting.
     
  14. Jayson Wall

    Jayson Wall Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    "Yoga Is As Yoga Does" is a show stopper! :p. As for Los Angeles, this and Live A Little has some great 60's LA locations which are fun to see today (guess the same can be said for Clambake and Change Of Habit as well!)
     
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  15. Agree! Some years back (late 1990’s) I went to the exterior apartment filming location of Live A Little, Love A Little and it was surprisingly to me almost exactly the same as it was in 1968. The pic I took is probably lost but if I can find it I’ll post it when we get to that film.
     
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  16. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I had not seen Girl Happy until today. In fact I don't think I have seen any of the remaining Elvis films in our list (if I have, I have forgotten them!).

    Incidentally many of the songs in these movies are new to me. I have all the 50's songs courtesy of the Complete 50's Masters boxset. And I have the 2 cd Command Collection. That's about it. So it has been great to hear all the songs I haven't heard previously, whether they are hits or misses.

    Back to Girl Happy - I enjoyed this. It was lighthearted entertainment that is ideal to watch on a Sunday! This sounds like a criticism, but it occurred to me that the storyline is a 'farce', which I mean in it's proper sense of the word - ie the sort of story that you might see in a stage musical or a comic opera.

    Because I had not seen this film before and didn't know many of the songs I didn't have high hopes. Actually the soundtrack was great.

    Obviously all of the movies at this point are filmed in technicolor but this one did seem to really pop. In keeping with the lighthearted story and sunny climate, there were a lot of primary colours on display. The film just seemed to have a beautiful look to it.
     
  17. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Unrelated to this discussion, although I think we will discuss That's The Way It Is and On Tour later in this thread, but I just wanted to say:

    RIP Ronnie Tutt.
     
  18. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    The backing track is not bad, true. I just do not like the lyrics, which rely on the same type of corny humor at the title song from GI Blues. It's not the type of lyric that fits with Elvis' sensibilities, and it's not a lyric that he would ever have chosen to sing. If you look at the songs Elvis selected over the course of his career, they tend to express a consistent viewpoint and worldview. So on those occasions where he sings songs that deviate from that, it's noticeable. Elvis was not a negative person, and (at least in his public persona) did not criticize others, so having him sing social satire doesn't work for me, particularly when it's poorly-executed social satire.

    I'm also not a fan of songs that feel like they are attempting to rock but don't succeed, like this one or Rock-A-Hula Baby. I actually get more enjoyment out of It's Carnival Time, a song which is just an unpretentious pop song about having fun.
     
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  19. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Cross My Heart and Hope To Die

     
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  20. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    I can't remember anything about this film, although I've almost certainly seen it, as Elvis films were pretty much on weekend midday rotation on TV when I was a child.

    As for the soundtrack, I find side 2 much stronger than side 1, but it's still pretty good overall. Do the Clam was a hit single in Australia and I still like it, while Do Not Disturb is the hidden gem of the album.
     
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  21. PepiJean

    PepiJean Forum Resident

    Girl Happy (1965)
    Some people seem to enjoy that flick but I really don't. 1965 Elvis is simply diametrically opposed to what made me a fan (which was 1956 Elvis.) The movie is colorful and Shelley Fabares is nice. That's it. All the rest is catastrophic. The film is just not funny at all for me, just plain silly. Elvis is at his stiffest (to watch him dance during the music scenes and compare them with "VLV" only a few months before is painful.) The soundtrack is terrible with a speeded up main title theme (who the hell had that brilliant idea?!) plus most of the tracks are completely irrelevant and uninspired. No trace of the edge either. It really hurts to listen to what was on the radio back then (Motown, Stones, Otis Redding, etc) and then to give a spin to "Girl Happy": to my point of view, Elvis had lost it all and already lived in his own private world. As a consequence, my "Girl Happy" LP is in mint conditions and I did not get the FTD edition of it. Never will. Same about the DVD.

    Still not as horribly horrible as "Kissin' Cousins" but dangerously close...
    I want to forget.

    TOP#17 (1956 / 1965)

    -----------------------------------
    17. Kissin' cousins (1964)
    16. Girl Happy (1965)
    15. It happened at the world's fair (1963)
    14. Fun in Acapulco (1963)
    13. Wild in the Country (1961)
    12. Roustabout (1964)
    11. G.I. Blues (1960)
    10. Love Me Tender (1956)
    9. Girls, girls, girls (1962)
    8. Kid Galahad (1962)
    7. Blue Hawaii (1961)
    6. Loving you (1957)
    5. Viva Las Vegas (1964)
    4. Follow that Dream (1962)
    3. King Creole (1958)
    2. Jailhouse Rock (1957)
    1. Flaming star (1960)
     
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  22. And here I was thinking I’d invite you over for a screening of Girl Happy but I guess that’s out of the question ;)
     
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  23. PepiJean

    PepiJean Forum Resident

    Let's do it for "live a little, love a little" which is so much better!
     
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  24. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    I have all three of those movies DVR'd, so we return to them quite often, especially as our last movie before bedtime. All three just put you in a great mood. Girl Happy is the surprisingly funny one for me and the music is pretty decent as well. The scene when they move the boat into the pool is actually a gas. It makes me laugh outloud. I also agree with @croquetlawns that Do Not Disturb is the hidden gem on the soundtrack. I love those rhythm guitars and that start and stop rhythm during the instrumental.

    I really noticed the gorgeous colors used in this film as well. That Technicolor film was pretty amazing looking. As I mentioned before, my father was a director in the days of early television and also ran several television stations and he use to talk about how when the studios went to the cheaper color film, they everntually started dissipating over time. I believe these Technicolor films are the ones that held up well over time.
     
  25. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Do Not Disturb

     

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