Elvis Presley: The Movies - Appreciation Thread

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

  1. Yeah, just about. Here’s what’s on Blu-ray currently:

    Love Me Tender
    Jailhouse Rock
    King Creole
    Wild In The Country
    Flaming Star
    Follow That Dream
    Kid Galahad
    It Happened At The World’s Fair
    Tickle Me (German Import)
    Frankie & Johnny
    Clambake
    Change of Habit (German import, but scheduled to be released in US)

    That’s The Way It Is
    On Tour

    If you look at the studios who own those releases it’s easy to see why we have what we have vs. the studios behind the non-Blu other films.
     
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  2. PH416156

    PH416156 Alea Iacta Est

    Location:
    Europe
    There's Viva Las Vegas,too :)

    Didn't know about the two German dics
     
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  3. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident Thread Starter

    That change in persona is what is most notable for me too. He went from portraying a teenage persona in the 50's films to confident 'man about town' in a number of the 60's films.

    But look at the changes in his life between filming King Creole and GI Blues. Not only being drafted into the army, but the death of his mother and owning a mansion!
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2021
  4. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    An excellent point, showing that the roles were very specifically written for Elvis I presume.
     
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  5. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Location:
    Honolulu
    I have Viva Las Vegas on blu, in fact, you can get it on Amazon for $10. Change Of Habit will be released in the US in mid-October.
     
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  6. Panther

    Panther Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    G.I. Blues

    There are two very positive points about this otherwise unremarkable film:
    1) Elvis never looked better -- I mean, he was really fit, aged 25, being fresh from the army and thus in good shape (unlike a year later). He's quite believable in the role.
    2) The soundtrack is pretty good, and most (all?) of the songs in the film were specifically written for the film (again, unlike most films to follow). In that sense, this one is more of a standard 'musical' and less of an 'Elvis movie'.

    These points aside, I do find this movie a bit of a snooze-fest, despite some charming scenes. The basic plot of charming-dude-pursues-a-girl-and-sings-some-songs-along-the-way would get dumber and dumber as the next six or seven years progressed, but it's not totally stupid yet.

    Never mind the movie, though -- check out the Elvis music in 1960! This is by far the best year ever for Elvis albums:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    These are all superb albums, and offer a momentary insight into what could have been from, say, 1960 to 1968, if Elvis hadn't been on the Colonel's treadmill and churning out increasingly dispiriting Hollywood product. G.I. Blues is actually the weakest of these three records, but I still think it's pretty good. The title-track is a classic, for me.
     
  7. PepiJean

    PepiJean Forum Resident

    I've got to kinda disagree here: 1960 was a successful year for sure but the wrong way. "Elvis is Back!" was one of his best LP - if not the very best -, "His hand in mine" was a challenge and "G.I.Blues" was the fluffy soundtrack, his less interesting output so far (in my opinion). Which of them sold the most? You know it: the movie soundtrack spent 10 weeks at #1 in something of a 2 years run. "Back!" did not even reach #1, just like the gospel album but you did not expect it to do so. Apart from that, there were the single choices: three ballads in a row when SUCH A NIGHT should have been there. While some people may say that Elvis was "evolving" or becoming more "matured", I can understand that many fans from the first hour were shocked and felt kind of bretrayed.

    G.I. BLUES, Paramount 1960
    While Elvis surely looks good in his military costume, it is still quite a shock to analyze his acting back in "King Creole" and the way he handles "G.I. Blues". I love comedies but that one is perhaps too lightweight for my taste plus the soundtrack was never a favorite: those oompah bavarian tracks or that very lame cover of BLUE SUEDE SHOES don't do it to me. OK, let's be fair: SHOPPIN' AROUND is fun and POCKETFUL OF RAINBOWS is beautifully sung. Still, at the end, It's a little bit embarrassing for me to watch Elvis in "G.I. Blues" (doing faces and singing to a doll...), a feeling I had never had with the previous films. So my top #5 goes like this so far:

    5- G.I. Blues
    4- Love Me Tender
    3- Loving You
    2- King Creole
    1- Jailhouse Rock
     
  8. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Talking about Blue Suede Shoes, it's interesting how in the film a character goes over to a jukebox and plays Blue Suede Shoes by a guy called Elvis Presley! A knowing wink.

    I guess we will see as we go through the rest of the films, but is there another example of the real life Elvis making an appearance in a film where Elvis is playing a character?
     
  9. PepiJean

    PepiJean Forum Resident

    Well, you can see some posters of the movie "Blue Hawaii" (1961) in "Girls, Girls, Girls" (1962). Which is pretty fun!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    That's cool!
     
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  11. SmallDarkCloud

    SmallDarkCloud Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    For me, the decline (in movies and music) started the next year, 1961, with Blue Hawaii. The movie is fluffy and innocuous, the soundtrack has at least one stone-cold classic, "Can't Help Falling in Love," but both made a great deal of money. This is where the seemingly endless cycle of "Elvis in an exotic location that's really a Hollywood backlot" movies starts, with mostly mediocre-to-horrible songs. Elvis being Elvis, he still made some great singles between 1961 and the comeback special, like "Crying in the Chapel" and "Devil in Disguise," (plus Viva Las Vegas, one of his best films), but Col. Parker locking him into these formula movies with formula songs didn't help his art, and (eventually) his career, either.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2021
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  12. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    Oh yeah, what a fantastic trifecta of albums. Elvis voice never sounded more beautiful than it during in 1960, and I am a huge fan of what Elvis did in in 1969 and 1970, but the quality of the vocals and musicianship on these three albums demonstrate Elvis's range and stylistic versatility during this particular year.
     
  13. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Shoppin' Around

     
  14. artfromtex

    artfromtex Honky Tonkin' Metal-Head

    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    Another one of my favorite "movie" songs. This one would be right at home on side 2 of "Something For Everybody".
     
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  15. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    A splendid observation my friend, as it would have given that second side a bit more punch for the money.

    I guess another thing to keep in mind as we go through some of the soundtracks for the movies is the fact that sometimes there are alternate versions of songs used in the movies that differ from the versions used fo the soundtrack. It most cases, I actually prefer the soundtrack version on the actual album. A prime example is Shopping Around, whereby the movie version adds some horns to match the scene in the movie. As much as I usually love a great brass section, including those fantastic brass charts for many of the songs featured in King Creole, I actually prefer the more rock 'n' roll opening on the soundtrack album version of Shopping Around, whereby that edgier electric guitar opening can really stand out by itself. Here is the album version of the song minus said brass arrangement:

     
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  16. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Pocketful of Rainbows

     
  17. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    G.I. Blues

    The template for most of Elvis' movies going forward.
     
  18. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    Pocketful Of Rainbows is such a whimsical and underrated gem in the Elvis cannon. It almost has a Roy Orbison quality to it. I think it could have been a top ten single. Elvis had such a plethora of great singles in 1960; Stuck On You, It's Now Or Never/A Mess Of Blues; Are You Lonesome Tonight; It was almost an embarrassment of riches.

    I also think What's She really Like could have easily been a top ten single in 1960. That song just stuck in my head when I was a kid watching the movie in the 60's. I surely thought it was a hit single at the time. Tiny Timbrell does some great electric guitar fills around Elvis's magnificent vocal. He had played on records by Bing Crosby and Ricky Nelson over the years and was an outstanding studio musician. I also love the churning drum work and that percolating rhythm of the band. There is a lot going on with this song, if one listens closely to it. The lyrics might seem lightweight, but I think they are pretty clever.

     
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  19. PepiJean

    PepiJean Forum Resident

    That is such an interesting comment and I think it's really spot on. I could easily imagine Roy trying out POCKETFUL OF RAINBOWS, no doubt about it.
    It is true that during that time (1960 - 1962), Elvis was truely the greatest vocalist around with recordings like THERE'S ALWAYS ME, ANYTHING THAT'S PART OF YOU, SOMETHING BLUE, SHE'S NOT YOU and, yes, that sweet POCKETFUL OF RAINBOWS.
     
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  20. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    Oh yeah, I love the list of Elvis gems you posted above. Those first two Don Robertson songs are just exquisite, and She's Not You is also one of his best singles ever. I also should mention the great use of Pocketful Of Rainbows in a funny scene in the movie Jerry McGuire with Tom Cruise. I tried to find the video on YouTube to post it, but I could not find one in English.
     
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  21. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I like those female vocals in Pocketful of Rainbows - it makes me wonder what it might have been like if Elvis had recorded a whole album with a female singing partner.
     
  22. I honestly don’t know how someone could not like this song. Such a carefree performance, he makes it all seem so easy.
     
  23. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    I know we will get to the soundtrack for Viva Las Vegas soon enough, but The Lady Loves Me with Ann Margret is one of my favorite Elvis soundtrack cuts ever. I would loved to have had a whole album of Elvis and Ann Margaret duets.
     
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  24. Raylinds

    Raylinds Resident Lake Surfer

    I love G.I. Blues like I do almost all of his lighter, fun movies.
    I watched Clambake the other night for the upteenth time, and just noticed a pretty bad continuity error. When Elvis, as Scott Heywood, pulls into the gas station owned by his father, the sign says Heywood Oil. At the very end of the movie, when Elvis shows Shelley Fabares his drivers license to prove who he is, it says Scott Haywood.
     
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  25. Uncle Meat

    Uncle Meat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, Tx, US
    Spinout is essential for the extra tracks (Tomorrow is a Long Time I think is Elvis' finest performance) but Clambake also has killer extra tracks...movie songs, not so much (though I have always liked "The Girl I Never Loved" and "You Don't Know Me").
     
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