Elvis Presley: The Movies - Appreciation Thread

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

  1. rswitzer

    rswitzer Forum Resident

    Golden, CO USA
    I like the film FS and Elvis's performance in it, but I can't help wishing they had found a way to have a scene with Barbara Eden in a bikini! In nearly every film after this, the female lead is in a bikini at some point.
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  2. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    I'm guessing that bikini's in westerns are pretty rare...
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  3. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    It's worth noting Elvis got one more chance to be a serious actor: Wild in the Country. And of course the commercial failure of that film, coupled with the even greater success of Blue Hawaii, is what did finally hammer shut the coffin lid of Elvis' serious acting career.
  4. Thanks for posting this. The weird double-tracking anomaly I mentioned above can be heard clearly starting at the 50 second mark - anyone else notice?
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  5. Panther

    Panther Forum Resident

    Tokyo, Japan
    I think Wild in the Country started off trying to be a dramatic film, but then the lead actress dropped out, the director dropped out, and the producers decided to awkwardly insert four or five (?) songs into the movie, turning it into a weird mix of drama and "Elvis movie". But we'll get there very soon...
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  6. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident Thread Starter

    It looks like we are all ready for the next one......
  7. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Wild In The Country

    Year of release: 1961
    Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
    Director: Philip Dunne

    Elvis plays Glenn Tyler, a rebellious delinquent, gifted with literary talent. A sympathetic counsellor tries to help him.

    Wild In The Country (theme)
    I Stopped, I Stumbled, I Fell
    In My Way
    Husky Dusky Day (acapella duet)

    Lonely Man and Forget Me Never were recorded for the movie but not used.


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  8. PepiJean

    PepiJean Forum Resident

    Elvis looks good.
    The cast is great.
    The movie is terrible.

    7. Wild in the Country
    6. G.I. Blues
    5. Love Me Tender
    4. Loving you
    3. King Creole
    2. Jailhouse Rock
    1. Flaming star
  9. GillyT

    GillyT Forum Resident

    Wellies, N.Z
    The song just jars. Elvis looks so embarrassed. I always fast-forward past it.
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  10. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I Slipped, I Stumbled, I Fell

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  11. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    I've always liked this track but wow, the movie version its even shorter than the released version! I guess it does what it needs to do in 1 minute.
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  12. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Brookings, Oregon
    I actually find Wild In The Country to be a very interesting dramatic vehicle for Elvis. Is it a great film? No, certainly not, but it does give Elvis a chance to flex some dramatic acting muscles. I think his performance is quite interesting and the scenes with Hope Lange are pretty interesting and challenging for the still relatively young singer/actor. Director Philip Dunn said that Elvis was having trouble getting his timing right for the kissing scene with Hope Lange in the hotel room, which was a very provacative scene for its day. This is how the director described his tactics with Elvis for this very pivotal scene:

    "For his love scenes with Hope Lange, he couldn't get the right tempo so, I had him listen to Bach's Fifth Brandenburg Concerto. Presley listened intently, then said, 'Hey, man, now I get it!' And he did the smooching very slowly, in one take."

    The title song for the movie is one of the hidden gems in Elvis's often underrated soundtrack catalogue. Written by the very same team that gave Elvis the gorgeous Can't Help Falling In Love With You for his Blue Hawaii movie, I think it's one of the prettiest songs that he had ever recorded. It makes me wish that Elvis had recorded a few more of their gems over the years.

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  13. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident Thread Starter

    When I watched Wild In the Country on Friday evening it was actually the first time I had watched it - which was great. The reason I decided to go through every movie is because so much of Elvis' work is familiar. I wanted to experience something new.

    What struck me about this movie was how it seemed to be a return to the 50's. Unlike his previous couple of movies he was playing the role of the rebellious teenager again. Plus the general feel of the movie reminds me of 50's movies rather than 60's movies. I realise we are only just in the 60's but still.....

    I agree with @RSteven that this movie allows him to stretch himself as an actor, so I admire it from that point of view even if it won't be my 'go to' Elvis movie. I am reminded of something that Tom Cruise was once asked in an interview - "you seem to make one movie for the teeny bopper and then one for yourself". At this point in Elvis' movie career I wonder if he was making similar choices.

    I am noticing a slight pattern that the movies he made for Twentieth Century Fox tend to be the more dramatic movies with less focus on the music.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
  14. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident Thread Starter

    In My Way

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  15. Thievius

    Thievius Blue Oyster Cult-ist

    Syracuse, NY
    I've never sat down and watched WitC but 'In My Way' is such an underrated track. Very simple, just an acoustic guitar + vocal but its absolutely beautiful.
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  16. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    I had forgotten this track, but it has a very pretty melody and of course another great vocal. I presume that the released version is longer?
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  17. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I don't think the released version was longer.
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  18. Panther

    Panther Forum Resident

    Tokyo, Japan
    Apparently, while filming this scene, Elvis paused to tell Hope Lange, "Man, this is stupid". He thought it was ridiculous to break out in song in the midst of this driving scene, especially after some dramatic scenes that preceded it...
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  19. Panther

    Panther Forum Resident

    Tokyo, Japan
    When I first watched Wild In The Country several years ago (c. 2008) I kind of liked it. It was far better than I'd been led to expect a 60s' Elvis movie to be. But I saw it again a year or two ago, and its weaknesses were more evident.

    It does have a few passable dramatic acting scenes from Elvis, but mixed in with a few awkwardly-placed songs, some very adolescent behavior by his character (yet he was 25 during shooting), and the absurd ending (the bad-ass guy who beats people up is... a literary genius!), is all adds up to another fairly silly movie. That said, it's still a cinematic masterpiece compared to Kissin' Cousins and nearly all that came after it.

    I really enjoy Tuesday Weld's small but feisty part. She's quite convincing as the teenage temptress, and does the best acting in the film, as I recall it.

    For all its faults, it's still a fascinating movie, partly because of the good cast and the source material, which were both a bit more high-brow than Elvis movies were accustomed to. It has some great scenes.

    About the title-track: It's a great one, very beautiful, and I'm always reminded of it when I hear The Byrds' "Ballad of Easy Rider", of all things....!
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  20. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Except that wasn't Hope Lange in that scene! There is another driving somg in the movie, this time it is with Hope. He does sound embarrassed in this song but it works in the context of the movie:

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  21. Panther

    Panther Forum Resident

    Tokyo, Japan
    Oh, thanks! It's this one you link -- the Hope Lange one -- that Elvis thought was silly.

    (The fact that there were two driving-while-singing scenes probably supports Elvis's opinion...!)
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  22. JohnO

    JohnO Senior Member

    Washington, DC
    That's not Hope Lange, it's Millie Perkins in that scene in this 1961 film (filmed November 1960).
    In 1990 Millie Perkins played Gladys Presley in the ABC TV half-hour series Elvis.
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  23. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    And yet it didn't stop him from repeating that formula in the very next flick!
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  24. SgtPepper1983

    SgtPepper1983 Forum Resident

    Berlin, Germany
    Never seen the movie but I love how they genuinely break up in this scene!
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  25. Bink

    Bink Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I agree. This feels really natural and I feel this works as part of the movie, rather than as a soundtrack song.

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