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4.7 out of 5 stars
King Creole [DVD] [1958]
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Elvis's performance in `King Creole', and his later turn in the more sombre `Flaming Star', is more than good enough to debunk the myth that he was an inherently unconvincing actor. On the contrary, he had the potential to be a bona fide Hollywood heavyweight but a combination of factors (eg, rapacious management, market forces) ultimately confined him to trashy musicals. King Creole is dated now, but Elvis is superb in it - charismatic, urgent, sympathetic and confident in a gritty story line relocated from New York to New Orleans to take account of the star's southern accent. The songs are mostly contrived Louisiana parodies but are witty and fun, and are interpreted with utter audacity by the King. One tune after the other emerges as classic Presley. A wonderful document of how great Elvis was at the height of his powers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 20 May 2008
This has to be the best film Elvis ever made.From the opening scene with Elvis singing "Crawfish" to the very end,this film rocks! Elvis shows great acting talent,sings great songs and the storyline is strong.If you only buy one Elvis film,this should be it.I've watched it half-a-dozen times and my wife over 40 times.The story is of Danny rebelling against the direction his parents would like him to take,falling for the right girl and then the wrong girl with a little fisticuffs along the way.Recommended fun for all ages.Buy it and enjoy.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2002
Many believe King Creole to be the best film that Elvis ever made. Well, that's not far wrong, as King Creole is an excellent film, so good that I would rate it very close to the likes of Rebel Without a Cause.
The cast is great (Walter Matthau, Dean Jagger & Carolyn Jones) plus the legendary Michael Curtiz of Casablanca fame, in the directors seat.
King Creole is so good that many critics, and indeed fans can't see past it. Which is a shame as Elvis made many more high calibur films, that, when looked at without pre-conceptions about the fluff and beach films, we have a very fine actor in Mr Presley.
It's also a pity that there are no special features on this DVD, as the transfer is excellent as is the great sound.
My personal recommendations, aside from King Creole, I would say that Flaming Star was his best film. Check out the 10 best below, they are excellent.
1 Flaming Star
2 King Creole
3 Wild in the Country
4 The Trouble With Girls
5 Change of Habit
6 Jailhouse Rock
7 Follow that Dream
8 Charro
9 Stay Away Jow
10 It Happened at the Worlds Fair
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2013
Filming of King Creole in 1958 delayed 23 year old Elvis Presley's induction into the US army. But by the time it hit the cinemas, Elvis was already Private Presley serving his country!

Elvis had many reasons to be proud of this movie, his fourth and last of the 1950s. Other than being his finest and most natural acting performance, King Creole was directed by one of Hollywood's finest, Michael Curtiz, who had directed some of Hollywood's best known films among which was Casablanca. Moreover, Elvis was supported by Walter Mathau and Carolyn Jones as co-stars.

The film, based on the book A Stone For Danny Fisher, was strangely shot in black and white, even though his second movie a year ealier was in colour! This doesn't detract from the film's enjoyment but I can't help wish it was in colour.

The plot involves Elvis as a school drop-out taking on a part-time job in a night club as a waiter. The story gets complicated as he gets involved with a gang of hoodlums. It gets even more serious when he tries to disconnect himself from the gang. But what comes across glaringly is Elvis' first class performance throughout the movie, whether he's talking, fighting, loving, or singing. And without giving too much of the plot away, even the tragic end scene is worthy of an award.

The soundtrack has plenty to write home about too. Some of Elvis' best known early songs feature in this classic movie, with KING CREOLE and TROUBLE being the film's most famous tracks. The songs NEW ORLEANS and HARD HEADED WOMAN must be heard to be believed.

I so much love this legendary movie and strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to see Elvis in a serious acting role - a factor Hollywood could've developed and tapped, but didn't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
King Creole is directed by Michael Curtiz and adapted to screenplay by Herbert Baker and Michael V. Gazzo from the novel A Stone for Danny Fisher written by Harold Robbins. It stars Elvis Presley, Carolyn Jones, Walter Matthau, Dolores Hart, Dean Jagger, Vic Morrow, Paul Stewart and Jan Shepard. Music is scored by Walter Scharf and cinematography by Russell Harlan. Plot finds Presley as Danny Fisher, a high school student struggling at school who falls in with the wrong crowd just as family matters of the heart start to take a hold.

He said anybody that disagreed with you got a punch in the mouth. Is that what I brought you up to do, to fight?

The last film Presley made before going off to do his service in the army, King Creole is his best film. It's one of only a small handful that showed the star actually had some acting ability, here he gets a top director to work under and a very tidy cast put along side him for him to respond too. Presley immediately warmed to Curtiz (Casablanca/Mildred Pierce), wilfully doing as he was told by the wily old director, rewarding the film fan with a performance of some merit. Presley would often say it was his personal favourite of his own films, and it's not hard to see why. Though packed with musical numbers, many of them belters as well, the film always stays dramatic, in fact the tunes form part of the narrative, they are not frothy interludes slotted in purely for fan appeasement.

Everything he touches turns to drink.

It's not unreasonable to expect King Creole to be a fun movie, the kind where Elvis flies a plane, speeds around on power boats, or saves the word during a treasure hunt, because the poster art and DVD covers lend you to think that. Honestly, one shows the King with guitar wrapped around him, hips bent and a huge smile on his face, the other has the same Elvis pose but along side him is a smiling beauty bedecked in a banana patterned dress! I mean really, would you think this film is shot in moody black and white, features murders, theft, family upheaval, drunks, knife fights, wasted life and all round dirty tricks? That the King is snarly, aggressive and channelling Jim Stark from Rebel Without a Cause? Because all these things reside within this potent and most agreeable Elvis picture.

Now you know. That's how you get into it.

With the drama relocated from the New York of the novel to Bourbon Street New Orleans, and Danny Fisher changed from a boxer to a singer, atmosphere needed to be tight to the emotionally battered story. And it is, very much so, with Harlan (Ramrod/Riot in Cell Block 11) doing a great job of making The Big Easy come off as The Big Seedy. This is a world of back alleys where hoodlum youths dwell and of wet tinged streets barely lit by gas lamps, many of the night scenes shot here are worthy of film noir status, with a rain sodden mugging sequence truly top of the line. Conversely Curtiz also paints a bustling Orleans picture, with song clubs and street sellers proving to be the heartbeat of the city. It's a twin viewpoint of Orleans that matches other duality themes that drive the narrative forward, because Danny is caught between two girls and two night club owners.

Cast are very good across the board, with Matthau menacing, Morrow weasel like, Jagger and Jones sad and pitiful, Stewart elegantly honest and Hart doing a neat line in confused love. Stand out tunes include the title song, "Hard Headed Woman", "Trouble", "Steadfast Loyal and True", "Lover Doll" and the quite beautiful "As Long As I Have You". It's not perfect, serious crime goes unpunished, the main motive driving on Matthau's club boss is rather weak and the two love interest girls are written lazily as love sick puppies. Yet this is still a cracker of a movie, where Presley bristles with magnetism and emotional conflict and Curtiz and Harlan rack up the requisite amount of impressive atmospheric visuals. 9/10
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2002
If you only ever see one Elvis movie, see this one, Elvis' personal favourite. More than any of the other thirty movies Presley starred in, King Creole shows Elvis' remarkable talent and acting ability.
A 'colourful' movie, shot in black and white. Lies, cheating, stealing, cheap nightclubs, cheap women, and that's only on Bourbon Street!
Memorable characters you'll love and hate. The unscrupulous Maxi Fields, Nellie the nice girl, and Ronnie the moll to name a few.
A superb script, terrific cast and good soundtrack make King Creole timeless.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2002
King Creole was Elvis' fourth film, and with a stellar cast, legendary director and a great script; you'll know that King Creole is an excellent film.
Regarded by many as Elvis best film; I disagree, "Flaming Star", "Jailhouse Rock", "Wild in the Country", "Change of Habit" and "Charro" are also contenders.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 May 2010
In my opinion the best of the Elvis movies, good songs & a good performance.

Nice crystal clear wide screen image.

Extra is the trailer.

I am biased as I do like even the worse Elvis movies there are, & lets face it there are some bad ones, but this is 1 of the best.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2005
good story line, brilliant music generally an enjoyable watch for any old film lover or elvis fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2009
I bought this for my wife's birthday as it is her favourite Elvis film. When I watched I thought it wasn't bad at all but as he was never one of my favourites...
The photography is excellent and I'm a great fan of monochrome anyway.
Well worth a look.
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