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Elvis at the movies!
on 6 March 2010
I was given this box-set as a Christmas present, having already watched Blue Hawaii and Fun in Acapulco previously. I had bought them separately from this site at least a year before and was really impressed with Blue Hawaii having only seen 1 other Elvis movie at that time, which was Viva Las Vegas. I was a major fan of Elvis' music a little while before I watched any of his movies, but once I'd seen Viva Las Vegas I really liked the feel of them, and realised he was a pretty good actor too.
This box-set features 6 of Elvis' best movies - G.I blues, King Creole, Blue Hawaii, Girls, girls, girls!, Paradise Hawaiian style, Fun in Acapulco, Easy come, easy go and Roustabout. These movies are from 2 decades of Elvis' movie career charting from 1956's King Creole in black and white to 1967's Easy come, easy go. I'm definitely not an Elvis movie buff so I cannot give you a load-down on his whole career and how the later movies compare and any good movies which are missing, but I can describe the movies which are in this set and my thoughts on them.
G.I blues is definitely one of the best in this set. From 1960, just after Elvis returned from the army, he plays a very fitting role as a G.I based in West Germany. The best scenes are off the army basis where Elvis tries to impress a dancer in a club who is known as 'hot on the outside and freezing cold on the inside'. She turns down all guys who approach her but sees something special in Elvis' character. The dumbest scene which I wasn't impressed with is when they are going up in a ski lift and they start singing together, which leads to their first kiss. Overall its' an enjoyable movie with many funny bits and Wooden heart, where Elvis helps out at a Punch and Judy show.
King Creole was definitely a movie I was not impressed with. It has a very dark background. Whereas in most of Elvis' movies he meets a girl at some exotic location and manages to get with her in true smooth style, this movie is nothing like that. There are no funny parts to it and it's all sinister. Set in New Orleans Elvis plays a rough, tough kid Danny. He's asked to sing by a mobster who's played by Walter Matthau and once he hears that Elvis is a good singer he employs him to sing nightly at the bar. Obviously this doesn't go well and he's caught up with some villain who's been hired by Matthau's character. There's a scene where Danny disarms the guy who's holding a knife to Elvis in an alley and there are plenty of fisticuffs. The mobster is harbouring some woman who he dragged in and this is the character who Danny escapes with. There are a couple of good songs to look out for namely King Creole, Crawfish and definitely the scene at the bar for Trouble. This is 1 movie I wouldn't want to watch again and it's the longest at an hour and 40 minutes,
Blue Hawaii is the most indifferent movie to King Creole where Elvis plays the part of a holiday rep. He meets beautiful Joan Blackman and the usual scene prevails. One of my favourite quotes from the movie is when Elvis brings her back a bikini from his trip and she says 'I thank you for thinking of me', and he replies 'I wasn't thinking of you I was thinking of me!'. This movie is true paradise and has the best feel of any of Elvis movies I have seen. The best. The movie features the songs Rock-a-hula bay which has an unimpressive reaction from his tight-collared mother played by Angela Lansbury (Murder she wrote) and the beautiful Can't help falling in love. A must see.
Girls, girls, girls is set at a harbour where he meets a girl who happens to have quite a bit of cash. When she buys him the boat Elvis is yearning for in turns it down in true male pride stylee! He performs in a bar much to the dismay of one of the girls who is supposed to be the star of the show. Elvis is once again caught between two women. Return to sender is his best song here but the lack of decent songs I made up for by the storyline.
Paradise Hawaiian style is another decent movie and pretty much does what it says on the can. Elvis plays a character who is in a partnership at a helicopter chartering service. He meets an English girl who is supposedly already married. My favourite bit is where he's photographing her in a bikini for the advertisement.
Fun in Acapulco has Elvis in the country as an ex circus performer with bad memories. He manages to carry out what he most fears and jumps off a cliff. Bossa Nova baby is the song which encouraged me to buy this movie, being 1 of my favourite of his songs. The boy Rauol is a great character who works as Elvis' manager.
Easy come easy go is an interesting movie with Elvis playing a frogman. It's all built around a ship which went down about a hundred years ago full of treasure. When Elvis discovers this a few bikini beauties and some dude want a piece of the action. This leads to an interesting fight scene and this time Elvis is trying to get off with the granddaughter of the ships original owner who likes yoga.
In Roustabout Elvis plays a tough biker who gets run off the road by the boss of a fun-fair. This leads to Elvis working in the fair until he gets a better offer. He realises that his home is at the fair even if the boss and him both hate each other!
Worth the money