Elvis fans ought to be happy this month. Cable channel Encore is showing an Elvis movie, commercial free, at 8 PM every night in May. Encore labels it The Elvis Collection, and their promo pitch is Whole Lotta Elvis. Six of the movies are shown twice, so that means they are presenting twenty-five Elvis films. This is so cool.
The first three Elvis movies have already been shown (two will be repeated later), but that leaves plenty to discuss on ElvisBlog. We’ll do it one week at a time, starting with Saturday May 4. However, there will be no serious reviews. For that, I suggest you check out my friend Alan Hanson’s wonderful reviews of all Elvis movies on his Elvis-History Blog. As the title of this article says, whatever random thoughts pop into my mind for each movie will be shared here. Most Elvis movies have been covered or mentioned in previous ElvisBlog articles, so there will be links back to them, as well.
Here is the entire schedule:
5/1 – Girls, Girls, Girls (repeated on 5/6)
5/2 – Frankie and Johnny
5/3 – Blue Hawaii (repeated on 5/13)
5/4 – Jailhouse Rock (repeated on 5/29)
5/5 – King Creole 5/6 – Girls, Girls, Girls
5/7 – Speedway
5/8 – Stay Away Joe
5/9 — Fun In Acapulco
5/10 – Live A Little, Love A Little
5/11 – Viva Las Vegas (repeated on 5/25)
5/12 – Spinout
5/13 — Blue Hawaii
5/14 — This Is Elvis (repeated on 5/22)
5/15 — Paradise, Hawaiian Style
5/16 — Viva Las Vegas
5/17 — Kissin’ Cousins
5/18 — G.I. Blues (repeated on 5/28)
5/19 – Clambake
5/20 — t Happened At The World’s Fair
5/21 — Follow That Dream
5/22 — This Is Elvis
5/23 — Easy Come, Easy Go
5/24 — Harum Scarum
5/25 — Viva Las Vegas
5/26 — Girl Happy
5/27 — Change Of Habit
5/28 — G.I. Blues
5/29 — Jailhouse Rock
5/30 – Roustabout
5/31 — Kid Galahad
Let’s do some random thoughts on the next week’s movies.
Saturday, May 4 (repeated May 29) – Jailhouse Rock:
Well, I guess I’ve seen it eight or nine times already, but I’ll do it again for sure. I like the good job Elvis does with a real dramatic part. And I consider the Jailhouse Rock soundtrack is the best Elvis ever did, without any close second. It has two huge hits: “Jailhouse Rock” and “Treat Me Nice.” It contains my second favorite Elvis song of all time: “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care.” And, because I am partial to the blues songs Elvis recorded, I love the two in this movie: “I Want To Be Free,” and “Don’t Leave Me Now.”
Both songs were written by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, as were the other four songs in the movie. It is incredulous that they composed this entire terrific soundtrack in four hours one afternoon.
I never get tired of watching the “Jailhouse Rock” dance scene, widely considered the predecessor of the modern music video. Elvis could really dance.
I also think Jailhouse Rock is where you will hear the best Elvis line in any movie. After co-star Judy Tyler rejects his advances, Elvis says to her, “That ain’t tactics, honey. It’s just the beast in me.”
Tyler is hotter is some of the off camera photos than she is in the movie.
But, the actress I like watching is Jennifer Holden. I love the scene where she really gets into kissing Elvis during the filming of a movie. It has to be indicative of what went on with a lot of Elvis’ co-stars. Oh, yes, when the camera switches to a shot of the hangers-on watching the kissing scene, you can see Elvis’ buddy George Klein in the crowd.
However, the biggest reason I never miss Jailhouse Rock is because there is so much screen time for Scotty Moore, DJ Fontana, and Bill Black. Ever since I had breakfast with Scotty and DJ at Elvis Week 2007 I have been a big fan.
There is an interesting ElvisBlog article about a continuity blooper with Scotty’s sunglasses at the poolside party performance of “Baby, I Don’t Care.”
There is another interesting continuity blooper in Jailhouse Rock that you have to concentrate on or you will miss it. Drink glasses that Elvis knocks over during a moment of anger in the Club La Florita suddenly reappear as he storms out of the club.
So, now you know all the things I will be checking out while watching Jailhouse Rock: Elvis handling a true dramatic role, the songs, the dance scene, the classic line, the kissing scene, Scotty, DJ and Bill, and two bloopers. After all, if you’ve seen the movie eight times already, you really know the plot. So, it’s nice to have other things to look for.
It turns out I had more random thoughts on Jailhouse Rock than I realized. So, this article won’t cover all the Elvis movies on Encore the next week. Instead, I’ll do more articles covering two or three movies before their show time.
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