Random Thoughts on Encore’s Elvis Collection — Part 6

Thirty-one straight nights of Elvis movies.  A big thank you goes to cable channel Encore for the Elvis Collection they presented in May.  This was a rare treat for Elvis fans.  The last week featured repeats of three of the best Elvis movies from earlier showings, which is good if you missed any of them (or gives you a few nights to do other stuff if you don’t want to see them again so soon).

Movies Presented Last Week That I liked:

 

Elvis With Punks

King Creole – This was a repeat from three weeks ago, so I didn’t watch.  That will be the last time I’ll ever skip it when King Creole is shown commercial-free on cable.  It is probably Elvis’ best movie and the cast of supporting actors is great.  I like the way Elvis handled his character Danny Fisher.  He would never again get to portray such a conflicted and tortured soul.  King Creole was discussed in Random Thoughts Part 2.

 

Elvis and Shelly Fabares

Girl Happy – One of those silly happy Elvis movies I love so much.  I really like the vibe between Elvis and Shelly Fabares in Girl Happy.  Plus, lots of lovely girls in bikinis and several good songs.  I can’t figure out why Encore didn’t repeat Girl Happy, instead of the lame Girls, Girls, Girls.

 

Elvis and Juliet Prowse

G.I. Blues – Another of the fun Elvis movies with pretty good music.  The two dance sequences by Juliet Prowse are different and interesting.  This was another repeat and has be covered in Random Thoughts Part 2.

 

Elvis and Judy Tyler

Jailhouse Rock – I love this movie, but I skipped it because it was another repeat from the first week.  It is discussed in the first Random Thoughts on Encore’s Elvis Collection. It’s a serious film that manages to have the best soundtrack of any Elvis film.

 

Elvis and Joan Blackman

Kid Galahad – I haven’t watched this one very often, but I’m glad Encore included it in their Elvis collection.  It grows on me each time.  Elvis plays a modest, well-adjusted young man, who gets to sing, box and romance, while his co-stars Gig Young, Lola Albright, and Charles Bronson grapple with their serious problems.

I noticed that unlike most Elvis movies, he and love interest Joan Blackman never had a break-up before coming together at the end.  A very smooth romance.  I also noted that Elvis’ hair was dark brown – a distinct change from the jet black he sported the previous night in Roustabout.

The Ones I’m Tired of Watching:

 

Elvis and Mary Ann Mobley

Harum Scarum – Well, it was different, but I get bored watching it.  The plot and action were pretty weak.  The bad guys (including Red West) weren’t very believable, nor was Elvis dropping a tiger with a single Karate chop.  I did like Mary Ann Mobely, though.

 

Elvis and Mary Tyler Moore

Change of Habit – I know other reviewers think this is pretty good movie, but I don’t.  It certainly wasn’t a fun movie.  Elvis was almost a bit player compared to the tribulations that Mary Tyler Moore and two other nuns encountered.  There was little music, and except for “Rubberneckin,’” it was forgettable.

 

Elvis and Teri Garr

Roustabout – This one isn’t too bad, but it certainly would have been improved with a better love interest than Joan Freeman.  The most interesting female in the cast was Sue Ann Langdon as the carny fortune teller, Madame Mijanou.  She nearly duplicated this roll as Mitzi in Frankie and Johnny – both characters were busty, love-starved women on the prowl.

There is one reason I still watch Roustabout.  A teenaged Raquel Welch appears in an early bar scene, and a young Teri Garr is the dancer to Elvis’ left when he sings on the outdoor stage.

 

Some Things I’ve Noticed Watching Twenty-four Different Elvis Movies in Four Weeks:

Lots of Elvis movie opening credits have him driving a car (motorcycle, helicopter, etc) while singing a song.  Change of Habit may have been the only one that used graphics for the credits.  No shots of Elvis at all.

Lots of actors show up in more than one Elvis movie.  We all know about the leading ladies with rolls in multiple films: Yvonne Craig, Delores Hart, Joan Blackman, Shelly Fabares, Mary Ann Mobley, etc.  But a series of consecutive viewings allows you to spot other actors.  Ed Asner made his film debut in Roustabout and also played a cop in Change of Habit.  Arthur O’Connell was the father figure in both Follow That Dream and Kissin’ Cousins.  Jeremy Slate was a soldier buddy of Elvis’ in G.I. Blues and the nasty boat company owner in Girl, Girls, Girls.  Bill Bixby competed with Elvis for the girl in Clambake, and was Elvis’ partner in Speedway.  This list could go on and on, all the way down to bit players (Teri Garr actually danced in four Elvis movies).

Elvis’ Memphis Mafia buddies are in many movies.  As I said before, when I know the story and dialog so well, I amuse myself studying the background characters for Joe Esposito, Red West, Charlie Hodge, Jerry Schilling and others.  Try it yourself.  The next time you watch an Elvis movie with a club scene, scan the audience and see who you can spot sitting at the tables.

My enjoyment of some Elvis movies is enhanced because of his fine costars in them.

Ann Margret  — Viva Las Vegas

Barbara Eden — Flaming Star (not in Encore collection)

Yvonne Craig — It Happened at the World’s Fair and Kissin’ Cousins

Tuesday Weld — Wild In The Country (not in Encore Collection)

Michele Carey — Live A Little, Love A Little

Anne Helm  — Follow That Dream

Donna Douglas — Frankie and Johnny

 

There are several costars that decrease my enjoyment in watching an Elvis movie.

Laurel Goodwin —  Girls, Girls, Girls

Ursula Andress — Fun In Acapulco

Joan Freeman — Roustabout

Annette Day  — Double Trouble (not in Encore Collection)

 

And finally, this is the Elvis movie not included in the Encore collection that I missed the most.

"Tickle Me"

“Tickle Me”

 

©  2013    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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4 responses to “Random Thoughts on Encore’s Elvis Collection — Part 6

  1. It’s nice to see another Elvis fan who doesn’t just completely despise the movies lol. Now I have to admit it that there are few that I don’t at the very least like, even though I acknowledge that most of them are…well, silly.

    And YES to Tickle Me. This is actually one of my favorites. Sadly it seems to be very under appreciated even as far as his funny ones go. I think Kid Galahad could grow on me too. I’ve seen it only twice and though I liked it both times and never seem to chose it during my Elvis marathons. Harum Scarum I watched for the very first time sometime around Elvis’ birthday and I’m not really dying to watch it again. It wasn’t BAD but…eh. Not a lot of laughs, but not serious enough to say “Okay, it’s a drama”. Just kiiinda weird. I also have a special aversion against that hairstyle of his, with the one fake curl on his forehead.

    Funny how opinions differ because I only watched Frankie and Johnny once because I found Donna’s character so annoying. Frankie and Johnny is probably the only Elvis movie I watched where I kinda stopped paying attention and started wondering “How much longer?”. Which is surprising since even his westerns held my attention and I’m not a western type of gal. I love both Roustabout and Change of Habit (not the none Rubberneckin’ music though. That stuff was eh. The Roustabout soundtrack I like though). But I never cared for the romance in either of them. I was glad that I didn’t get Mary Tyler Moore.

    You forgot one thing: Elvis punches someone in every movie. Not in most, in ALL of them. They must have been really eager to show off his karate. Why are the teenage brats that throw themselves at him in movies ALWAYS 17? The girl in Loving you, Ellie in Blue Hawaii, the one in Double Trouble, the one in Change of Habit…

    And Ed Asner was in Roustabout AND Change of Habit? Holy smokes, how did I not recognize my Lou Grant! Of course I haven’t seen either movie in a while but wow. Who was he in Roustabout? I can remember the scene with him in Change of Habit.

    • Hi JD: I know people sometimes discover ElvisBlog and binge read dozens of posts. But this is the first time anyone has ever binge commented — thirteen in all.

      Glad you like ElvisBlog, and keep the comments coming. They are interesting.

      Phil Arnold, ElvisBlogmeister

  2. I found myself doing the same thing (noticing all the Memphis Mafia, Jordanaires, etc) I wonder what ever happened to Michelle Carey. She was a looker!

  3. Phil: Keep up the great work(s). Thank you for continuing to give of your time, and passion, concerning Elvis. May God bless you, and your loved ones, now and always.
    Jeff Schrembs

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