Serious reviews of Kissin’ Cousins lament that it was the start of a bad trend in Elvis movies – low-budget, quickie-filmed, light-weight fluff. Some even call it his worse movie. I don’t care. I like Kissin’ Cousins for one reason: Yvonne Craig.
I don’t think any other actress sizzled on screen with Elvis as hot as she did. Those two radiated lust in Kissin’ Cousins and also in It Happened at The World’s fair.
Although Kissin’ Cousins was filmed after Viva Las Vegas, it was released first on March 6, 1964, making it Elvis’ 14th movie. Sources say it was filmed in three weeks at a cost of only $800,000. By comparison, Viva cost $4,000,000 and took two months to film. Guess which one made more profit for the studio, Elvis, and Col. Parker. After Kissin’ Cousins, the dye was cast for future Elvis movies.
Shots from the Movie:
Elvis Presley plays a dual role in Kissin’ Cousins. Dark-haired Elvis plays Air Force officer Josh Morgan, but as blond-haired Jodie Tatum, he appears as a girl-chasin’ mountain Romeo. Josh is assigned the task of persuading the Tatums, his distant relatives on his mother’s side, to sell their Tennessee mountain land for use as a missile site.
Jodie’s two cousins are Selena and Azalea Tatum, played by Pam Austin and Yvonne Craig. Both vie for Josh’s attention, but Azalea wins out about halfway through. Josh pulls off a little match-making with one of his Air Force buddies and Selena, getting her out of the competition.
Most Elvis movies have pretty girls parading around in scanty bikinis, but they are usually on a beach in Hawaii or Florida. In Kissin’ Cousins we get them in the Smokey Mountain woods and inside the Tatum cabin.
Oops, there’s those bathing suits again.
Hey, this is starting to be a trend.
Come on. Is this the only kind of publicity shots they took? (No, just the ones I chose)
Okay, okay. Here a little trick photography of the two characters Elvis played.
Back Stage Photo:
If you study this photo for a moment, it appears Yvonne might have had some designs on Elvis away from the script, too.
I used Google Translate to look up the translation of this title to English. They said it is The Wild Broads of Tennessee. Seriously – check it out.
This one translated to The Mount of Venus.
I don’t know how to type this title into Google Translate, so who knows what it means.
Kissing the Co-Star:
Both of Elvis’ characters wound up with the girl. Here, Jodie is kissing Army Corporal Midge Riley, played by Cynthia Pepper.
And Josh about to lock lips with Azalea. But you have to go back to It Happened at the World’s Fair for the best kiss between Elvis and Yvonne Craig.
Well, that’s it. Did I mention that I really like Yvonne Craig?
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