Category Archives: MOVIES

Turgid, Juicy and Flamboyant

When I started looking in the archives for special articles to repost, I assumed they would be only ones with pictures. It wasn’t until 2008 that I learned how to post photos, but I found one from 2006 with a title so good I had to share it with you.  It will give you great insight into how entertainment critics treated Elvis back in the 50s.

 

The New York Times published its review of Elvis’ first movie “Love Me Tender” on November 16, 1956. Just the title was enough to tell me there was no way the review would be positive:

Culture Takes A Holiday

 

When I read that, I knew Elvis was going to get clobbered.

His acting début was at the mercy of the Times film critic, Bosley Crowther, generally considered America’s foremost movie critic from the early 1940s to the late 1960s. How do you like that name? — Bosley Crowther. Sure sounds like a stuffed shirt who couldn’t stand Rock & Roll, doesn’t it?

Well, old Bosley held back from being nasty for one paragraph, and then he started slamming Elvis:

“The picture itself is a slight case of horse opera with the heaves.”

A well crafted line, to be sure, but nasty. Then it got nastier:

“Mr. Presley’s dramatic contribution is not a great deal more impressive than that of one of the slavering nags.”

OK, that’s pretty mean. Bosley Crowther rated Elvis’ acting ability just slightly higher than a horse. So, what do you think he said about Elvis’ singing ability? How about:

“Mr. Presley’s farm-boy does some grotesque singing before he is done – and it isn’t good.”

OK, to summarize: Bosley compared the movie to barfing horse, Elvis’ acting was little better than the horses in the movie, and his singing was grotesque. What else could Bosley find to knock? How about Elvis voice?

“A lot of noise… It is a sort of frenzied puffing of throaty and none too melodic tones that heave out of Mr. Presley’s system.”

Wow. “Frenzied puffing.” And the heaves again. Bosley gets minus points here. Can’t use a nifty word twice in the same story.

Then came something that might be taken as complimentary. Describing Elvis’ performance in his singing scenes, Bosley wrote,

“It is frantic and vaguely orgiastic.”

Bosley would flip if he could see today’s music videos. Nothing vague about them.

Next Bosley described Elvis’ acting as follows:

“As for the characterization of a jealous farm-boy that Mr. Presley gives, it is turgid, juicy and flamboyant.”

To my mind, that was real praise. I liked the change in direction. Bosley went on to say:

“With his childish face, puffy lips and wild hair, he might be convincing as a kid with a load of resentment in his system.”

My spirits were up after reading these words of modest praise. Elvis did go on to play several roles like that. Then Bosley turned black-hearted again and said:

“But, he’s not much more than a singing ‘heavy’ in this film.”

And finally, Bosley praised Elvis a little while hammering his co-stars, Richard Egan and Debra Paget:

“He certainly goes at this job with a great deal more zeal and assurance than the rest of the actors show.”

Of course, it didn’t really matter what Bosley Crowther thought or wrote. With Elvis’ legions of young fans, there was a built-in audience for the film “Love Me Tender.” I have always thought Elvis did a credible job in the role.

Bosley Crowther’s movie review was such a hoot to read fifty years later. It wasn’t all negative, and it gave origin to the strangest title to ever appear in ElvisBlog:

“Turgid, Juicy and Flamboyant.”

As Dave Barry would say, that would make a good name for a rock band. Come to think of it, so would “Vaguely Orgiastic,” “ Frenzied Puffing,” and “Slavering Nags.”

 

© 2006 Philip R Arnold All Rights Reserved www.elvisblog.net

 

I hope you enjoyed this repost from 2006.  Even without any pictures, this was fun to read.

Elvis… The Movie Kisses

OK, ladies. Here’s a post you should like a lot. I’ve been collecting photos of Elvis kissing his lovely costars for years. Here they are:

.

Love Me Tender

 

Debra Paget

 

Loving You

 

Delores Hart

 

Lizabeth Scott

 

Unnamed Teenage Groupie

 

Jailhouse Rock

 

Judy Tyler

 

Jennifer Holden

 

King Creole

 

Carolyn Jones

Delores Hart

 

G.I. Blues

 

Juliet Prowse

 

Fraulein in Nightclub

 

Flaming Star

 

Elvis did not kiss anyone in Flaming Star. This publicity photo makes it look like he and Barbara Eden are about to kiss, but she played his brother’s fiancé in the movie.

 

 

Wild In the Country

 

Tuesday Weld

 

Hope Lange

 

Blue Hawaii

 

Stewardess On Plane to Hawaii

 

Student

 

Joan Blackman

 

Follow That Dream

 

Anne Helm

 

Kid Galahad

 

Joan Blackman

 

Girls, Girls, Girls

 

Laurel Goodwin

 

It Happened at the World’s Fair

 

Joan O’Brien

 

Yvonne Craig… (My favorite)

 

Fun in Acapulco

 

Ursula Andress

 

Kissin’Cousins

 

Yvonne Craig

 

Cynthia Pepper

 

Viva Las Vegas

 

Ann-Margret

 

Roustabout

 

Joan Freeman

 

Sue Ane Langdon

 

 

That’s about half of Elvis’ movies. Let’s end it here and do a Part 2 next week. That will be a good way finish up.

 

 

© 2020 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

The Unused Movie Pictures

 

Back in 2010, when I realized G.I. Blues was about to have its 50th anniversary, I decided to do a pictorial post on it. Then the idea quickly changed to a regular feature when each successive movie reached the 50-year mark.

The problem with this plan was that it was too late to do Elvis’ first four movies. Their 50th anniversaries were already in the past, but I collected their photos anyway.

So, let’s look at them, now.

 

Love Me Tender:

 

I like Elvis’ look in this. If it is a colorized photo, somebody did a good job. Note that it came from Romania. Folks everywhere love Elvis.

 

Check out the center poster. It says, “Don’t Die Elvis Presley.” I guess she heard that Elvis died at the end of the movie and was protesting it.

 

One thing for sure, Elvis never again had a co-star that looked this handsome.

 

?

Something really funny must have been said, because Richard Egan and Elvis are laughing big time.

 

Although “Love Me Tender” was a straight up cowboy movie, Elvis did sing four songs and showed a little of his stage moves to the family out on the front porch.

 

This must have been during a break in filming, and Elvis killed some time playing around on a banjo. He doesn’t play it in the movie.

 

I’ve seen “Love Meat Tender” in other spoofs, but this has to be the first and it was actually hung in a meat market, not created on a computer.

 

I have a caption. “You ain’t nuthing but a hound dog. Been snoopin’ round my door.”

Of course those are the original Big Mama Thornton lyrics. Elvis changed them to “crying all the time.”

 

Loving You

 

I just love this shot of Elvis. What a spectacular stage move. And it looks like Elvis really got the Jordanaires jacked up, too.

 

There are two cool things about this picture. The first is the way Elvis looks. Great shot.

The other is that Vernon and Gladys are in the audience for this concert. They are on screen so briefly that you don’t have a chance to think about how unrealistic it would be to have two middle-aged folks seated in the midst of bunch of screaming teenagers.

 

Elvis talked to his mom during a break in filming. I don’t know why these first three photos are in black-and-white because the movie was in color.

 

This is a great scene where Elvis gets into a fight with a heckler after singing “Mean Woman Blues.” Music videos didn’t exist in 1957, but this scene would have made an outstanding one.

 

I have a caption for this photo. “After filming ends for the day, Elvis and his costar head to his trailer to study their lines.”

 

This scene is so much fun. That groupie really tried hard to have her way with Elvis.

 

Jailhouse Rock

 

As publicity shots go, this one of Elvis and Judy Tyler is pretty good. The shadings of green really improve the black and white photo.

 

Do you remember this scene with the loud-mouth heckler? Elvis shut him up big time. Sorry that the girl got so scared, too.

 

Elvis really had the hair going in this shot, didn’t he?

 

Here’s another illustration of the great facial expressions Elvis made in his movies.

 

The tag on this said it was “Blocking out a shot.”

 

I rotated this picture 90% to check, and I believe that is Elvis, not a stuntman.

 

King Creole

 

This is a very clever concept. Without words, this poster lets you know that Elvis has something going on with two different ladies. One is young and innocent, and the is older and tempting.

 

Now Elvis is with four women. The one the left is his character’s sister Mimi, but who is the one with the banana-skin costume?

 

Here she is again.  Do you remember her part?

She was a dancer named Forty Nina, who had been the club’s favorite performer until Elvis came along.  Forty Nina.  Fun name.

 

I like this poster, but Elvis’ left hand looks really big. The black leather coat looks suspiciously like the one in the ’68 Special.

 

Elvis can look cool just hanging out on a French Quarter balcony.

 

Elvis kissing Carolyn Jones. That leads us to next week –a look at Elvis kissing several dozen women.

 

 

© 2020 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved

 

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Postscripts to Earlier ElvisBlog Articles

This the same photo I used to start the last Postscripts article back in April. That time, it was followed by a cropped copy of just the face. This time, it will be followed by three other Cat Elvis T-shirts that have been offered recently.

 

I’m not crazy about this one. What makes them think fans want a T-shirt with a cat/Elvis face on his US Army profile photo? I also don’t like the name – Elvis Purrsley – but at least it’s better than the first one – Meowvis Pawsley.

 

I don’t like this one at all.

 

Please, please… No more cat/Elvis T-shirts.

 

Back in 2010 I did a 50th anniversary look at Flaming Star. It featured these pictures of Elvis and Barbara Eden looking pretty chummy. However, as I pointed out then, she was actually the wife of Elvis’ character’s brother, played by Steve Forrest.

 

A few more Elvis and Barbara Eden photos have showed up.

Elvis never got this intimate with his sister-in-law in the film, but it is certainly a good movie promo picture of two beautiful people.

 

Another photo taken at this session was the inspiration for this famous Andy Warhol silkscreen.

 

For more on this Warhol artwork, check out this ElvisBlog post from 2010.

 

I’ve shown many variations on Elvis’ famous pose in Jailhouse Rock, the most recent in 2012. Many of them are very creative, but here’s one in 3D:

 

Here we have Elvis in fireman gear, hose in hand, balanced on the top of a fire truck. Where do people get their inspirations for this stuff?

 

Over the years, ElvisBlog has shown the work of artists and Photoshop jockeys that put US presidents in Elvis jumpsuits. Look what I just found.

Does anyone know if there is an Elvis connection to the Flamingo Café?

 

Once I had found an image of Joe Biden in a jumpsuit, I Googled all the other major Democratic presidential candidates to see if anybody had done them. The only thing I could find is this.

As I’ve written before, someone once said Al Gore was a minus zero on the Elvis Scale. I wonder what they would say about Bernie Sanders?

 

This is a really amateurish job of inserting Elvis into a photo of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road. I recently read an article on the 50th anniversary of the album, and it said a total of six shots were taken. This is one of the rejects with the Beetles going in the opposite direction from the one we know. Here’s a different rejected photo with a slightly better Elvis insertion.

It looks like Elvis has a spear pushing against Paul’s neck, but it just the sidewalk curb.

I guess the Photoshop guys can’t mess with the famous album cover photo without running into copyright problems. They won’t get into any trouble with this:

 

There are many images around pairing up Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Humphrey Bogart, but this is different.

The tag on this one said, “Beatles in Elvis Jumpsuits on Abbey Road.” I don’t think Elvis would have been caught dead in three of them, especially Ringo’s.

 

Just a few weeks ago, I posted these three photos of Elvis looking like a college student on campus. Here’s a new one:

 

 

This is a montage of Elvis doing his performance while on stage floors. It was taken from a post in 2017.

Here’s a new one.

 

I’ve been collecting Elvis photos for 15 years, and I never saw this one before last week. I love it. Doesn’t he looks like an animal on the prowl? Elvis was just so cool.

 

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

Postscripts to Earlier ElvisBlog Articles

Vegas Meowvis Pawsley-T-shirt

Do you remember the t-shirt I panned because the cat Elvis looked like he had a broken neck? Well, it turns out you get something good if you crop the picture just right.

Incredible Cat Elvis

How difficult is the challenge to draw recognizable elements of both a cat and Elvis in one picture? To me, the artist totally pulled it off. Over the years, I have posted concert pictures showing the intensity of Elvis’ eyes while performing. These eyes here are more subtle, but they are good, half-looking over the iconic Elvis shades. Please note the lip snarl on the cat. I don’t know why anyone would want to create a Cat Elvis, but I am impressed by the results.

 

Memphis Grizzlie Blocking Elvis Taking a Basketball Shot

Just last week, I posted this picture of a Memphis Grizzlie blocking an Elvis’ shot. That bear would have a lot tougher time against this Elvis.

Dunking Elvises

Notice the angled trampoline and the double landing pads. I guess these guys do flips before dunking the basketball. Anybody know who they are?

 

2012 ElvisBlog post about Jailhouse Rock Image

It’s been seven years since I did this post showing a lot of variations folks had created from the most favored pose on the right.

Elvis and Rock & Roll

This is pretty cool. It connects Elvis with early Rock ‘n Roll. You’ve got the 50s diner floor tile and the old album on the wall. Well done.

 

Chubby Checker

Do you remember the post about Chubby Checker performing on the Graceland Soundstage on June 22? Well, check out what that has morphed to:

Fabulous 50s Weekend at Graceland

Fabulous 50s Weekend sounds great to somebody like me who actually lived through the 50s. My four years of high school ran from 1956 to 1960, so I was a teenager during those most wonderful years of early rock and roll. I would love to go to this weekend if I could.

Here is more detail on all the good stuff they’ve planned for the Fabulous 50s Weekend:

Fabulous 50's Weekend Events at Graceland.

Note where I’ve marked the Graceland Exhibition Center. Last week I was searching for this venue, and now it shows up here. Those are three good-sounding exhibits.

I told you I’ve been  searching for it on Graceland.com/news since February, and still no pictures of the Graceland Exhibition Center have showed up. Can’t be long now.

 

One more thought on the Fabulous 50s Weekend. Chubby Checker was not a 50s rocker. His song “The Twist” entered the Billboard Top 40 in August 1960. One month later I started college at Penn State. We did an incredible amount of twisting my freshman year. “The Twist” reached #1 and stayed on the charts for 15 weeks.

However, “The Twist” had a second life. According to Billboard:

“’The Twist’ was the only single to be No. 1 twice on the Hot 100, in two different chart runs. After topping the chart in 1960, the dance caught on with the older generation. Checker was invited to perform “The Twist” on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Oct. 22, 1961, prompting a re-release of the single and a full-page ad in Billboard that proclaimed, “‘The Twist’ dance rage explodes into the adult world!” The grown-ups bought enough copies to send the song back to No. 1 in early 1962.”

But, who cares if Chubby Checker is really a 60s rocker. He’s going to put on a great show at Graceland.

 

Mount Rockmore

The first Eye Candy post featured this design called Mt. Rockmore. From left to right, we have Elvis, John Lennon, Bob Marley, and Jimi Hendrix.

Tiki Gods of Rock

Some fool tried to do a different version on Tiki poles. And they did a horrible job on Elvis. Makes him look like a criminal.

Mount Hollywood by Renato Casaro

Elvis looks way better on this, called Mt. Hollywood. Actually, they all look pretty good.

 

Alternate Kid Galahad (Pugno Proibito) posters from Italy

Two weeks ago, I noted how this Italian poster for Kid Galahad made it seem like Charles Bronson, not Elvis, was the star of the movie. I said he must have been really popular in Italy in 1962 for them to manipulate things like they did on this poster.

Then I heard from regular reader cc rider who said, “The Italian poster is a release made in the 70s. Bronson was very famous in Italy after he made Sergio Leone‘s “Once Upon a Time in the West”, in 68.”

So, it seems they re-released Kid Galahad in Italy in the 70s to capitalize on his fame.

Kid Galahad Italian Poster Forbidden Fist

This is also an Italian poster for Kid Galahad, but it must be from 1962 because Elvis is clearly the lead character, and Charles Bronson has fifth billing. The movie’s title translates to Forbidden Fist.

Kid Galahad Spanish Poster - Floor of Canvas

Charles Bronson must have been hot in Spain, too, in the 70s. He still gets fifth billing, but his two pictures are much more the focus than the two of Elvis. The title translates to Floor of Canvas, which refers to a boxing ring, but that seems like a stupid title to me.

 

A screaming crowd of teenage girls are restrained by police outside an Elvis concert in 1956.

I posted this shot of a mob of Elvis fans two weeks ago. Regular reader Sandra Van Horne advised that the photo was on Scotty Moore’s website with this caption: “Stage Door Glimpse of Elvis Starts Riot – Aug. 3, 1956 Miami.” Sandra also sent the text of a Miami Daily News article that read:

“After the first Olympia Theater appearance of the shouting shake-dancer, known to teenagers as “The Pelvis,” a crowd estimated at 2,000 became hysterical, tried to break a police line in rush for the SE 2nd Avenue stage entrance when Presley was seen briefly at an upstairs fire escape door. Police, losing to waving fans later regained ground in a big push back to the sidewalk line at the barber pole (top right in photo). The street was blocked off. What’s all the fuss about? Fans wanted just a signature or sign from the vaudeville Valentino.”

I’m not crazy about the lame snake-dancer or vaudeville Valentino references. But the fan hysteria mentioned in the press report had another result as shown in this photo.

Elvis with Ripped Pants after 1956 Miami Concert

That’s right — the fans ripped off one leg of Elvis’ pants. Miami has been the home to another rock star and pants episode. It’s where Jim Morrison dropped his pants on stage and got in all kinds of trouble.

 

Thanks to cc rider and Sandra Van Horne for their help in making this post.

 

 

©  2019    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Some Elvis Pictures I’ve Never Seen Before – Part 11

I haven’t done this in three months, and my files are full of stuff to show you.

Elvis Performing on a Flat-bed Truck

This is obviously from the very early days. Elvis and the guys are performing on a flat-bed truck. I especially like the picnic table right in front. Elvis definitely paid his dues. Can anybody identify this show?

 

Elvis and the Teen Town Singers

I can’t say that I ever heard of the Teen Town Singers. But how could they miss with those cool hats?

 

Elvis and 7 Chicks

Here’s some nice artwork. I think it’s a Italian poster for an Elvis movie. Let’s see, there’s Elvis and seven girls in bikinis. Could it be Clambake or Spinout? No, Bagnino means lifeguard in Italian, so the movie had to be Fun in Acapulco.

 

Elvis on location in Florida with co-star Anne Helm from Follow That Dream.

This is Elvis with Anne Helm, his costar in Follow That Dream. You’ve probably read the same stuff I have that says there was some serious kissing between these two off screen.

 

Well It's 1 for the Money

Well It's 1 for the Money - Copy

This is clever.

 

Speaking of Blue Suede Shoes, how do you like this picture?

Elvis Presley Autographed Facsimile Signed Blue Suede Shoes Poster 24 x36

This is a 24 x36 poster with a wonderful shot of Elvis. That is a fabricated signature at the bottom.

 

Elvis Taking A Break - Flaming Star

Here is Elvis taking a break from filming Flaming Star. He’s got the Indian make-up on his face and neck, but the rest of his body looks pretty white.

 

Elvis with Fans in Las vegas

This is Elvis with fans in Las Vegas. How do you like that coat? How do you like that hairdo?

 

Elvis Disco

The Elvis Disco was alive and well in 2018.

All Visual – All Night – Elvis Presley – Done Right…. OK!!

 

1960-04-20 train to California - Elvis with Joe, Charlie and Sonny

This was taken on April 4, 1960 during a train ride to California. With Elvis are Joe, Charlie, and Sonny. Don’t they all look young?

 

Elvis Presley and Scotty Moore between shows in the UD Fieldhouse in Dayton - May 27, 1956.

If you’ve been reading ElvisBlog for a while, you know I’m a big fan of Scotty Moore. This is a nice candid shot of Elvis and Scotty working on a song backstage before a performance at the UD Fieldhouse in Dayton on May 27, 1956.

 

Elvis Performing on May 27, 1956

Here is another photo from that show. But check out this.

Scotty Moore and Elvis Floating in Space

I love this version for the way Scotty and Elvis are lifted off the background, and they just seem to be hovering in space while Scotty is playing guitar and Elvis is dancing. I think this is the best picture there is of the two of them together.

 

Elvis and Bobby Dick

The small print in parentheses says, “Bobby’s the short one.” He’s also the one with the worst last name. The kids back in high school must have given him a lot of grief about that.

 

Elvis Presley and Carolyn Jones . She holds a cup of tea.

It looks like Carolyn Jones was drinking a cup of tea when Elvis moved in on her. Do you think she spilled any? If that had been you Elvis was smooching, could you have kept from spilling the tea?

 

Elvis is the air - Blue hawaii

So what do you think? Is this Photoshopped or could Elvis actually jump that high?

 

May 26, 1955 - Elvis Presley with Jimmie Rodgers Snow on Elvis´ pink Cadillac Fleetwood in Meridian, Mississippi - Jimmie Rodgers Festival parade....

The website where I found this shot had this tagline:

May 26, 1955 – Elvis Presley with Jimmie Rodgers Snow on Elvis´ pink Cadillac Fleetwood in Meridian, Mississippi – Jimmie Rodgers Festival parade.

Jimmy Rodgers Snow was Hank Snow’s son. Elvis said he bought this pink Caddy for his mom, but she didn’t drive, so he obviously had other motivations. This looks like a pretty good use for the car to me.

 

A screaming crowd of teenage girls are restrained by police outside an Elvis concert in 1956.

The tagline for this photo said: “A screaming crowd of teenage girls are restrained by police outside an Elvis concert in 1956.” I wish there had been more information. It is a legit photo because you can see one girl holding up a picture of Elvis and a couple of folks are wearing those Elvis hats the Colonel sold at every concert. Can anybody identify where it occurred?

The photo certainly paints a graphic picture of the impact Elvis had with teenagers early in his career. Pretty impressive.

 

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

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Elvis, Santa, and Kurt Russell

Last week, I read a USA Today review of the new Netflix movie titled The Christmas Chronicles. It stars Kurt Russell, one of my favorites, as a wonderfully different Santa Claus.

Title - Christmas Chronicles

 

But I panicked when the review talked about him zooming around in muscle cars. I thought, “Ah, man, they’ve got Santa flying in something like the jet sled in my book BIG E and the SANTA MAN.”

Big E and Santa in Jet Sled

 

To my relief, Kurt Russell’s radical sleigh still had reindeer pulling it.

Christmas Chronicles Sleigh with Reindeer

Interesting design, but it can’t fly without reindeer like the Big E’s jet sled can.

 

Santa's Sleigh with Wings

The closest it comes is when the reindeer are accidentally untethered, and wings pop out to glide it down to safety. Unfortunately, one wing clips a water tower, and the sleigh crashes.

You might notice that the next picture shows a different design than the first one. When the sleigh crashed, the elves rebuilt it, and for some unexplained reason, it came out different. That’s why the USA Today writer referred to muscle cars, not just one.

Santa in front of Christmas Chronicles Sleigh

Yes, that’s Kurt Russell as Santa Claus

 

Santa’s sleigh also crashed in my book, and because the elves had just one hour, they did urgent repairs that got it flyable, but looking rather makeshift. After Christmas they rebuilt it just like it had been.

Another interesting comparison between The Christmas Chronicles and BIG E and the SANTA MAN is the people who got to ride in the sleighs/sled so central to the task of saving Christmas.

Santa with Kids on Christmas Chronicles Sleigh

Kurt Russell’s Santa sleigh carries a brother and sister who had discovered it unoccupied while Santa was depositing presents down local chimneys (He doesn’t go down chimneys in this fantasy, but the presents do). The kids climbed in the sleigh and hid in the back. Santa took off without realizing they were there.

In Part 2 of BIG E and the SANTA MAN, two elves get to pilot the jet sled; the oldest elf standing on the seat steering, and the head elf on the floor pushing the accelerator. Deeper into the plot, the old elf gets to fly Santa’s sleigh. One of the cool parts near the ending has him do a buzz dive directly at the bad guy and scare him and his henchmen so bad they run away from Santa’s castle in a frenzied retreat. After that, he was like a folk-hero to the young elves.

Santa's Sack of Presents

Santa’s sack of presents actually factors into the plot of both the movie and my book. When Kurt Russell’s Santa sleigh has its violent crash, the sack is tossed to some unseen place.

But in my story, Santa has lots of sacks of presents and is forced to throw them all out of his sleigh (it’s too long to explain why here). Then, Big E and Santa have to go back in the jet sled to rescue the presents in a race against the villain who’s trying to ruin Christmas.

 

That’s about it for comparisons between The Christmas Chronicles and BIG E and the SANTA MAN. So let’s talk about Kurt Russell as Santa Claus. This is a good photo of him.

Kurt Russell as Santa in The Christmas Chronicles

This is not the popular image of a chubby, ruby-cheeked old Santa. In fact, the USA Today review calls him a “real action hero,” and another review on Polygon.com says “Santa is hot.” They also say, “He’s styled as something of a bearded Elvis, introducing himself by saying, ‘Live and in person, one night only.’”

Santa in Jail singing Santa Claus is Back in Town

In another twist that makes The Christmas Chronicles  unique holiday movie, here we have Santa singing while in a jail cell. You might recognize the tag line as a lyric from the terrific Elvis blues song, “Santa Clause is Back in Town.” The movie soundtrack also includes the Elvis’ classic “Here Comes Santa Claus.”

 

Kurt Russell is 67 years old, and he is terrific as a bearded older Elvis, but look at this:

Kurt Russel in Elvis the Movie

Here he is at 28 in front of Graceland in the 1979 made-for-TV movie that appeared on ABC.

Kurt Russell in Elvis the Movie

 

Kurt Russell Young Elvis

 

Elvis the Movie is available on YouTube if you don’t mind watching it in sections.

The Christmas Chronicles is available on Netflix any time you want to watch it, and I hope you do. It’s a lot of fun, and Kurt Russel is perfect as hot, action hero Santa.

And BIG E and the SANTA MAN is available at Amazon. In my stories Big E is the action hero, and Santa is the willing sidekick.

A strong case could be made that The Christmas Chronicles is the most unusual holiday movie ever made. Well, for three years I have been saying that my book is the most unusual Christmas novel ever written.

And, to make it especially good for you fans, Big E is in it to give you a huge booster shot of Elvis.

Big E Bust

If you have no trouble envisioning Elvis as a brave, daring and resourceful hero, then you will like following Big E in his adventures. This guy is cool, and he and Santa make a heck of a team.

 

Big E and the Santa Man Scroll

 

You also remember me asking for your help by buying copies of BIG E and the SANTA MAN. I’m happy to report your response was so good that the costs of my blog platform and URL have been covered. Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.

But I don’t see why I should stop promoting my book while there is still time for delivery before Christmas. For one thing, I need to sell seven more books to reach the Amazon threshold for withdrawing my royalty money.

So, could I ask a few more of you to get a copy of my book. It’s a great well-written story, Elvis fans have really liked it, and it costs only ten bucks.

OK, I’m going to do one more last thing about Kurt Russell and Elvis, then hit you with the closing pitch on BIG E and the SANTA MAN.


Many of you already know about this, but for the rest of you, this is young Kurt Russell kicking Elvis in the 1964 movie, It Happened at the World’s Fair.

Kurt-Russell Kicking Elvis in It Happened at the World's Fair

 


 

We’ll end with a pretty low-key final pitch for my book. Maybe just a few more tidbits about what makes BIG E and the SANTA MAN so interesting.

Elves Playing Guitars in Big E and the Santa Man

There are no pictures in my book, but this one comes pretty close to depicting the elves that Big E teaches how to play rock and roll. The four little guys form a tight back-up band and rock out with Big E. You’ll love the concert they put on for Santa and Mama Claus the night after Christmas.

 

Scrooge's Space Station in Big E and the Santa Man

The villain in my story resides in a space station hoovering over the North Pole. His henchmen are bad elves that Santa had kicked out for shoddy workmanship on the presents and constant trouble-making. They hold a grudge and are happy to help in a plot to ruin Christmas.

Big E Close-up

Here is Big E again. Look at his eyes. He’s sending you a telepathic message:

“Buy a copy of this book about me and Santa.
You’ll be glad you did.”

 

Here’s where to get them:

BIG E and the SANTA MAN – Amazon.com webpage

BIG E and the SANTA MAN – Part 2: Amazon.com webpage

 

 

Thank you,

Phil Arnold
Original ElvisBlogmeister (2005-2013)

 

Note: If anyone knows Clay Kaytis, the director of The Christmas Chronicles, please email him a link to this post.

 

Tag Lines in Elvis Movie Previews

Elvis at the Movies

Clever entrepreneurs keep coming up with unique ways to tap into the dedicated Elvis fan market. A nifty one comes from GoodTimes Home Video: a 90 minute collection of the trailers for all 33 Elvis feature films, titled “Elvis In The Movies.”

It’s kind of neat to watch the string of three-minute coming-attractions hyping each new Elvis movie, in sequence. Sometimes, they would start with an attention-catching phrase flashing across the screen, but more often, they began with a booming announcer voice-over extolling some element of the movie.

Along with snippets of film, these written or spoken teasers gave the fans an idea of what the movie was about. Here they are in chronological order.

 

Love Me Tender

His first great motion picture. Out of the great Southwest comes the sensational adventure of the notorious Reno brothers and the girl they fought over.

 

Loving You

The first big, modern musical built around the fiery personality of Elvis Presley. Follow him through the barnstorming days, and the one night stands, the big moment when girls discover him — and he discovers girls.

 

Jailhouse Rock

Elvis is back and so is his biggest movie hit… The astounding success story of this rebel with a voice that rocked the world.

 

King Creole

They’ve crowned a new king on the street where jazz was born. Now he crowns his meteoric rise to fame with a fiery burst of dramatic power.

 

G.I. Blues

The red, white and blue show of the year. It’s a three day pass at those frolicking frauleins, but the dancing darling who blocks every pass has all the guys in a spin — and guess who the boys are betting on to break through her defenses.

 

Flaming Star

The white man’s song was on his lips, but an Indian war-cry was in his heart, as he is torn between two loyalties, and he fought to save them both.

 

Wild In The Country

Elvis Presley sings songs of love to Hope Lang, songs of love to Tuesday Weld, songs of love to Millie Perkins. And wherever Elvis goes, excitement follows. Tense, torrid, tempestuous.

 

Blue Hawaii

Elvis as your personal guide to America’s exotic Eden, our Polynesian paradise. He hits the beach with the most luscious armful of delight on the island.

 

Follow That Dream

Follow that car. It’s headed toward this theater, loaded with the most happy-go-lucky group of wanderers who ever came down the pike chasing after the rainbow.

 

Kid Galahad

It’s a knockout. It’s a honey of a picture, filled with that Elvis kind of action, that Elvis kind of love.

 

Girls, Girls, Girls

Skipper Elvis serenades a port full of girls, girls, girls. The greatest of all Elvis Presley musicals with a whole album full of brand new songs.

 

It Happened at the Worlds Fair

Here, against the panorama of one ot the most glamorous and exciting events of recent times, is everything that made Elvis Presley one of the greatest entertainment stars in the world.

 

Fun in Aculpulco

It’s Elvis on fire with a Latin lilt, Latin love, Latin rhythm.

 

Kissin' Cousins

There’s gals in them thar hills, and look who’s driving them wild. The two greatest lovers in the Great Smokies.

 

Viva Las Vegas

The excitement when these two let themselves go on a wild and woolly whirl through Funtown, USA. A jumpin’ jackpot of melody.

 

Roustabout

Rambling, roving, restless, reckless. Elvis, getting the chicks all worked up, but cutting loose from any dolly that can tie him down.

 

Girl Happy

… when Elvis invades the land of the bikinis on those spring vacation revels. And thousands of college kids go, go, go.

 

Tickle Me

Yes, it’s Elvis as a swinging, singing cowboy. A rodeo ridin’, bronco bustin’ champ, whose job is wrangling fillies on a dude ranch.

 

Harum Scarum

Across the burning sands rides a dauntless stranger, meeting every challenge with clashing swords and bare-handed daring.

 

Frankie and Johnny

Here comes the King of the Mississippi… in a story that shows… that there ain’t no good in men.

 

Paradise Hawaiin Sryle

Running wild as a copter flyboy with more co-pilots than he can handle.

 

Spinout

It’s Elvis swinging. It’s Elvis singing. It’s Elvis racing. With his foot on the gas — and no breaks on the fun.

 

Easy Come, Easy Go

Flip-out with Elvis. Elvis making the scene, and he’s with some of the most luscious lovelies that ever filled out a bikini. Elvis rockin’ and sockin’ on the waterfront.

 

Double Trouble

Elvis is in trouble, big trouble. Elvis is on his way. He’s off to mod London and swinging Europe — and mystery.

 

Clambake

It’s Elvis cooking up a storm of entertainment. Elvis throws the wildest beach party since they invented the bikini and the beat.

 

Stay Away Joe

Now and again, the West produces a man who stands apart from the crowd. Noble as the valley, rugged as the rocks, a man of action who makes an unforgettable impact. Joe Lightcloud is such a man ???

 

Speedway

He’s a high flying stock car jockey with a room full of trophies. Elvis has a one-track mind and a winning streak that couldn’t be broken, until he found a gorgeous, groovy government agent in his slip-stream.

 

Live A Little, Love A Little

It’s a blow-up, it’s a blast. A love affair between a photographer, his pussycat, her playboy, and a pooch.

 

Charro

A different kind of a killer, a different kind of a man. On his neck he wore the brand of a killer, on his hip he wore vengeance.

 

The Trouble with Girls

It’s Elvis Presley. He’s the boss, boss-man of a groovy traveling tent show. It’s a little wicked and wild, weird and wacky — wallopin’ way-out entertainment.

 

Change of Habit

Elvis Presley, in the change of pace roll as a doctor doing his best to keep the lid on a red-hot ghetto.

 

 

I noticed a few things as I compiled this list.

Groovy was used a couple of times, and that is not a word we would think of today to describe Elvis. However, these movies are from the 60s, and groovy was used a lot in those times.

Elvis was described as fiery twice, including, “fiery burst of dramatic power” in King Creole. That’s a good line.

Bikini was used in three trailers, but it could easily have been in more.  They could have condensed down the tag for Clambake and just said:  Bikinis !!!

I’m a little surprised they used this line in Frankie and Johnny: “in a story that shows there ain’t no good in men.” What type audience were they trying to attract with that?

I am a big fan of alliterations, such as “tense, torrid, tempestuous” in Wild in the Country.

Here are some other good ones:

“wild and wooly whirl” in Viva Las Vegas.

“rambling, roving, restless, reckless” in Roustabout.

‘gorgeous, groovy government agent” in Speedway.

“a little wicked and wild, weird and wacky — wallopin’ way-out entertainment” from The Trouble with Girls.

 

And the Alliteration Grand Champion comes from Live A little, Love A Little:

“A photographer, his pussycat, her playboy, and a pooch…. All about passion, punches, pleasure, pandemonium.”

 

Wow. An eight-word alliteration. That’s pretty hard to do.

 

Here’s a challenge for you.  Come up with an Elvis alliteration and post it on Comments.   The first one I thought up was easy, early Elvis, and that’s terrible.  See if you can do better.

 

 

 

© 2018 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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ElvisBlog Mini-Nuggets # 24

 

A Star Is Born 2018

I’m sure most of you readers are aware of all the media hype for the latest version of the movie A Star Is Born. This one pairs up Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga (or Stefani Germanotta, her real name, as listed on the above poster).

How many of you also know that Elvis was offered the male lead in the 1976 version?

A Star Is Born 1976

According to the definitive book ELVIS – His Life from A to Z, “Barbra Streisand wanted to costar with Elvis, in what would have been his finest screen role. But an agreement couldn’t be reached with Colonel Parker, who wanted one million dollars plus top billing for Elvis, rather than to settle for a percentage of the movie’s gross.”

So Kris Kristofferson got the role.

Probably not one of Col. Parker’s best moves.

 

Jerry Seinfeld in an Elvis Jumpsuit:

Rolling Stone Cover o Seinfeld in Elvis Jumpsuit

Do you save old magazines with good intentions to read them again? I’m bad that way, but lately I’m culling out anything I can use on ElvisBlog, and throwing the rest away. Here’s the cover of the September 22, 1994 issue of Rolling Stone magazine. It may be hard to tell in the small photo here, but the full-sized cover shows this is an expensive original design that probably weighs 40 pounds like some of Elvis’ jumpsuits did.  And his attempt at an Elvis lip curl is really lame

Jerry Seinfeld in Elvis Jumpsuit

This is a different pose that accompanies the lengthy article celebrating the end of Jerry Seinfeld’s twelve-year run on the TV show Seinfeld. There is no mention of the jumpsuit in the article, so it must be just to emphasize the subtitle on the magazine cover: The King of Prime Time Comedy.

There was one other picture of interest in this magazine.

Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson

Supposedly, this was the first photograph of Lisa Marie and Michael Jackson after they were married in 1994.

 

Here are pictures of some other showbiz folks dressed up in Elvis jumpsuits.

Bill Murray in an Elvis Jumpsuit

 

 

Britney Spears 2007 in an Elvis Jumpsuit

 

 

Glen Campbell Wearing Elvis Jumpsuit - 1975

 

Andy Kaufman in Elvis Jumpsuit

 

Geraldo 1992 in Elvis Jumpsuit

 

Nathan Fillion (Rick Castle) in his Elvis Jumpsuit

The guy in the middle is Nathan Fillion In an episode of Castle.  Check out the twin Elvi’s with matching American Eagle jumpsuits and white scarfs on each side.  Does anybody know what the storyline was to have Fillion dressed up like this?

 

Who was Elvis’ Favorite Auto Mechanic?

Earlier this week I got an email from an ElvisBlog reader in Spokane who makes and collects guitars. After negotiating on the phone to buy a double-neck guitar, he went to pick it up.

Double -neck guitar

It turned out the owner also had many other guitars, including one he says he got from Elvis. It is an electric guitar with the same inlay as the acoustic guitar below.

Elvis Presley Guitar -

 

The man claims to have been Elvis’ go-to automobile mechanic for many years up until Elvis’ death.

This is the story the ElvisBlog reader relates about the mechanic, who we will call Al for now.

‘Elvis’ car broke down on his way to Tahoe. Al was a mechanic at a local car repair place. His boss asked if he could put a new motor in this Lincoln, and he agreed to work all night so Elvis could leave in the morning. Well, I guess he finished around 3 AM, and a guy came to pick up the car, but they started drinking beer and the guy was too drunk to drive.

“Meantime Elvis shows up, thanks the guy, asks Al’s boss if he could offer Al a job, to which Al said yes, and thus became his mechanic for years. Elvis would have his private plane pick him up and fly him to his various places like Bel Air, Memphis and I think he said Florida, where he had vehicles and Al would make sure they were tuned up and ready to go. He got paid $2400 a month which he says was really good money back in the sixties/seventies. He became really good friends with Priscilla and Lisa Marie, and he claimed he was like an uncle to Lisa.”

 

When the collector got to Al’s house for the double-neck, he found a very protective/reclusive type old man.

“He lets me in and I noticed he is packing a gun on his hip. He finally started to loosen up a bit after he realized I truly enjoy guitars and that’s when all the stories started coming forth. Really want to believe him but … I have some doubts.”

The story goes that Elvis gave Al the electric guitar with the fancy neck inlay. It was a movie prop although it really played. Elvis also gave him a gold album award, photos, and lots of other stuff.

The guitar collector says, “It all sounds really cool, but there is that slight twinkle of doubt that is bothering me.” He hopes there is someone out there who knows about a car mechanic/guitar collector with strong connections to Elvis, and has asked my help.

So, if anyone is familiar with who worked on Elvis’ vehicles from late 60s until Elvis’ death, please reply on Comments and add some credence to this story about Elvis’ favorite auto mechanic.

 

 

 

© 2018 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

Hallmark Channel Movie — Christmas at Graceland

Hallmark Countdown to Christmas

My wife is a dedicated viewer of the movies on the Hallmark Channel. A few days ago, they ran a promotion for their Countdown to Christmas series of new holiday-themed movies. I was in the kitchen making a snack when it came on, and I paid little attention to the sound coming out of the TV. Then they said one of their new movies was Christmas at Graceland and my interest perked up.

 

Christmas at Graceland poster

 

I said to myself, “I don’t remember reading anything about this on Graceland.com/news that I check out regularly. So, I did a little search on the site for “Hallmark Movie.” This is what came up:

 

Graceland.com.news Article on Hallmark Movie

 

No wonder I didn’t remember it. This news spot posted three and a half months ago, and there hasn’t been another feature about it since. There surely is a big one coming, but ElvisBlog will share with you now as much as I have been able to find.

 

Kellie Pickler

This is a glamour shot of country singer Kellie Pickler who stars in the movie. Of course, this is not exactly the image Hallmark would want for their movie heroine, so she has a much different look in the film.

 

Kellie Pickler in Christmas at Graceland

 

Actually, Kellie Pickler is much more than a country singer. She got her start on the fifth season of American Idol in 2006. That was one of the strongest groups of contestants ever, with Taylor Hicks winning, Katharine McPhee placing second, and Chris Daughtry coming in fourth. Despite finishing sixth, Kellie Pickler got a major record deal, and forged ahead with her singing career.

 

KELLIE PICKLER AND DEREK HOUGH Season 16 of Dancing with the Stars

In 2013, Pickler and her partner, Derek Hough, were declared the winners of the 16th season of Dancing with the Stars.

 

Pickler and Ben Talk Show

She is also the co-host of the Pickler & Ben talk show on CMT, for which she earned a Daytime Emmy nomination.

 

Wes Brown in Christmas in Graceland

And this is Wes Brown, her co-star in Christmas at Graceland. He has starred in many Hallmark Channel movies, including “June in January,” “Love Begins,” “Love’s Resounding Courage,” “Christmas Cookies,” and “Love Under the Stars.”

 

Here is a brief synopsis of the movie that appeared on the Memphis Commercial-Appeal website on September 20:

“Country singer Kellie Pickler stars as Laurel, a native Memphian turned Chicago finance executive who returns to her hometown for a bank deal. While in Memphis, Laurel reunites with old flame Clay (Wes Brown), a local music promoter with loftier aspirations.

“Though Laurel tries to keep her eye on the prize of the business acquisition, Clay is very persuasive reminding her of the days when they were a performing duo on the brink of stardom.”

And the audience stays glued to find out if she stays in the business world or falls in love with Clay and reunites with him to pursue that old dream. I think you can guess which way it goes.

 

Graceland Guesthouse Lobby

There is a 22 second teaser video on the Hallmark Chanel website that opens with this shot of the lobby of the Graceland Guesthouse.

 

Kellie Pickler Walking into the Graceland Guesthouse

Then there is a clip of Kellie/Laurel walking into the lobby. No explanation about the young girl.

 

Outside Graceland

Then, as the action presumably shifts to Graceland, this shot is shown briefly.

 

Kellie Pickler in Scene from the Christmas in Graceland

And this clip is when Kellie/Laurel sings in front of Graceland.

 

I searched the web looking for a more complete synopsis of the plot. I did find these pictures of Graceland in July being turned into a winter wonderland with artificial snow (tiny bio-degradable flakes of recycled paper).

 

Trucks of Snow Blowing Equipment at Graceland

 

Fake Snow Machines at Graceland

 

Blowing Fake Snow at Graceland

Notice the guy is wearing shorts.

 

Guy in Shorts Blowing Fake Snow at Graceland

This guy is, too. They even put up the famous Graceland Merry Christmas display.

 

Graceland Drive with fake Snow

On this shot down the drive from Graceland, you can see where the fake snow stops. That’s Elvis Presley’s Memphis across the street.

 

And here’s the final result:

Snow-Covered Graceland

 

Christmas at Graceland will premiere at 8 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Nov. 17, and be repeated during the same prime time slot several times over the following weeks. It probably will be at a different time when it is repeated on Christmas Day as part of a marathon of new Hallmark holiday movies.

 

I have a history of watching Elvis movies over and over.  My wife does the same thing with those Hallmark Channel movies.  So, I guess we’ll be watching Christmas at Graceland several times together.  I’ll bet that many of you will watch it multiple times, too.

 

 

© 2018 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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