Tag Archives: Clambake

Elvis Movie 50th Anniversary Pictorials: Clambake – 1967

Elvis Presley in Clambake

As you can imagine, coming up with 52 new ideas every year for blog posts can be quite a challenge.  So, I felt a sense of relief when I got the idea back in 2010 to do Elvis Movie 50th Anniversary Pictorials.  The first was for G.I. Blues.

ElvisBlog First 50th Anniversary Movie Pictorials

 

I knew I’d have three or four movies a year that would get the same treatment: lobby posters, stills from the film, publicity pictures, backstage photos, and screen grabs of some funny Elvis stuff in the movie.  Like this:

Elvis Weird Face in GI Blues

 

Then in 2014, Graceland started their own blog.

The Official Blog of Graceland

 

I’ve read them all, and I’m kind of a fan.  With all the resources and manpower that Graceland has, they do a good job.  I didn’t really see the Graceland Blog as a threat to ElvisBlog because I post stuff they would never think of.

 

Graceland Blog Love Me Tender

Then, a year ago, with the 60th anniversary of Love Me Tender approaching, they did a blog post on it.  A week later, Graceland Blog celebrated the 55th anniversary of Blue Hawaii.

Graceland Blog Blue Hawaii

 

I sensed a trend, and since then every 50th, 55th or 60th Elvis movie anniversary has been covered.  Including Clambake last month.  So I considered giving up on the ElvisBlog series… or finding a way to these pictorials that is completely different from Graceland Blog.  I finally figured it out.  Here’s how I will feature Elvis movies 50th anniversaries from now on.

Cool Stuff to Look for the Next Time You Watch Clambake

 

Clambake title Shot from Trailer

Interesting shot, isn’t it?

 

Locked spurs - Clambake

This is Will Hutchins who plays Elvis’ buddy in the movie.  He provides most of the comic relief, some good, some not so much.  Here we are told he is hopping along because his spurs locked.  But, he just out of a low sports car.  I’m pretty sure you can’t drive one wearing spurs.

 

Six inch flame - Clambake

This was better.  He nearly burned his face with this six-inch lighter flame. But I especially like the look from the guy behind the registration desk.  He made several more snide glances when Elvis showed up.

 

Elvis in Clambake Coat with heavy black stiching

This is a publicity shot, and you will notice that Elvis is wearing the same suit as Will Hutchens in the previous picture.  I’m sure you all remember how they switched identities early in the movie.  Anyway, this has to be one of the worst wardrobe items Elvis ever had to wear.  It is supposed to represent him as a rich guy from Texas.  To me, the stitching looks like similar to how Dr. Frankenstein sewed up the monster.

 

Charlie Hodge as Barber - Clambake

I always look for bit parts by Elvis’ buddies in his movies.  Did you recognize Charlie Hodge as the barber?

 

Red West With play arrow on forehead

And this is Red West playing an ice cream vendor at a kids’ park where there’s a lot of cowboys- and-Indians playing going on.  Then Red joined in the fun by climbing on the monkey bars and fake shooting back with his finger.

Red West taking a dive in Clambake

Then he faked taking a hit and fell to the ground.  You will see that he did the stunt himself, doing a somersault and landing flat on his back.

 

Charge

During the shoot-em-up scene, a few seconds of this Calvary charge flashed on the screen.

 

Spinning dance sequence

Even weirder was a longer sequence where, for no reason, the camera angle rotated around 180 degrees.  The girl on the swing hops off and starts dancing.  The upside-down choreography is actually a pretty neat visual. Then it rotated back to normal.

 

Shelly Flirting with Jameson

These are the other two main characters in Clambake.  Bill Bixby played a rich business man who is a champion speedboat racer.  Shelly Fabares is a young cutie trying to snag this prime catch.  There is nothing unusual here, but the mood is much different later in the movie.

 

Shelly showing off water skying on Clambake

She also pals around with Elvis, who pretended to be a poor water ski instructor. Shelly pretended to not know how to water ski, but shows off for Bill Bixby to see.  It was obvious that a stunt double did all the other tricky moves, but she really did this one.  You’ll see the difference.

 

The clambake

This is the clambake scene which showed off lots of skimpily-clad girls dancing.  And Elvis has a big song and dance production number, but the title song is certainly one of the worst he ever had to sing in a movie.

 

Joe Esposito in Clambake

Two more Elvis buddies get short cameos in the party scene.  This is Joe Esposito with a cocktail shaker in his hand.  He tosses it to Richard Davis.

Richard davis catches the shaker

 

Elvis Presley in the lab in Clambake

This is an unusual shot of Elvis.  His character has a degree in engineering, not chemistry, but here he is trying to develop an extra-tough and durable coating for his speedboat’s hull.

Girls Elvis helping in the shop in Clambake

See the can?  That contains GOOP, the coating Elvis invented.  Six girls show up to help, but more dancing occurs that any work.

Elvis Kissing girls down the line in Clambake

To thank the girls for their hard work(?), Elvis goes down the line and kisses each one.  And they all swoon and fall back against the wall.  Tough acting jobs, huh?

 

No, you creep

Toward the end of the movie, Bill Bixby’s character shows that he is just after sex and starts putting unwelcome moves on Shelly Fabares.

No

Here he is in full Harvey Weinstein mode, and she’s having trouble holding him off.  Guess who knocks on the door and cools things off?  Elvis, of course.

Elvis interrupts in Clambake

He has some flimsy excuse of delivering a water ski, but it works.  Never mind that Elvis pulled a similar stunt to get Ann Margret away from the clutches of Cesare Denova in Viva Las Vegas.

 

First sparks of love in Clambake

After that, Elvis and Shelly share sparks of love.  He wins the speedboat race, and they profess their love for each other.  As they drive off into the sunset, two really strange things happen.

 

Clambake - Mountains in Florida

See the mountains in the background.  The movie is set in Florida near Miami.  It’s pretty obvious that this scene was filmed in California.  He tells her that he really is the rich son of the Texas oilman, and takes out his drivers’ license to prove it.

 

Elvis' Drivers license in Clambake

How do you like that date of birth?  I guess they wanted to present Elvis as 27 years old, not 32.

 

I’ve always ended these movie pictorials with a shot of Elvis kissing his leading ladies.

Clambake - The Kiss

Watch for this when you next see Clambake.  The kiss occurs after he has asked her to marry him and she said yes.  But it is the first time they kiss. Has anybody ever proposed to someone he has never kissed?  Oh, well.  It’s a fun movie.

 

 

©  2017    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.

 

 

 

 

Fun and Games on Elvis’ Movie Sets

Elvis Tossing Football off Set on 'Follow That Dream'

Three months ago I shared a few excerpts from the new book Elvis Humor by Bo Keeley. Bo had a unique concept for producing a successful book about Elvis. He went out and bought 43 other books on Elvis, and searched through them to find 290 anecdotes about his humor and love of fooling around and pulling stunts on others.

Elvis Humor

 

Elvis Humor is organized into many categories like the three in the subtitle: Girls, Guns, and Guitars. Last time we looked at a few from the Graceland section, but this time the stories of fun and games take place in the Movies category. Bo Keeley precedes each story with a little background and follows with the original source information.

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Wet Shirt

The Memphis Mafia was a mobile family that accompanied Elvis wherever he went, including onto Hollywood movie sets. Each had a specific duty such as bodyguard, valet, sport trainer, scheduling logistics, or playing in the bands. In Hollywood, the function of the group was to make sure Elvis had a good time. The boss always said that when making movies stopped being fun, he would stop making movies…

Elvis on Motorcycle in Clambake

I walked on the set of Clambake one morning. A bucket of water hit me from way up on one of the high catwalks. Elvis had a dressing room trailer that they pull from different locations. And I was there waiting for somebody to come out. Well, Red West had taken two buckets of water and crawled to the top of that studio. And I’m sitting there waiting. All of the sudden, a bucket of water hit me all over my head. And, when I looked up, the second one got me right in the face. Then I went to wardrobe and got a dry shirt. I hung my shirt up. And I went over there about 30 minutes later, it was still ringing wet.

Wet Shirt

We broke for lunch, and when we came back, it was still wet. About an hour later, I came back, it’s still ringing wet. Well, this time I shot around the trailer, and I stopped and looked back where my shirt was hanging. And Elvis had one of those pumps, you know, that they use to keep the greenery looking good on the set. Every time I’d walk away, he’d go pump it and drown my shirt again. But that’s the type of thing we’d just for fun.

(Attribution missing on this one)

 

Wigged Out In Kissin’ Cousins

An Army officer returns to the Smokey Mountains and tries to convince his kinfolk to allow th Army to build a missle site on their land. On Arriving, he discovers he has a lookalike cousin…

Elvis - Kissin Cousins Poster

Elvis played twins in the movie Kissin’ Cousins for MGM in 1963. Although he got a kick out of seeing two of himself on the screen, before filming started he became quite uncooperative with the director. He was required to wear a blond wig as one of the twins, and because he though the hairpiece made him look stupid, he refused to come out of his dressing room. The studio heads contacted Colonel Parker, who came down to the set to try to coax Elvis out. He told Elvis he was wasting the good money the studio was paying him, as well as hurting the other actors and prolonging everyone’s day.

Elvis with Black and Blonde Hair in Kissin' Cousins

When Elvis finally emerged with the wig on his head, he was startled to see everyone on the set wearing blond wigs. Even the Colonel, with his ever-present cigar poking out of his mouth, was sporting a curly blond wig on top of his bald head. Elvis rolled over laughing. He forgot his nervousness and apologized to the cast and crew for his behavior.

Jim Curtin, Elvis:Unknown Stories Behind the Legend, P.84

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Frightening, Isn’t It?

Elvis found out by watching movies that Tony Curtis wore mascara, so that on film and when they took photos, his eyes would be more defined. So, Elvis started doing it also when he performed. He was one of the very few men, with those Roman chiseled features, who could get away with it…

Young Elvis wearing eyeliner.

Young Elvis wearing eyeliner.

He was eagerly looking forward to one particular film, Harum Scarum (1965), seeing it as a chance to create a genuinely interesting character.

Elvis - Harum Scarum Soundtrack Album

He identified his role with Rudolph Valentino’s in The Sheik. At last, he thought, a part he could sink his teeth into. He saw a physical resemblance between himself and Valentino, especially in profile.

Rudolph Valentino

During production, he came home darkened with makeup, dressed in white harem pants and a white turban. He looked extremely handsome, much more so than Valentino.

Elvis Wearing Turban in Harum Scarum

Tilting his head down, with a piercing gaze, he asked rhetorically, “Frightening, isn’t it, how much I look like him? How does this get to ya?” He took me in his arms Valentino style and dipped me a la the famous poster of The Sheik.

Rudolph Valentino The Shiek

Night after night he kept his makeup and turban on all through dinner and up until bedtime.

Priscilla Presley, Elvis and Me. P.211.

 

Just Plain Ol’ Elvis

Elvis blamed his fading popularity in the 60s on his humdrum movies, and yet the silver screen gave many of his fans around the world their only opportunity to view him. He stayed sane through the decade with pranks on the sets involving the Memphis Mafia, sports, and girls. In 1962, he played Walter Gulick, who is returning from his military service to his birthplace where he was orphaned as an infant, and grew up elsewhere, but always wanted to return to where he was from. Walter is happy to take any kind of work, but his devastating right hook send him down a different path as Kid Galahad…

Elvis - Kid Galahad Poster

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During the filming of Kid Galahad in the winter of 1961, Elvis’ friends ordered a custom-made director’s chair as a prank gift. The chair had “Mr. Presley” stamped on the back of it. They presented it to the star on the first day of filming in mid-November. Elvis turned to the crew, the director, and the producer and asked, “Mr. Presley? Why so formal?” Director Phil Karlson said, “Only the best for our star.”

Elvis in Director's Chair

Elvis hated the formality of it. He wanted to be treated like one of the boys, and the chair destroyed the illusion. The next day a new chair replaced the formal one. The bright red canvas sported bold print that read “JUST PLAIN OL’ ELVIS.” Elvis laughed out loud and plopped into the chair.

Jim Curtin, Elvis: Unknown Stories Behind the Legend, P.98

 

Memphis Mafia on Set

Robert ‘red’ West was a close friend of Elvis and the first member of Presley’s inner circle, known as the Memphis Mafia. He first met Elvis in high school, where he was a year behind him, and defended Elvis in a bathroom brawl. After Elvis’ discharge from the Army in 1960, West was employed as one of Elvis’ bodyguards, and not only was quick to his boss’ defense, but strong on the practical jokes. West also became a movie stuntman appearing in 16 of Elvis’ films in the 60s, usually playing extras or bit and supporting parts…

Red West Before Swinging at Elvis - Tickle Me

Red West remembers that there was so much playing around on Clambake [four of the stories in this post are from that movie]. We sure did cut up on Clambake, but I don’t think we held up production any. There were pie-throwing, firecracker fights, and water bombardments.

“In one scene,” Red remembers, “Bill Bixby was before the cameras, which were rolling, and Elvis walked in and hit him with a cream pie.”

Cream Pie in the Face

“Up until that time, director Arthur Nadel hadn’t been hit. I thought he felt a little bit left out of it. So on the last day of shooting, he was dressed in a raincoat and rain hat, virtually inviting us to hit him. We didn’t. But that night as we had the end-of-movie party, he changed into a suit. After the party, he was going to a meeting. Well, we all made a little speech about how we love him and what a great guy he was to work with and what a great guy he was. Well, he gets choked up and begins to say thanks, and that’s when we hit him with a pie right in the face. At last he got the pie he wanted, but he was fully dressed.”

Red West, Elvis: What Happened, P.273

 

Boom Truck

After graduating from high school, Elvis took a full-time job driving a truck for Crown Electric Company. His pay was $1 an hour. Elvis enjoyed driving a truck for 14 months until the fall of 1954. His truck driving career was interrupted by a phone call from Sam Phillips inviting Elvis to record at Sun Studio. It was resumed in 1965 on a Hollywood set…

Girl Happy Poster

Elvis was in a restless mood during the filming of Girl Happy. In order to get in Elvis’ good graces, as well as to lift his mood, one of the cameramen offered Elvis the chance to drive the camera boom truck around the studio lot. Excited at the prospect, Elvis ran over to the truck before the cameraman could change his mind. Elvis maneuvered the vehicle slowly at first, familiarizing himself with the gadgets. Within minutes, he was driving like an expert.

Elvis on Camera Boom

Elvis began to get restless and drove the truck all over the lot much too fast. The cameraman ran after him, shouting at him to slow down, but Elvis would not listen. As he manipulated the large vehicle around the sets, he came within inches of knocking down permanent light fixtures and several backdrops. Panicking, the cameraman started to direct Elvis and prayed that the actor would listen. Elvis slowed the vehicle down and drove it around the lot at a reasonable speed. Fifteen minutes later, he parked the truck and shut off the engine. He thanked the cameraman for the opportunity. Relieved that nothing terrible happened, the cameraman had nonetheless learned his lesson. He never allowed the King to ride in the boom truck again.

Jim Curtain, Elvis: Unknown Stories Behind the Legend, P.86

 

Sidecar Singers

Elvis waterskied on McKeller Lake, Memphis as a teenager, so he was a natural in the 1967 musical Clambake. He is heir to an oil fortune who trades places with a waterski instructor at a Florida hotel to see if girls like him for himself, rather than for his father’s money…

Elvis on Camera Boom

We were in Nashville cutting the soundtrack or Clambake with the Jordanaires, and Elvis told them, “Y’all sing on the chorus with me.” Well, the director of the picture was there, and he said, “Elvis, I don’t think you understand where the song’s going in the picture. In this particular scene, you’re riding down the highway on a motorcycle singing this song.”

Elvis Singing on a Motorcycle in Clambake

“The voices can’t sing along with you. Where would we put the singers?”  Elvis thought for a second and said, “Put ‘em the same damn place you put the band.” That was the end of that.

Rose Clayton, Elvis Up Close, P.226

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Cricket Interlude

Filming for the musical Follow That Dream began July 6, 1961 in the summer heat of Florida. Recording sessions had taken place at RCA studio in Nashville. Six songs were recorded for the movie, and a distressed Presley insisted the worst song “Sound Advice” be omitted from the soundtrack. However, to director Gordon Douglas, the worst recording of the film was the crickets on location…

Follow That Dream Poster 2

The film crew had a difficult time recording the soundtrack for Follow That Dream. Filming took place in Florida from July through August 1961, and the crickets caused major problems. The crickets seemed to have an uncanny instinct to congregate at the exact location of Elvis’ movie set. Every time Elvis’ voice was heard, the crickets began to sing; every time he stopped, silence filled the set.

Lots of Crickets

Director Gordon Douglas yelled at the crickets to shut up, which they did. He turned to Elvis and asked him why the crickets were making so much noise. Elvis smirked and blurted out, “Maybe they’re Pat Boone fans.” Elvis started to sing with the crickets and remarked that it even sounded like they were chirping a Pat Boone song. Everyone laughed.

Douglas had to postpone that day’s filming. To make sure that the crickets would not cause further delays, he called an insect specialist.

Jim Curtin, Elvis: Unknown Stories Behind the Legend, P.98

 

Firecracker Battle

When Elvis lit a firecracker, it was to ease tension, make a point, or bring people together. When he lit dozens of them…

Stash of Firecrackers

In March 1967, Elvis was working on the movie Clambake. While he was having his make-up done by make-up man Dan Greenway, one of the crew members tossed a lit firecracker into the trailer. An all-out firecracker war was soon under way.

Elvis lit a firecracker to toss under a crew member’s chair. He misjudged, however, and the cracker landed on top. As the crew member sat down, the firecracker blew a hole in his pants. Elvis laughed so hard he did not hear one of his bodyguards behind him until a larger cracker popped right under his own read end. He quickly ran to his dressing room and retrieved his own stash of fireworks. The firecracker fights continued for several days. The set looked and sounded like a war movie. Even director Arthur Nadel got involved in the action; he eventually appeared on set sporting a German war helmet.

German Army Helmet

Rear ends were singed and fingers were burned, but by the time some action was finally caught on film, everyone was in a great mood and it showed.

Jim Curtin, Elvis: Unknown Stories Behind the Legend, P.100

 

 

Elvis Humor on Amazon

My thanks to Bo Keeley for agreeing to let me use excerpts from his book in this post. If you are interested in getting a copy of Elvis Humor – Girls, Guns & Guitars, click here.

 

 

© 2016 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.

 

Elvis Movie Bloopers

Last year, I mentioned a blooper in the movie Jailhouse Rock.  It was a lapse in continuity in the scene where Elvis sings “Baby, I Don’t Care” at a pool party.  Notice in the close shots Scotty is not wearing sunglasses, but in the long shots, he is.

Jailhouse Rock — No Sunglasses on Scotty

 

Jailhouse Rock — Scotty Wearing Sunglasses

 

I must admit I never noticed it, but when I read about it somewhere, I popped the DVD into the computer and checked it out.

Recently, I joined a wonderful website called TOO MUCH MONKEY BUSINESS, The Elvis Forum.  They have dozens of topics, including “Movie Bloopers,” which showed I had missed many other continuity goofs.  Here are some of the better ones.

Viva Las Vegas

This is the same mistake as in Jailhouse Rock.  None of these singers are wearing glasses.

Viva Las Vegas — Singer With No Glasses

 

But the next shot shows Elvis and Ann-Margret dancing in front of the group.  Look at the guy second from the right.

 

Viva Las Vegas — Singer with Glasses

 

As they continue to dance, you can notice a Band-Aid or piece of white tape on Elvis’ second finger, right hand.

 

Viva Las Vegas — Band-Aid on Second Finger

 

Whoops, now it’s gone.

Viva Las Vegas — No Baind-Aid on Finger

 

I like this one in Ann-Margret’s dance routine.  The first shot show her wearing high heels.

 

Viva las vegas — Ann-Margret Wearing Heels

 

Later in the dance sequence, she is wearing flat pumps, or whatever you call them.

 

Viva Las Vegas — Ann-Margret Wearing Flats

 

Girls! Girls! Girls!

Elvis and Laurel Goodwin walk down the street in front of a movie theater.  Notice anything familiar about the movie poster in the window?

 

Girls! Girls! Girls! — Walking Past Movie Posters in Window

 

Oh, yes.  It’s an Elvis Presley movie.

 

 

Spinout

There are some great pictures of Elvis and all the girls around the pool in Spinout.  Notice the girl wearing the white suit with the orange stripes.

 

Spinout — Girl Wearing White Bathing Suit with Orange Stripes

 

As the shot changes to Elvis starting to stand up, she’s not there anymore.  The film editor must not have cared about continuity at all.  “Oh, it’s just an Elvis movie.”

 

Spinout — Where’d She Go?

 

Live A Little, Love A Little

Working at Classic Cat Magazine was one of two jobs Elvis’ character Greg Nolan tried to do at the same time.  That buxom blonde below is a cardboard stand-up in front of the company’s logo on the wall.

 

Live A Little, Love A Little — No Classic Cat Magazine on Wall

 

When the shot changes to a close up, something new has been added.

 

Live A Little, Love A Little — Classic Cat Magazine on Wall

 

Fun In Acapulco

The bike ride Elvis and the boy take in town is full of continuity errors, but this one is pretty glaring.  They come to a corner where they will turn right.

 

Fun In Acapulco — Elvis and Boy Approach a Corner on Bike

 

Next shot, they have turned the corner.  Hey, how did that car turn into a truck?  How did the restaurant’s curtain get down, and where did all those customers go?

 

Fun In Acapulco — They Turn the Corner and Everything Has Changed

 

Kissin’ Cousins

Lance LeGault was a Lousiana blues singer who appeared as Elvis’ double in all the movies from 1960 to 1968.  In Kissin’ Cousins, Elvis played two characters, so Lance did too.  Here he is as Josh Morgan in a large dance sequence.

 

Kissin’ Cousins — Lance Le Gault Playing Josh Morgan

 

And here he is as Jody Tatum.  Things move so fast in the scene that most people wouldn’t notice, unless you do pause.  Except for the guy in the plaid shirt and hat and the soldier to his left, it looks like a mostly different group of dancers behind them

 

Kissin’ Cousins — Lance Le Gault as Jody Tatum

 

Clambake

Elvis’ character in Clambake was Scott Hayward, son of the big oilman who owned Hayward Oil.

 

Clambake — Scott Hayward’s Driver’s Linense

 

But, look how they spelled the company’s name on this sign.  Also, note how they cut five years off Elvis’ age on the driver’s license.

 

Clambake — Heyward Oil Sign

 

Kudos to the members of TOO MUCH MONKEY BUSINESS for spotting these Elvis movie bloopers.   There is a ton of great, unusual stuff on this forum.

 

©  2012    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.