Tag Archives: Elvis Movie Madness

King Creole #1 — That’s The Way It Isn’t

Elvis Movie Madness Championship Brackets

Okay, the fans have spoken.  52,000 votes were cast in the Elvis Movie Madness championship, and Elvis: That’s The Way It Is edged out King Creole by EIGHT VOTES.

Early TTWII Poster

My prediction last week was a bust, but congratulations to TTWII for the victory.

However, as I have said here before, Elvis: That’s The Way It Is a documentary/concert film, not a movie with acting, comedy, and plot.  The voting results showed the fans consider these the seven best Elvis acting movies.

#1 –            King Creole

#2 (tie) –   Jailhouse Rock

                  Viva Las Vegas

#4 (tie) –    Loving You

                  Blue Hawaii

                  GI Blues

                  Girl Happy

 

After the results were announced, I realized I didn’t have enough appreciation tor TTWII.  I’ve seen it several times, but it’s not a film I can watch over and over like some of my favorite Elvis acting movies like Tickle Me, Live A Little, Love A Little, Follow That Dream, or Kissin’ Cousins (in addition to that Top 7 above).

So, I did a little research to find out what makes Elvis: That’s The Way It Is so popular.

 Possibly the Greatest Elvis Film Ever Made

 

Well, how about the fact that the extensively remastered original 1970 film debuted in Blu-ray and had its world premiere theatrical showing at Elvis Week 2014 at the Orpheum Theater last August 16.

 TTWII Special Elvis Week Screening

 

Do you think those fans who saw the film on the special day commemorating his death might still have a warm fuzzy feeling for it eight months later?  Sure, but there couldn’t have been that many folks who squeezed into the Orpheum for a single 8pm show.

Well, how about all the folks who saw it at the 300 theaters across the country that also featured limited engagements after Elvis Week?

 TTWII Exclusive Engagement

Now you’re talking about a lot of serious fans that saw TTWII last August – the kind of fans that probably follow Graceland.com and voted in Elvis Movie Madness.

For those of you who don’t know what the reediting and remixing of TTWII is all about, here is a little history.  The original movie was 108 minutes long.  It consisted mainly of concert footage from Elvis’ triumphant 1970 shows at the International Hotel in Las Vegas.

Elvis Headlining at International Hotel

It also contained the informal and easy-going practice sessions at MGM Music Sound Stage in Culver City, CA.

Elvis Wearing Shades During TTWII Rehersals

Unfortunately, it also wasted a lot of film time on fan interviews and other superficial stuff.

Then in 2000, Elvis: That’s The Way It Is received some drastic editing.  The fan sequences were eliminated, and the rehearsal and concert sequences were expanded using recently discovered footage.  The resulting film was twelve minutes shorter than the original, but focused entirely on Elvis as a musician, performer and beloved icon.

 TTWII-Special edition

The newly “reconstructed” film was issued on DVD, and it also had a second run in the movie theaters that year.

Then, in 2014, Warner Home Video released what they call a DigiBook two-disc edition — the original 1970 version on DVD, and the 2000 updated version on Blu-ray.  Tied in with this release, EPE scheduled the Elvis Week showing at the Orpheum Theater.

When 300 theaters across the country also showed the film
around the same time, TTWII became the only Elvis film to claim three theatrical runs (1970, 2000, and 2014).

 That's the Way It Is

If all that attention in August 2014 wasn’t enough to sway the vote, TTWII had one more big promotional push with the March 2015 opening of a new Graceland exhibition about the movie.

Graceland Exibitions

You have to admit that TTWII had a lot of stuff pumping it up the Elvis Movie Madness vote, but it is truly a great film.  If you want to find out why, check out any of the 288 Five-Star reviews on Amazon.com.  You’ll probably end up buying the Blu-ray.

 

I couldn’t do this article and resist the temptation to look up how many Five-Star reviews King Creole got on Amazon.com. 

 Elvis and Carolyn Jones in King Creole

There were just 112.  I guess the fans voting on Elvis Movie Madness got it right.

 

 

©  2015    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis Movie Madness — Handicapping the Final Four

Elvis Movie Final Four

You can see the survivors of Round 3 voting above.

King Creole knocked off Loving You 71% to 29%.

Viva Las Vegas topped GI Blues 67% to 33%.

Jailhouse Rock slammed Girl Happy 73% to 37%.

ELVIS: That’s The Way It Is got by Blue Hawaii 55% to 45%.

 

I would like to make my predictions right now. The Final Four losers will be Viva Las Vegas and ELVIS: That’s The Way It Is, meaning they tie for honor of third best Elvis movie. King Creole and Jailhouse Rock battle it out in the finals with King Creole coming out on top.

King Creole Poster 3

In list form, the Top 4 Elvis movies will look like this:

#1 – King Creole

#2 – Jailhouse Rock

#3 (tie) – Viva Las Vegas, and ELVIS: That’s The Way It Is

That’s my prediction. I made it primarily on my gut feelings, then decided to do some research on the three websites used for the Worst Elvis Movies post two weeks ago. There was much agreement on the worst, but their rankings for the best four Elvis movies were more disparate. That wasn’t enough to bolster my picks, so, I added one more source and the pattern became very evident. Here’s what they showed.

IMBd Elvis Movie Rankings

 

 

 

#1 – Follow That Dream
#2 – Loving You
#3 – Flaming Star
#4 – Blue Hawaii

Follow That Dream - Lobby Card

These folks seem to be taking a contrarian point of view, but all of their picks showed strength in the Elvis Movie Madness voting. Loving You and Blue Hawaii made the Elite Eight, and Follow That Dream had 47% of the vote against Loving You in the first round. It’s a shame they had to be paired up so early. The same could be said about Flaming Star that had the misfortune to go against Love Me Tender in the first round, but still got 43% of the vote
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For what it’s worth, here’s where my favorites ranked on IMDb: Jailhouse Rock – 6, King Creole – 7, and Viva Las Vegas – 18. IMDb included only Elvis acting movies in their ranking.

 

Ranker Elvis Movie Rankings

 

 

 

 

 

#1 – Viva Las Vegas
#2 – King Creole
#3 – Jailhouse Rock
#4 – Blue Hawaii
#5 – ELVIS: That’s The Way It Is

Viva Las Vegas Lobby Card

Not bad. Ranker got all of the Final Four in that list.

 

USA Today Elvis Movie Rankings

 

 

 

 

 

#1 – King Creole
#2 – Jailhouse Rock
#3 – Loving You
#4 – Flaming Star

King Creole  Poster 2

Another good list. Viva was #6. No concert films included on the USA Today list.

 

King Creole and Jailhouse Rock showed a lot of strength in the listings above. However, when I added one more respected ranking source, things became perfectly clear.

MovieFone Elvis Movie Rankings

 

 

 

#1 – King Creole
#2 – Jailhouse Rock
#3 – ELVIS: That’s The Way It Is
#4 – Elvis On Tour.

MovieFone placed Viva Las Vegas at #7

So, based on these four listings, I feel confident in my Elvis Movie Madness picks. King Creole will be named Elvis’ best movie.

King Creole Poster 1

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© 2015 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’ Worst Movie — Who Needs Brackets

Elvis Movie Madness

Have you been voting in Graceland’s new promotion, Elvis Movie Madness? It is a pretty clever idea inspired by the NCAA Basketball Tournament, commonly known as “March Madness.” They even copied the famous tournament brackets so millions of fans can determine Elvis’ Best Movie.

Elvis Movie Madness Brackets

If you aren’t familiar with how these brackets work, you pick your favorite movie from each pair of choices down the left and right sides. The winners then pair off in the second, third and fourth brackets until there are only two movies left to battle for the crown. The shot of the brackets is too small to read, so here is a bigger version of the first round pairings. The losers in each pairing have been marked with a slash.

Elvis Music Madness Round 1 Region 1Elvis Music Madness Round 1 Region 1aElvis Music Madness Round 1 Region 2Elvis Music Madness Round 1 Regions 2a

Elvis Music Madness Round 1 Region 3Elvis Music Madness Round 1 Region 3aElvis Music Madness Round 1  Region 4
Elvis Music Madness Round 1 Region 4a
Here is a list of the sixteen movies that were eliminated in round one.

Flaming Star
Follow That Dream
Easy Come, Easy Go
Double Trouble

Kissin’ Cousins
Wild in the Country
Spinout
Stay Away Joe

The Trouble With Girls
Clambake
Live A Little, Love A Little
Frankie and Johnny

Paradise, Hawaiian Style
Speedway
Harum Scarum
Charro

There are some real stinkers in this list, and it got me thinking about what might be Elvis’ worst movie. Just for kicks, I Googled “Worst Elvis Presley Movie,” and lots of results came up. However, it is interesting to look at that top three sites Google found.

IMDb:

IMBd Elvis Movie Rankings

The Internet Movie Database is a treasure trove of information about films, television programs, and video games, including cast, production crew, fictional characters, biographies, plot summaries, trivia and reviews. In 1998, it became a subsidiary of Amazon.com.

Ranker:

Ranker Elvis Movie Rankings

I never heard of this site, but Ranker is a lot of fun. They have lists of the best and worst for every subject you can think of.

USA Today:

USA Today Elvis Movie Rankings

This national newspaper is certainly a credible source. While Ranker and IMDb ranked all 31 of Elvis’ movies from top to bottom, USA Today picked just the Top 10 and Worst 3.

So, here are their picks for the worst Elvis movie.

IMDb: Harum Scarum, Double Trouble, Spinout

Ranker: Harum Scarum, Easy Come, Easy Go, Double Trouble

USA Today: Harum Scarum, Easy Come, Easy Go, Paradise, Hawaiian Style

Elvis in Harum Scarum

 

Well, we have a consensus here. Harum Scarum is the runaway choice for the worst Elvis movie. The nod for next worse seems to go to Easy Come, Easy Go, followed by Double Trouble.

Although IMDb does not publish official critiques, it does encourage comments from the public. In fairness, it should be said that there are some positive reviews included for the movies ranked as Elvis’ three worst. However, there is a preponderance of negative comments, and some of them for the consensus winner (loser?) you might find interesting.

Harum Scarum:

“Even Elvis haters looking for a cheap laugh will find themselves bored by this exercise.”

“The film is listed in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson’s book The Official Razzie Movie Guide as one of the 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made.”

“This is not the Elvis of folklore, nor is it the Elvis that will return one day and save us from mediocrity. This is the dry Elvis, milked fully, udders raw, yet ever sedated.”

“Colonel Tom Parker, who usually took great care in the movie properties acquired for Elvis, must have cringed with the lemon he got Elvis stuck in here.”

“Reportedly lensed in a mere 18 days, and for the sake of cost-cutting, everything was shot on back-lot MGM soundstages instead of actual locations in the Middle East.”

“There’s one jaw-dropping musical scene that’s borderline soft-kiddie porn when Presley watches as a pre-teen girl with slits in her dress that are WAIST-HIGH gyrates and flounces around faux-seductively. It’s really bizarre, inappropriate, wildly politically-incorrect, and sure to invoke discomfort in some viewers. It’s also just about the only thing in the film that can guarantee that the audience is awake!”

“Should be called Yawnum Snorum”

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© 2015 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.

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