Tag Archives: Kid Galahad

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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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 50th Anniversary Pictorials — Kid Galahad, 1962

This article is a little late.  Kid Galahad, Elvis’ tenth film, was released on August 29, 1962.  It was significant because it represented the final real attempt to provide him with a substantial story line and a challenging character to play.  The success of his next three films (Girls, Girls, Girls, It Happened at the World’s Fair, and Fun in Acapulco) firmly established the formula for Elvis movies — unpretentious light comedy with plenty of musical numbers.

The other thing interesting about Kid Galahad to me is his co-star, Joan Blackman.  She also played his love interest, Maile Duval, in Blue Hawaii, just two movies earlier.  This was the second repeat of an Elvis leading lady, following Delores Hart in Loving You and King Creole.  There would be other actresses who appeared with multiple movies with Elvis — Shelly Fabares, Mary Ann Mobley, Yvonne Craig, Sue Ann Langdon, and probably others I can’t think of.

 

Movie Posters:

 

 

Shots from the Movie:

Although Joan Blackman had a substantial acting roll in Blue Hawaii, her roll in Kid Galahad consisted of little more than gazing dreamingly into Elvis’ eyes.

More Looking in his Eyes

Costar Lola Albright and Elvis

Elvis’ character had recently completed his Army service as the movie began.  This marked the third Elvis movie in a row where Elvis played a former soldier.  (He flies home to Hawaii in his Army uniform in Blue Hawaii, and he has an Army disability pension in Follow That Dream.)

 

This is a shot of Joan Blackman and Elvis early in Blue Hawaii.  Check out his Sergeant stripes and unit insignia.

 

Here’s a second shot of Elvis in uniform in Kid Galahad.  Looks like he didn’t accomplish anything in the Army this time – no rank, no insignia, no medals.

 

In addition to the two lovely actresses, Elvis was supported in this movie by Gig Young and Charles Bronson.

 

Elvis and Joan Blackman danced at an Independence Day picnic.  She looked quite alluring in her low-cut sun dress, and Elvis seems to checking her out pretty intently.

 

This is an old car Elvis rescued from a barn and fixed up.  In addition to learning to box in the Army, he also picked up good skills as a mechanic.

 

Lobby Cards:

 

Serious Make-Up:

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Publicity Shots:

 

Foreign Movie Posters:

Italian Poster

French Poster

No Idea What Country This is From

 

Kissing the Costar:

As has become the standard for this movie pictorial series, we will end with a shot of Elvis kissing his costar Joan Blackman.

 

©  2012    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.