Tag Archives: movie bloopers

Random Thoughts on Encore’s The Elvis Collection

Elvis fans ought to be happy this month.  Cable channel Encore is showing an Elvis movie, commercial free, at 8 PM every night in May.  Encore labels it The Elvis Collection, and their promo pitch is Whole Lotta Elvis.  Six of the movies are shown twice, so that means they are presenting twenty-five Elvis films.  This is so cool.

Logo - The Elvis Collection

 

The first three Elvis movies have already been shown (two will be repeated later), but that leaves plenty to discuss on ElvisBlog.  We’ll do it one week at a time, starting with Saturday May 4.  However, there will be no serious reviews.  For that, I suggest you check out my friend Alan Hanson’s wonderful reviews of all Elvis movies on his Elvis-History Blog.  As the title of this article says, whatever random thoughts pop into my mind for each movie will be shared here.  Most Elvis movies have been covered or mentioned in previous ElvisBlog articles, so there will be links back to them, as well.

 

Here is the entire schedule:

5/1 – Girls, Girls, Girls  (repeated on 5/6)

5/2 – Frankie and Johnny

5/3 – Blue Hawaii   (repeated on 5/13)

5/4 – Jailhouse Rock  (repeated on 5/29)

5/5 – King Creole 5/6 – Girls, Girls, Girls

5/7 – Speedway

5/8 – Stay Away Joe

5/9 — Fun In Acapulco

5/10 – Live A Little, Love A Little

5/11 – Viva Las Vegas  (repeated on 5/25)

5/12 – Spinout

5/13 — Blue Hawaii

5/14 — This Is Elvis   (repeated on 5/22)

5/15 — Paradise, Hawaiian Style

5/16 — Viva Las Vegas

5/17 — Kissin’ Cousins

5/18 — G.I. Blues   (repeated on 5/28)

5/19 – Clambake

5/20 — t Happened At The World’s Fair

5/21 — Follow That Dream

5/22 — This Is Elvis

5/23 — Easy Come, Easy Go

5/24 — Harum Scarum

5/25 — Viva Las Vegas

5/26 — Girl Happy

5/27 — Change Of Habit

5/28 — G.I. Blues

5/29 — Jailhouse Rock

5/30 – Roustabout

5/31 — Kid Galahad

 

Let’s do some random thoughts on the next week’s movies.

 

Saturday, May 4 (repeated May 29) – Jailhouse Rock:

Jailhouse Rock DVD

 

Well, I guess I’ve seen it eight or nine times already, but I’ll do it again for sure.  I like the good job Elvis does with a real dramatic part.  And I consider the Jailhouse Rock soundtrack is the best Elvis ever did, without any close second.  It has two huge hits:  “Jailhouse Rock” and “Treat Me Nice.”  It contains my second favorite Elvis song of all time: “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care.”   And, because I am partial to the blues songs Elvis recorded, I love the two in this movie: “I Want To Be Free,” and “Don’t Leave Me Now.”

Both songs were written by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, as were the other four songs in the movie.  It is incredulous that they composed this entire terrific soundtrack in four hours one afternoon.

Dance Sequence

I never get tired of watching the “Jailhouse Rock” dance scene, widely considered the predecessor of the modern music video.  Elvis could really dance.

I also think Jailhouse Rock is where you will hear the best Elvis line in any movie.  After co-star Judy Tyler rejects his advances, Elvis says to her, “That ain’t tactics, honey.  It’s just the beast in me.”

It's Just The Beast In Me

 

Tyler is hotter is some of the off camera photos than she is in the movie.

Elvis and Judy Tyler

But, the actress I like watching is Jennifer Holden.  I love the scene where she really gets into kissing Elvis during the filming of a movie.  It has to be indicative of what went on with a lot of Elvis’ co-stars.  Oh, yes, when the camera switches to a shot of the hangers-on watching the kissing scene, you can see Elvis’ buddy George Klein in the crowd.

Jennifer Holden Near Kiss

 

However, the biggest reason I never miss Jailhouse Rock is because there is so much screen time for Scotty Moore, DJ Fontana, and Bill Black.  Ever since I had breakfast with Scotty and DJ at Elvis Week 2007 I have been a big fan.

 Jailhouse Rock Recording Studio Scene

 

There is an interesting ElvisBlog article about a continuity blooper with Scotty’s sunglasses at the poolside party performance of “Baby, I Don’t Care.”

There is another interesting continuity blooper in Jailhouse Rock that you have to concentrate on or you will miss it.  Drink glasses that Elvis knocks over during a moment of anger in the Club La Florita suddenly reappear as he storms out of the club.

Storming Off

 

So, now you know all the things I will be checking out while watching Jailhouse Rock:  Elvis handling a true dramatic role, the songs, the dance scene, the classic line, the kissing scene, Scotty, DJ and Bill, and two bloopers.  After all, if you’ve seen the movie eight times already, you really know the plot.  So, it’s nice to have other things to look for.

 

It turns out I had more random thoughts on Jailhouse Rock than I realized.  So, this article won’t cover all the Elvis movies on Encore the next week.  Instead, I’ll do more articles covering two or three movies before their show time.

 

©  2013    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.

 

Making the Most of a Bit Part in Jailhouse Rock

Do you remember the scene in Jailhouse Rock when Elvis tries to convince a club owner to hire him as a singer?  Elvis jumps on stage and starts singing, but a drunk keeps laughing and talking very loud.  When Elvis can’t get the jerk to quiet down, he slams his guitar on their table and storms out.

Well, the pretty young thing at the table with the much older drunk was an aspiring actress named Tracy Morgan.  Her part was so small, you wouldn’t think she had much of a story to tell, but she does.

 

Her agent set up a meeting with the movie’s casting man, whose first impression was that she was too young for the part.  They had already cast the actor to be opposite her, and he was old enough to be her father.  The casting man said he would let the director decide, so he sent her from the casting office to the set on the MGM back lot.

 

It was a long walk, and she had on high heels.  Then, a limousine pulled up and Elvis stepped out.  “Where are you goin’ little lady?”

Tracy was a huge fan and she thought her heart would stop.  “I’m going down to the set.”

Elvis said, “Oh, you mean where they’re doin’ my movie?”  When she said yes, he asked, “Are you gonna be in my movie?”

“I don’t know, it depends on the director.”

“Here, let me give you a ride.”

Tracy got in the limousine, and Elvis put his arm on the back of the seat and chatted with her during the several block ride to the set.  The director, Richard Thorpe, was standing there and noticed who was riding with Elvis.  Later, Tracy reminisced that Thorpe probably assumed she and Elvis were friends, or were dating.

When they walked over to the director, she introduced herself and said, “I’m here to see if you like me for the part in the bar scene.”

Thorpe looked at Elvis and said, “Well, Elvis, I assume you like her.”

Elvis replied, “Oh, yeah, she’s really nice.”

That must have been enough for the director, because he said, “OK, you’ve got the part.”

What could be a better start for a young actress trying to break into the movies?  She not only met the hottest entertainer in the world, but also rode with him in a limo, and then his presence got her the part in Elvis’ third movie.

 

However, that was not the end of Tracy Morgan’s unusual experiences with Elvis during the filming of Jailhouse Rock.  There were problems during her scene which resulted in one of the continuity bloopers some Elvis fans love to look for in his movies.  (Count me in that group.  When I watch an Elvis movie for the sixth or seventh time, I start looking for little things to keep it interesting.)

In her scene, Elvis was singing a “Young and Beautiful” on the Club La Florita stage. when the man with Tracy kept talking and laughing.

 

Elvis told him to shut up, but the guy mocked him and did it more.  This enraged Elvis, so he jumped off the stage and ran over to their booth and smashed his guitar on their table.  Unfortunately, on the first take, the guitar didn’t break as desired, and the drinks spilled on to Tracy’s blouse and skirt.

So, a second take was necessary.  First, they had to have the wardrobe people take Tracy back where they had a matching back-up outfit.  She put it on and they tried filming again.  The second attempt worked better as the guitar smashed somewhat.  A third take was considered, but that would have required her clothes be dry-cleaned first.  Elvis said, “Maybe if I keep doing this, you’ll have some more time on the film.”

Now for the blooper.  Take a look at these back-to-back shots from the movie:

Elvis Swings the Guitar, Glasses on Table

 

Elvis Slams Guitar on Table, Glasses Flying

 

Elvis Storms Off, Glasses Back on Table

Elvis throws the guitar on the floor and storms off.  Tracy’s gentlemen friend is now bent over in front of her.  The angle has changed, so none of Tracy shows except her head.  Was this a clever way to continue the scene filming without showing her wet blouse?   And how about those glasses magically reappearing on the table?

Tracy had more memories of her experience with Elvis in Jailhouse Rock.  Here they are as told to Stu Olson and published in a 1990 issue of Elvis International magazine.

On the movie sets there are prop people who bring you hand props, a drink or a cigarette, or whatever you need in the scene.  Whenever they handed Elvis a prop, fixed his hair, or touched up his makeup, he always turned and said, “Thank you, sir,” or “Thank you, ma’am.”  The whole set was buzzing.  Here was a superstar who could have acted like a real idiot about everything, but he didn’t.

He always knew his lines, not just the scene, or the day’s shooting, but the whole script, and everyone else’s part, too.  He was always helpful and not temperamental.

The first day, when we were all breaking for lunch, he came over and said, “Would you like go to lunch with me at the commissary?”  Well I was excited.  Unfortunately, when we went, his entire entourage went with us, which, for a young girl, was a lot of people to go to lunch with.

Now I had taken a lot of ribbing in my drama class about being such a fan of his, because I played his records all the time.  I knew I was going to class the following night, so I asked Elvis at lunch if he could stop by my class, and I thought to myself, “That’ll show ‘em.”  Elvis graciously said, “Yes.”  But later in the day he came over and said that the Colonel told him he couldn’t, because everyone would be asking him to stop by their group or whatever.  I felt bad, but I understood.  Then he asked me where my class was, and I told him the address.

I went on to class that night and everybody was teasing me.  “So, you got to work with your hero, “Elvis Pelvis,” and so forth.  All of a sudden, the door opened and there stood Elvis!  The whole class stopped and stared.

Elvis looked at me and smiled.  “Hi, Tracy, how are you?  I just thought I’d stop by and say hello.”

I answered, “Hello,” but he quickly left and got back in his car and drove off.

I thought to myself, Well, wasn’t that a sweet thing to do?”

I was a celebrity for months because I had gotten Elvis Presley to come to class.  But, I really hadn’t.  Elvis… made sure he was riding around in the drama class neighborhood.  That’s what I remember most about him, he was always kind, he was always polite, and he never acted like the “star.”

He was just a very sweet, talented, gorgeous man.  I’ll always love him.

©  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.