Tuesday, May 7 – Speedway:
When I sat down to write my random thoughts on this movie, my mind went blank. I couldn’t remember any long-established opinions about Speedway. I knew Nancy Sinatra was in it and looked good in her miniskirt and high white boots, but that was about it.
So, I read the plot summary in The Elvis Film Encyclopedia by Eric Brawn, and I realized Speedway had to be the Elvis movie I was least familiar with. In reflection, I guess I saw it once maybe twenty years ago. Needless to say, I’m excited to watch it now. The book said Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough make cameo appearances, so I will be on the lookout for them.
Wednesday, May 8 – Stay Away Joe:
I’ve got lots of opinions about this one, but they are mixed. I’m really turned off by the depiction of young native-American men was rowdy, heavy-drinking, skirt-chasing louts. There are people today trying to get the Washington Redskins’ name changed because it is offensive and demeaning to native-Americans. I guess these same people have never seen Stay Away Joe, or they would really be making a big stink.
On the other hand, Stay Away Joe is basically a good-hearted farce. It has fight scenes like all Elvis movies, but they are comical as opposed to the savagery in King Creole. Elvis looks particularly fit and handsome with his rugged color and western wardrobe.
I’m always tickled with the scene Elvis has with young hottie Quentin Dean and the one with her protective mother Joan Blondell. Unfortunately, it is sad to see a quality actor like Burgess Meredith in such a stupid role.
Anyway, I’m going to overlook the bad stuff and enjoy this silly movie.
Thursday, May 9 — Fun In Acapulco:
This is on okay movie, and I haven’t seen it in a while, so I’ll watch it. But of all Elvis’ leading ladies, Ursula Andress gave the most boring performance. I just can’t get a good vibe watching her sleepwalk through her lines.
One character I did like was the young shoe-shine boy who becomes Elvis’ de facto talent manager. He pulls off all kind of schemes and reminds me of a mini Col. Parker.
I never found the scene of Elvis climbing the rock wall up to the diving cliff very believable. Here’s a photo showing how they filmed it.
So, it looks like my plans for the next three nights are set. These three Elvis movies will set the stage for party time Friday night when they show the film I anticipate the most in this series: Live A Little, Love A Little. More on that next post.
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