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The Trouble With Girls

Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:39 pm

TTWG came on TCM this morning. I haven't seen this movie in probably 30 years, so I decided to watch.
I've got to say that Elvis never looked better. And strangely enough, he truly looked like he was enjoying himself. He didn't always look so at-ease and happy in his movies. I read an interview with Marilyn Mason about her experience working with Elvis. She said he was ever the gentleman and always happy and smiling. He showed her pictures of Priscilla & Lisa and very proud. Maybe it was just the stage of his life that he was so happy, but this is what struck me the most is how great he looked and acted.
His gospel number seemed a joy to him and he performed "clean up your own back yard" just magnificently! Love the whimsical side of that message!

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:51 pm

Getlow wrote

His gospel number seemed a joy to him and he performed "clean up your own back yard" just magnificently! Love the whimsical side of that message!


Clean Up Your Own Backyard is one of the underrated gems in Elvis' cannon.Catchy tune,great lyrics,great backing from the musicians and Elvis is in fine voice.


norrie

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:56 pm

The gospel was Swing Down, Sweet Chariot. Great also. Unfortunately the script was confusing at times.

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:03 pm

The songs and the scripts were better in 1968-69 than they were in the prior 5 years, unfortunately Elvis' days as a major movie star were over due to the Col putting him in too many silly lightweight films with mostly awful music.

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:29 pm

I was wrong in my first post about this Movie. Also my new review contains spoilers, so its up to you to read on. :wink:

SUN-RCA wrote:The first time i watched this movie, i could not stand it, and have only watched it completely thru 2 or 3 times, and still could not stand it, the only good thing in this movie to me is of course Elvis, who looks fantastic, and does look and act very happy, and having fun in it.

Before YouTube, i would just fast forward thru this movie to watch Elvis, and its really ridiculous that Elvis dose not even appear in this movie until about 20 minutes into it, if memorie serves me, that's just insane and made me really mad, its like are you freaking kidding me, he was more a guess star then the star of this movie, maybe i should watch it again, after all these years maybe i'll see it in a different light.

The song "Clean Up Your Own Back Yard" has always been a big favorite of mine, love it, i did not nod off once. :D

I am so glad this was not his last movie, and thank God "Change of Habit" was, to me he ended his Movie Career on a high note with "Change Of Habit" :wink:


This time around I went into this movie knowing what the time period was going to be about, set in the roaring 1920's and what it was based on, A Traveling "Chautauqua" Show.

Everything negative i said in my first post above was 100% wrong about TTWG, after 25 years since i last watched this movie, my opinion of TTWG has come full circle, and now i have surprisingly fully enjoyed it, and i did not Nod off once.:D

Not only does Elvis appear in the beginning, but throughout 90% of the movie. He plays a very kind hearted ,caring, lovable guy, who is the Manager of a rolling canvas college, moving from town to town spreading cultural knowledge, and he is also great with the little kids as usual.

I can't believe all the great Character actors that are in this movie that i have always enjoyed in so many other movies and TV shows, actors such as Edward Andrews and Sheree North, and a number of others.

And the Great Vincent Price and John Carradine had small parts in this movie, Price's part was played fabulously as always, love all his movies, and John Carradine, is always nice to see, love every movie and TV Show he has been in also.

Elvis was great in this movie, you can see he is having fun and is engaged well with the other actors, his chemistry with them is flawless. There is this one scene where he and Marilyn Mason and Edward Andrews are in his room, where Marilyn Masons Character 'Charlene is going off on Elvis about quitting the show, and what she wants, and Elvis is trying so hard not to burst out laughing, but starts just cracking up with smiles, chuckles, and then bursts out with laughter, he really was having a great time with this movie.

There is also a murder that happens when Dabney Coleman gets killed, he plays a cheating womanizing creep, i hated his character so much, i was glad he got killed, he deserved it big time. So one of Elvis' workers gets blamed for the murder, and Elvis gives a great performance listening and talking with his man and the Sheriff in the Jail Cell. Elvis man is cleared when Sherri North confesses to killing Coleman in self defense.

Elvis was at one of his most handsomeness times in his life , i have never seen another man in all my life that is as good looking as Elvis, and i'm not just saying that because he is my Idol, but because its true, whenever a woman has said to me that she thinks i am better looking then him, i know she is full of it. :lol:

The standout songs Elvis sings, "Swing Down Sweet Chariot", "Clean Up Your Own Backyard", and "Almost", are sung fantastically, plus "Violet" and "Sign of the Zodiac" are performed nicely for the scenes they are meant for, also there are 15 more songs throughout the movie, not sung by Elvis.

The only thing about this movie that was wrong, was the title, it should have been called "Chautauqua", i think it would have given this movie a more respected sound to it instead of "The Trouble With Girls" (And How to Get into It), that title just does not sound good or fit this movies content that much to use as the title.

So it is true what they say, with age comes a change , in things you once did not like, or thought were silly or dumb.

So a big thank you to FECC Member "GetLow" for starting this topic, you awoken a movie of Elvis that i once did not like so many years ago. :cheers:
Last edited by SUN-RCA on Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:32 pm

a good movie,i remember seeing a longer cut with vincent price

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:02 pm

Vincent Price & John Carradine were big surprises to me. I didn't remember them being in there! Definitely a "better" movie. It just struck me how happy he seemed. And definitely at ease.

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:20 pm

SUN-RCA wrote:The first time i watched this movie, i could not stand it, and have only watched it completely thru 2 or 3 times, and still could not stand it, the only good thing in this movie to me is of course Elvis, who looks fantastic, and does look and act very happy, and having fun in it.

Before YouTube, i would just fast forward thru this movie to watch Elvis, and its really ridiculous that Elvis dose not even appear in this movie until about 20 minutes into it, if memorie serves me, that's just insane and made me really mad, its like are you freaking kidding me, he was more a guess star then the star of this movie, maybe i should watch it again, after all these years maybe i'll see it in a different light.

The song "Clean Up Your Own Back Yard" has always been a big favorite of mine, love it. :D

I am so glad this was not his last movie, and thank God "Change of Habit" was, to me he ended his Movie Career on a high note with "Change Of Habit" :wink:


If we are judging the worth of a movie by the amount of screen time the star gets, then we're in a very sad state of affairs. Perhaps if Elvis had been allowed to take on some minor roles in films he would have been allowed to hone his craft. We might view Giant as a "James Dean film", but his role is not the largest in the film.

My understanding is that Trouble with Girls was heavily edited before release, and this may be some of the reason why it seems so muddled at times. It would be interesting to see a longer cut, but the chances of that happening are very slim indeed. That said, Elvis shines when he is on the screen, and is afforded his two best movie songs in years (Back Yard and Almost). It's not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, but it is an interesting, heavily flawed attempt at trying something different - and the two main songs are worth the price of admission alone.

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:11 pm

Also Famed Baseball Player Duke Snider played a part in the movie as The Cranker.

Image

Stats:

Los Angeles Dodgers #4

407 Home Runs

2× World Series champion (1955, 1959)

Only player to hit four home runs in two different World Series (1952, 1955)

8× All-Star selection (1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1963)

Six-time Top 10 MVP 1950-56

On Base 3,865

1,481 runs scored

RBI-Runs batted in 1,333

850 extra-base hits

Induction into the 1980 Baseball Hall of Fame

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:16 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
SUN-RCA wrote:The first time i watched this movie, i could not stand it, and have only watched it completely thru 2 or 3 times, and still could not stand it, the only good thing in this movie to me is of course Elvis, who looks fantastic, and does look and act very happy, and having fun in it.

Before YouTube, i would just fast forward thru this movie to watch Elvis, and its really ridiculous that Elvis dose not even appear in this movie until about 20 minutes into it, if memorie serves me, that's just insane and made me really mad, its like are you freaking kidding me, he was more a guess star then the star of this movie, maybe i should watch it again, after all these years maybe i'll see it in a different light.

The song "Clean Up Your Own Back Yard" has always been a big favorite of mine, love it. :D

I am so glad this was not his last movie, and thank God "Change of Habit" was, to me he ended his Movie Career on a high note with "Change Of Habit" :wink:


If we are judging the worth of a movie by the amount of screen time the star gets, then we're in a very sad state of affairs. Perhaps if Elvis had been allowed to take on some minor roles in films he would have been allowed to hone his craft.
We might view Giant as a "James Dean film", but his role is not the largest in the film.

My understanding is that Trouble with Girls was heavily edited before release, and this may be some of the reason why it seems so muddled at times. It would be interesting to see a longer cut, but the chances of that happening are very slim indeed. That said, Elvis shines when he is on the screen, and is afforded his two best movie songs in years (Back Yard and Almost). It's not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, but it is an interesting, heavily flawed attempt at trying something different - and the two main songs are worth the price of admission alone.


You make a very valid point. :wink:

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:03 pm

If only the film was as good as Elvis was good-looking.

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:09 pm

SUN-RCA wrote:Also Famed Baseball Player Duke Snider played a part in the movie as The Cranker.

Image

Stats:

Los Angeles Dodgers #4

407 Home Runs

2× World Series champion (1955, 1959)

Only player to hit four home runs in two different World Series (1952, 1955)

8× All-Star selection (1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1963)

Six-time Top 10 MVP 1950-56

On Base 3,865

1,481 runs scored

RBI-Runs batted in 1,333

850 extra-base hits

Induction into the 1980 Baseball Hall of Fame


He had one line in the movie and was on film for about 6 seconds. If you blinked,,,,

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:24 pm

r&b wrote:
SUN-RCA wrote:Also Famed Baseball Player Duke Snider played a part in the movie as The Cranker.

Image

Stats:

Los Angeles Dodgers #4

407 Home Runs

2× World Series champion (1955, 1959)

Only player to hit four home runs in two different World Series (1952, 1955)

8× All-Star selection (1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1963)

Six-time Top 10 MVP 1950-56

On Base 3,865

1,481 runs scored

RBI-Runs batted in 1,333

850 extra-base hits

Induction into the 1980 Baseball Hall of Fame


He had one line in the movie and was on film for about 6 seconds. If you blinked,,,,


I would have loved being in an Elvis Movie for 6 seconds. :D :wink:

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:26 am

I hope to see a Classic release of it on FTD next year.

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:44 am

The title of the movie makes no sense.

This is a more serious movie for Elvis and they should have stayed with the original title, "Chataqua".

The title they used makes it seem like it's just another Elvis sings 12 songs, with a ton a girls around

like in the mid 60's.

Also, the movie version of "Clean up your own back yard" is different, in that you can hear his falsetto, which was buried
by voices when they put it out on 45.

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:49 am

ekenee wrote:The title of the movie makes no sense.

This is a more serious movie for Elvis and they should have stayed with the original title, "Chautauqua".

The title they used makes it seem like it's just another Elvis sings 12 songs, with a ton a girls around

like in the mid 60's.

Also, the movie version of "Clean up your own back yard" is different, in that you can hear his falsetto, which was buried
by voices when they put it out on 45.


That's the biggest problem, right there. A traveling Chautauqua Troupe had to be a kind of ding-bat affair: it's a mulligan stew of everything thrown into something that is not a circus, not a carnival, not a summer camp, or a summer Bible School, but all of those things mashed together! It's the first "mash-up" I think.

(This is not to be confused with the original, non-traveling, and still going strong Chautauqua Institution in NY state. http://www.ciweb.org/ I would love to go there one summer! Wonderful mix of thoughtful discussion, socializing with thoughtful people of many faiths, and the most peaceful and tranquil location for a summer vacation.)

So, a screwball comedy set in one of the many small midwestern towns where the travelling troupes would go was a great idea. You had good actors, and they really gave it their all. And Elvis is so gorgeous, it's almost enough to make someone faint. (Depends on the someone, I suppose.) The plot is looney, but if it was titled adequately, maybe "looney" would be okay.

And the scene where the fireworks explode, Elvis is getting smashed around by the Union Activist Lady (with whom he was trying to make time, and also get something else he wanted), and the folk group is singing "The Cuckoo Bird" is so . . . weirdly, wonderfully, crazily American!

I wore out the VHS of that thing SO BAD! Now, I'm trying my best to wear out the DVD! (Next I want to wear out the Blu-Ray!)

Shoot, it's only a movie. Great art? Nope. But way better than your typical "ElvisMovie." I'll pay money for that!

Meanwhile, here's the original NY Times review, from the NY Times site:

http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9F00E7DF1131EE3BBC4952DFB4678382679EDE

MOVIE REVIEW
The Trouble With Girls (1969)
' Trouble With Girls'

ROGER GREENSPUN.
Published: December 11, 1969
PETER TEWKSBURY'S "The Trouble With Girls" is a charming though ineptly titled comedy with one fortunate murder, several pleasant songs, Elvis Presley, and a huge cast all of whom, down to the last extra, seem willing to act their fool heads off. The plot, which hinges on what a small-town hard-luck woman (Sheree North) rightly does to a lecherous druggist (Dabney Coleman), deserves little attention. But the situation, a traveling chautauqua making a small-town stand in the mid-1920's, deserves a lot of attention—which it gets in a film that succeeds so amiably in its parts that the relative weakness of the whole doesn't matter too desperately.

Tewksbury began directing features with the very durable comedy "Sunday in New York" (1964), and he has continued making good, if not especially memorable movies since. "The Trouble With Girls" is more a director's movie than it is, say, a vehicle for Elvis Presley, but it suggests a director more at home with intelligent observation than with intense vision, a director whose film personality is in part a function of his sense of comic pacing.

The evocation of 1920's Americana is exceptionally even-handed, detailed, affectionate without sentimentality, funny without condescension.

A package of terrific foil-wrapped fireworks, spiffy slang, a talent competition in which six boys play "America" in unison on kazoos, a female English Channel swimmer's lecture-demonstration showing her audience how to smear axle grease as body protection "for your longer dips" — so many mementos that serve to enliven the present as much as they recall the past. "The Trouble With Girls" is an immensely active film that seems virtually to live within the styles and language of its period.

The whole cast is so attractive that even the unpleasant characters (Dabney Coleman and Med Flory) please so far as their roles allow. Marlyn Mason as the not-quite-romantic lead seems to me the best of the women, an excellent comedienne in a film that demands performance more than presence from its actors. Elvis Presley performs too, with a reasonably developed characterization as the chautauqua company manager, and he sings very well. Also singing are several kids, two male quartets, a fine country trio identified on the cast list as The Farmhands, and, brightly, the Pacific Palisades High School Madrigal Singers.

"The Trouble With Girls" is playing at neighborhood theaters as second feature to "Fiareup." I saw it at the New Amsterdam on 42d Street, where they were charging less than a dollar yesterday morning and the projection was excellent.


The Cast
THE TROUBLE WITH GIRLS, screenplay by Arnold and Lois Peyser; directed by Peter Tewksbury; produced by Lester Welch; presented by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. At neighborhood theaters. Running time: 99 minutes. (The Motion Picture Association of America's Production Code and Rating Administration classifies this film: "G—suggested for general audiences.")
Walter Hale . . . . . Elvis Presley
Charlene . . . . . Marlyn Mason
Betty . . . . . Nicole Jaffe
Nita Bix . . . . . Sheree North
Johnny . . . . . Edward Andrews
Carol . . . . . Anissa Jones
Mr. Morality . . . . . Vincent Price
Maude . . . . . Joyce Van Patten
Willy . . . . . Pepe Brown
Harrison Wilby . . . . . Dabney Coleman
Clarence . . . . . Anthony Teague
First Farmhand . . . . . Leonard Rumery
Second Farmhand . . . . . William M. Paris
Third Farmhand . . . . . Kathleen Rainey
Soda Jerk . . . . . Hal James Pederson



rjm
P.S. -- The folk group is called "The Farmhands." Who were they? Is there any evidence of other recorded work, or the songs they do in the film? I like them.

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:29 am

HOLY JACKPOT!!! It has MP3s!!!!!!!! Ah, I'm all excited!!!

http://leonardrumery.com/oldpics.html

They weren't really "a group" apparently, but formed one for the film. He was into music and the arts, and glee club at UCLA, and they spotted him, and wherever they spotted the others, and they formed this "trio" and they did these songs. And this is so AMAZING that he has preserved this! Oh! Oh!

PLAY THIS!!!! 8) http://leonardrumery.com/images/cuckoo.mp3

These are old public domain ballads. He has shared them with the world!

The Cuckoo restored.jpg


Please pardon me for not curbing my enthusiasm, but: smt190

rjm
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Re: The Trouble With Girls

Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:22 am

You are right about the cast. They were a great group for this movie. Joyce Van Patton actually made me laugh with her resentment towards animal fat. Lol
Danny Coleman made a fine villain. Sheree north did a fine job too. Struggling to raise a child alone and convert to decency. Poor thing!
Anissa was a talented little thing. Tragedy

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:30 am

I forgot to mention Edward Andrews. Wasn't he a fine actor? Fab character actor!
Also, I just read that Anissa's brother also died of a drug overdose. Shame.... Terrible tragedy.

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:48 pm

GetLow wrote:I forgot to mention Edward Andrews. Wasn't he a fine actor? Fab character actor!
Also, I just read that Anissa's brother also died of a drug overdose. Shame.... Terrible tragedy.


Seriously? Her brother? How awful!

It was bad enough when it happened. I remember so clearly. Any sixties child had to feel for "Buffy." I loved that show!

I remember seeing her on the Tonight Show in 69 or 70, and she said she was 11, which she was. But she had the mannerisms of a much younger child, I thought at the time, being a grade schooler myself. She was swinging her legs like a first-grader. Anyone observe that early on?

I guess when she went through adolescence, she felt totally lost. She never left adolescence; she died at only 18.

But her brother? Wow. :'(

rjm

Sent From My Phabulous Galaxy Note II Phablet Using Tapatalk 4

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:03 pm

Always been my favourite Elvis movie.

Yeah he looks great - his acting is cool here too. The script is REALLY good and INTERESTING! Some excellent characters (we even have the voice of Velma and Freddie from Scooby Doo in the flesh!) and sub plots. The set and costumes are terrific and the music (including the non Elvis music) is all wonderful!

I wish he'd done more of this type of film. It's totally unique in the Elvis movie cannon.

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:17 pm

Isn't there a murder sub plot that just suddenly resolves itself and really shouldn't have been there in the first place? It's so long since I've watched it all that I don't remember the details, but I remember thinking that whoever was editing it needed to be fired. I do watch the musical sequences from time to time because they are fun and Elvis is looking great.

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:37 pm

rjm wrote:HOLY JACKPOT!!! It has MP3s!!!!!!!! Ah, I'm all excited!!!

http://leonardrumery.com/oldpics.html

They weren't really "a group" apparently, but formed one for the film. He was into music and the arts, and glee club at UCLA, and they spotted him, and wherever they spotted the others, and they formed this "trio" and they did these songs. And this is so AMAZING that he has preserved this! Oh! Oh!

PLAY THIS!!!! 8) http://leonardrumery.com/images/cuckoo.mp3

These are old public domain ballads. He has shared them with the world!

The Cuckoo restored.jpg


Please pardon me for not curbing my enthusiasm, but: smt190

rjm


A great find, rjm, and somewhat of a coincidence :

Two days ago, I received a 2CD Essential Skiffle Collection (Avid AVC 951). Dealing with UK recordings from the 1950s, it includes a track by The Vipers, RAILROAD, STEAMBOAT - supposedly penned by Jim Reeves*. Yet he appears to have recorded it as "Yonder Comes A Sucker" and it's essentially the same song, with varying lyrics, as featured in TTWG. Yet, now it appears here as "Cripple Creek" ! - a tune I know mainly from Don McLean's in concert appearances. (* As the song features in a film set in the 1920s, that doesn't seem to 'compute')

It seems a lot of these folk tunes were essentially traditional, with much variation in lyrics and, to a lesser degree, in melody. Cindy Cindy is another one on the skiffle CD which has no set lyrics and in fact I propose to create a separate thread on these matters.

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:33 am

Swingin-Little-Guitar-Man wrote:The script is REALLY good and INTERESTING! Some excellent characters (we even have the voice of Velma and Freddie from Scooby Doo in the flesh!) and sub plots. The set and costumes are terrific and the music (including the non Elvis music) is all wonderful!

I wish he'd done more of this type of film. It's totally unique in the Elvis movie cannon.


You're kidding, right?

Re: The Trouble With Girls

Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:53 am

Sorry, but in my opinion the script is average at best.