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Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:00 pm

I came across a couple of Tickle Me advertisements that were new to me and thought they were worth sharing along with some familiar promotional images for this movie. The first being a British poster for its run at the ABC (Associated British Cinemas) chain, where it played as the main feature with Soldier in the Rain.

Below this is a newspaper advertisement that has Tickle Me positioned less-prominently next to two films that had been on release for over a year at this point, those being Circus World and Who's Minding the Store? Whilst the Dave Clark 5 vehicle, Having a Wild Weekend, was released less than two months after Elvis`s latest film, on August 18th, 1965.

Tickle Me, however, seems to have gotten a more gradual roll-out from the financially-struggling Allied Artists than most of Elvis`s films, considering that it failed to register on Variety`s weekly and year-end charts despite earning a solid $3.4 million domestic, with over 5,000 play dates in the long run.

With the film's negative costs totalling $1,480,000, this was a much-needed profit for the ailing studio and a lucrative payday for Elvis, whose $600,000 salary, $150,000 in expenses and 50% of the profits got a further boost from the $500,000 generated through the sale of Tickle Me feathers and pens. For Elvis, that was tantamount to at least $1,710,000 from a single film (not including any merchandising or international residuals). A film that may have been cheap, poorly-made and designed to take a loyal fanbase for granted. But nobody was complaining. Least of all Allied Artists, who actually ceased to operate as a production company for five years after Tickle Me was released, but were able to carry on as a distributor - primarily of foreign films, including Belle de Jour (1967) - until finding new success in the 1970s with Cabaret (1972) and Papillion (1973).

Tickle Me, however, was the studio's third most successful film at the box office to date by the end of its run (and Elvis`s 8th most successful). This, behind El Cid (1961) and 55 Days at Peking (1963), which earned $12 million and $5 million domestic, respectively. And whilst films such as Tickle Me, Kissin` Cousins and Harum Scarum done absolutely nothing for Elvis`s reputation or credentials, commercially, he was making tremendous amounts of money regardless of the films he was making. But this could only change - and not for the better - considering the contempt films of this nature had for his audience.

Fortunately, Elvis had lucrative contracts in place over the next couple of years, but a completely different approach was needed if he wanted to find genuine credibility, new challenges and continued success without putting dollar signs first and certainly not foremost.

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Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:12 pm

500 000 Dollars through merchandise sales of feathers and pens? Is that true?

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:15 pm

What a fun post, thank you. Of his 1960s films, "Tickle Me" is actually still fun to watch today. Even Elvis singled it out for praise in his MGM interview in the summer of 1972.

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:48 pm

matilda on Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:12 pm wrote:500 000 Dollars through merchandise sales of feathers and pens? Is that true?


Yes, it's true. This was from sales to exhibitors as opposed to the general public. But I don't know how this was divided between Allied Artists, Elvis and Tom Parker. Although, Tom Parker`s side deals were usually split 50/50 with Elvis. But this was possibly more of a joint-venture with Allied Artists, considering the way costs were being cut in the production of this film. Although revenue from studio merchandising and promotional material wasn't usually shared with the film's star or cast at this time. This was something studios produced for their own requirements and for the benefit of distributors, who had to encourage interest in new films at their end. But, financially, there was everything to gain for both parties in this venture. So it's possible that Elvis got a share of the merchandising.

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:01 pm

drjohncarpenter on Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:15 pm wrote:What a fun post, thank you. Of his 1960s films, "Tickle Me" is actually still fun to watch today. Even Elvis singled it out for praise in his MGM interview in the summer of 1972.


It's probably my least favourite of all his films, although I appreciate that we have different views on this one. And I know you're fond of Ellis Burman, Sr.`s masks. Although it does have its fans, I know. But I did watch Tickle Me again just a few weeks ago.

Did Explosive-Media`s Blu-ray release have many takers?

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Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:15 pm

Greystoke on Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:01 am wrote:
drjohncarpenter on Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:15 pm wrote:What a fun post, thank you. Of his 1960s films, "Tickle Me" is actually still fun to watch today. Even Elvis singled it out for praise in his MGM interview in the summer of 1972.


It's probably my least favourite of all his films, although I appreciate that we have different views on this one. And I know you're fond of Ellis Burman, Sr.`s masks. Although it does have its fans, I know. But I did watch Tickle Me again just a few weeks ago.

Did Explosive-Media`s Blu-ray release have many takers?



Wow, there are so many contenders for that slot, too. ;-)

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:25 pm

drjohncarpenter on Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:15 pm wrote:
Greystoke on Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:01 am wrote:
drjohncarpenter on Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:15 pm wrote:What a fun post, thank you. Of his 1960s films, "Tickle Me" is actually still fun to watch today. Even Elvis singled it out for praise in his MGM interview in the summer of 1972.


It's probably my least favourite of all his films, although I appreciate that we have different views on this one. And I know you're fond of Ellis Burman, Sr.`s masks. Although it does have its fans, I know. But I did watch Tickle Me again just a few weeks ago.

Did Explosive-Media`s Blu-ray release have many takers?



Wow, there are so many contenders for that slot, too. ;-)


Maybe just a few.

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:18 pm

Looks sweet ...

How does it look on Blu-ray ?

I've always loved this movie, since i wuz a kid, this is the one Elvis movie that got me hooked, Sunday afternoon, Queens, New York at my Grandparents, early 80's.

Never liked how much echo/reverb and that excessive "tin" sound the soundtrack was dipped in, but they were a great bunch a songs and would have made for a much better, imo, 1965 LP release than, "Elvis For Everyone" !!!

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:31 pm

Greystoke on Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:25 am wrote:
drjohncarpenter on Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:15 pm wrote:Wow, there are so many contenders for that slot, too. ;-)


Maybe just a few.



You have a kind heart.

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:38 pm

1965... and The King's doing his thing.

Cool movie. 8)

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:34 am

minkahed on Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:18 pm wrote:Looks sweet ...

How does it look on Blu-ray ?

I've always loved this movie, since i wuz a kid, this is the one Elvis movie that got me hooked, Sunday afternoon, Queens, New York at my Grandparents, early 80's.

Never liked how much echo/reverb and that excessive "tin" sound the soundtrack was dipped in, but they were a great bunch a songs and would have made for a much better, imo, 1965 LP release than, "Elvis For Everyone" !!!


I don't own the Blu-ray, but I had a look on line and don't see any reviews on the main Blu-ray review sites. I'm sure a couple of forum members mentioned buying it, though.

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:10 am

Greystoke on Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:34 pm wrote:
minkahed on Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:18 pm wrote:Looks sweet ...

How does it look on Blu-ray ?

I've always loved this movie, since i wuz a kid, this is the one Elvis movie that got me hooked, Sunday afternoon, Queens, New York at my Grandparents, early 80's.

Never liked how much echo/reverb and that excessive "tin" sound the soundtrack was dipped in, but they were a great bunch a songs and would have made for a much better, imo, 1965 LP release than, "Elvis For Everyone" !!!


I don't own the Blu-ray, but I had a look on line and don't see any reviews on the main Blu-ray review sites. I'm sure a couple of forum members mentioned buying it, though.


Going by the reviews on German Amazon, the blu ray has generally positive comments.

But I want one of those pens. I thought I might tickle fn2drive with one and see if it makes him smile.

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:13 am

The Cowboy Melodie BR is fine.

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:12 pm

drjohncarpenter on Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:15 pm wrote:What a fun post, thank you. Of his 1960s films, "Tickle Me" is actually still fun to watch today. Even Elvis singled it out for praise in his MGM interview in the summer of 1972.


He did indeed, I was just listening to it! I love that interview. Such a rare and valuable thing. If only there had been more. Here's what he said about Tickle Me .....

Elvis Presley in July, 1972 wrote:Not all the movies were that bad..er..in between I would do something that was entertaining to people, of a pure entertainment nature...so.. 'Tickle me' or something like that. They work well on television.


Starts about 36minutes in.

https://youtu.be/kSD19igmbco?t=36m01s

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:39 pm

Funny enough, one of those feather pens was my very first eBay purchase! $15 at the time, I think? I stared at that thing forever. lol

Elvis Presley in Tickle Me
It's Your Summer Blockbuster
For release June 30th
Allied Artists 1965


I will never forget that. lol

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:14 am

I thought the feathers was a promo give away. Not sold to the public.

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:14 am

Note: Greystoke's opening post...

The movie poster image/drawing of Elvis supposedly laughing with eyes closed & face to the sky was slightly altered
from the original 1956 photo used on the 1996 cd/vinyl single of Heartbreak Hotel/I Was The One
>> http://www.elvisoncd.com/eigenecd/CD/h/ ... -us96.html

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:29 pm

Jukebox Jam on Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:14 pm wrote:Note: Greystoke's opening post...

The movie poster image/drawing of Elvis supposedly laughing with eyes closed & face to the sky was slightly altered
from the original 1956 photo used on the 1996 cd/vinyl single of Heartbreak Hotel/I Was The One
>> http://www.elvisoncd.com/eigenecd/CD/h/ ... -us96.html


That's an Al Wertheimer photo from RCA New York on 7-02-1956 (Mon).



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The one on the "Tickle Me" poster is not an alteration of that image, but likely one taken on the studio set in October 1964.



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Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:21 pm

In my opinion the best of the movie music clips was when Elvis sang It Feels So Right. A great track from Elvis Is Back. One of the best of the 60's movies.

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:31 pm

Great song but not particularly well presented in the movie. :?

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:51 am

I am very happy with the Blu-ray quality. In the bonus features you can watch the songs separate from the rest of the movie. Wish all of the Elvis blu-rays had that feature. Great sound quality by the way.

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:29 am

drjohncarpenter on Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:29 pm wrote:
Jukebox Jam on Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:14 pm wrote:Note: Greystoke's opening post...

The movie poster image/drawing of Elvis supposedly laughing with eyes closed & face to the sky was slightly altered
from the original 1956 photo used on the 1996 cd/vinyl single of Heartbreak Hotel/I Was The One
>> http://www.elvisoncd.com/eigenecd/CD/h/ ... -us96.html


That's an Al Wertheimer photo from RCA New York on 7-02-1956 (Mon).



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The one on the "Tickle Me" poster is not an alteration of that image, but likely one taken on the studio set in October 1964.



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Thank you for clearing that up, drjohncarpenter!
I shouldn't have been so sure of myself concerning that 1956 pic.

Now that you've posted the pics above, it appears extremely likely that the "laughing" image originated from
the black & white photo of Elvis with Julie Adams. Thanks for the clarification!

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:32 am

I enjoyed this movie- fun to watch!

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:37 am

see_see_rider on Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:32 pm wrote:I enjoyed this movie- fun to watch!

Fun to watch, but not real funny, imo.

Re: Tickle Me: No Laughing Matter!

Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:53 am

The opening of ")It Feels so Right"! is a nice film scene only that the beginning track starts off with an electric guitar and Elvis plays an acoustic guitar and it's quite obvious that he doesn't know the notes to play, Elvis
just winging it