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Re: WATCHING ELVIS' FILMS AT RANDOM

Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:50 am

I think a 6 for this movie is fair enough. At least it's not another Elvis as race car driver/hydroplane racer/younameit surrounded by bikini clad girls singing songs that don't quite rock anymore. Supporting cast is pretty good, I always enjoy seeing Harry Morgan..but it's not a movie I'm in any hurry to see again.

Re: WATCHING ELVIS' FILMS AT RANDOM

Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:34 pm

The party’s at my house tonight. I’m hoping for a nice colour film so we can enjoy my new big-screen TV.

Hoping for good luck, we ask my son (who doesn’t hang around for long) to pull out the next film title -- IT HAPPENED AT THE WORLD’S FAIR. We all agree we’re good to go!!

The wide-screen version presented here is great. The black bars, top and bottom, are minimal, and even though it’s just a DVD on an up-scaling Blu-ray machine, the picture is very good.

Elvis sports quite a different, greasy hair style. He looks good in this film – partly, I’m sure, because of the expensive wardrobe.

The film is one of many with a little kid (Vicky Tiu is quite good and I find her ‘grating’ only a few times). Despite this being her only film, that I can find, her acting (and facial reactions) and those of the others in the film (except Uncle Walter!!) are quite good. Elvis is very natural and believable – and I can hardly believe this is the same actor we would see later in CHARRO where his acting is downright deplorable. Again, I don’t necessarily feel I’m watching Elvis in this film, despite the abundance of songs.

The songs are better seen in the film than heard on the soundtrack album. It’s far from a favourite soundtrack album, but there are several really nice cuts – notably, THEY REMIND ME TOO MUCH OF YOU, I’M FALLING IN LOVE TONIGHT and A WORLD OF OUR OWN.

Other okay tracks include RELAX, BEYOND THE BEND, HAPPY ENDING and ONE BROKEN HEART FOR SALE – although the latter is one of the poorest “hit” songs from Elvis’ films, and probably why it faired so poorly on the charts. Even the extra verse doesn’t really help this weak song.

Stinkers include HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE, TAKE ME TO THE FAIR and COTTON CANDY LAND.

The cast includes Joan O’Brien, a very attractive woman who appears much older than Elvis (perhaps the hair style?), but in fact was born one year later than Elvis. She didn’t do much after this film, appearing in only a handful of episodic TV shows and then retiring from show business (per another web-site) to raise her children and work successfully as an executive with the Hilton Hotel Chain. A classy looking co-star.

GARY LOCKWOOD, who would go on to greater fame with something strongly associated with Elvis – “2001: A Space Odyssey” and its famous soundtrack. Gary is quite good in his role, but generally unlikeable.

The film was quite entertaining, and is enhanced by on-location filming at the Seattle World’s fair in 1962. A stand-in is obviously used in a number of larger crowd scenes, but not overly-noticeable.

I enjoyed the small scene with Yvonne Craig (who would in the following year co-star with Elvis in KISSIN’ COUSINS), where while 'engaged' on the couch, her parents return early. The father, played by Olan Soule (from THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW) misfiring a shot-gun as Elvis quickly departs sends him running off down the road is one of the funnier scenes in the film.

Also enjoyable were the scenes with KURT RUSSELL (who would of course later portray Elvis in Dick Clark’s 1979 film). Their second meeting is priceless.

The trailer park scenes were a little lame, but I always liked GUY RAYMOND, and he’s quite entertaining in this film as he is eager to play cards with Danny. His had a face that was hard to forget or miss. He guested on numerous TV series from ’50s and on up to the ‘70s and beyond.

The film is almost interrupted by some songs that, if missing, wouldn’t have hurt the film and certainly the story-line – but it is an Elvis musical.

I really like the monorail scene with Elvis "hearing" THEY REMIND ME TOO MUCH OF YOU in his head. However, the lyrics don't really fit the story to date, as it sounds like he's known his girl for months.

If I had been able to cut one scene from the film, I would have removed the entire HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE “musical number” – it didn’t add anything, and is quite embarrassing to watch.

The rest of the film stands up well and is very entertaining.

The film – a 9. David thought a 7. For light, musical fare with a hint of the “gangster underworld”, I was very entertained – and never looked at my watch. All agreed.

Rewatchability – 10. I’d fast-forward through HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE, but otherwise, I could easily sit through this again.

Memphis Mafia – Red West is seen at a card game, has a few spoken lines and of course fights Elvis in what is a very well laid out and realistic looking fight – especially for an Elvis film! Joe Esposito is seen hustling goods behind a booth at the carnival. There may have been more in the busy backgrounds, but I wasn’t focusing on that.

It was good night! A winner!

Re: WATCHING ELVIS' FILMS AT RANDOM

Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:40 pm

I'm biased, because I've lived near Seattle all my life, so it is fun to watch this film and see all the things from the World's Fair that are still around (the monorail, Space Needle), and many things that aren't. The early 60's travelogue musicals are all very entertaining, though, the quality didn't really start to drop until 64-65.

Re: WATCHING ELVIS' FILMS AT RANDOM

Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:14 am

Although I sit with Chris and Dave watching these movies, it's quite unusual that we completely disagree on the best songs in each film. Chris prefers the King of the Ballads in general while I go for the King of Rock and Roll. My top tracks tends to be his bottom and vice versa.
In spite of Chris's bad taste in music (just kidding), it's a testament to Elvis' talent in that he can attract fans with all types of musical tastes.
Loved 'World's Fair' when I saw it the first time and still do today.
Lucio

Re: WATCHING ELVIS' FILMS AT RANDOM

Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:54 pm

We’re back to Lucio’s for another Elvis night – and happily I pick “G. I. BLUES” from the hat. It was a frequent film on TV, but none of us have watched it in quite a while.

The wide-screen version presented here is good. The black bars, top and bottom, are minimal and present nearly a standard TV version.

Elvis’ first film after his stint in the army seems to show. His acting in the first half hour or so is a little stiff and he seems uncomfortable. I assume the filming order mirrors the film’s final edit. Of course, part of Elvis’ discomfort may be the script – such a big change from his last two films.

We see the beginning of the Elvis musical, but with a decent script, likeable co-stars and something that recognizes his recent absence from the musical scene.

Juliet Prowse is fine in the film, but none of us thought she was the prettiest in the bunch. We’ll take Cookie’s girl, the one who thinks girls in New York raise bagels. Cute.

The film is well-known, I’m sure, and features several tracks I really like. Those I do like are opposite to Lucio’s preferences – WHAT’S SHE REALLY LIKE (so short, unfortunately, as it’s sung briefly in the shower scene), DOIN’ THE BEST I CAN and POCKETFUL OF RAINBOWS. Lucio prefers WOODEN HEART, SHOPPIN’ AROUND and the title song. None of those make any favourite CD compilations I have made in the past.

The film – a 9. David thought a 8. For light, musical fare, I was very entertained – and never looked at my watch. All agreed.

Rewatchability – 9. This is a movie I’ve seen many times, and don’t at all mind watching again.

Memphis Mafia – Several of Elvis’ friends are seen in the background – but I didn’t make specific notes, and went away on holiday, and so have forgotten.

It was another good night! A winner!
Last edited by Christopher Brown on Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: WATCHING ELVIS' FILMS AT RANDOM

Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:14 pm

I assume the filming order mirrors the film’s final edit.


Films are never shot in the sequence which they appear on screen. They will usually do all the scenes on one particular set and move on.

Bob

Re: WATCHING ELVIS' FILMS AT RANDOM

Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:56 pm

Christopher Brown wrote:We’re back to Lucio’s for another Elvis night – and happily I pick “G. I. BLUES” from the hat. It was a frequent film on TV, but none of us have watched it in quite a while.

The wide-screen version presented here is good. The black bars, top and bottom, are minimal and present nearly a standard TV version.

Elvis’ first film after his stint in the army seems to show. His acting in the first half hour or so is a little stiff and he seems uncomfortable. I assume the filming order mirrors the film’s final edit. Of course, part of Elvis’ discomfort may be the script – such a big change from his last two films.

We see the beginning of the Elvis musical, but with a decent script, likeable co-stars and something that recognizes his recent absence from the musical scene.

Juliet Prowse is fine in the film, but none of us thought she was the prettiest in the bunch. We’ll take Cookie’s girl, the one who thinks girls in New York raise bagels. Cute.

The film is well-known, I’m sure, and features several tracks I really like. Those I do like are opposite to Lucio’s preferences – WHAT’S SHE REALLY LIKE (so short, unfortunately, as it’s sung brief in the shower scene), DOIN’ THE BEST I CAN and POCKETFUL OF RAINBOWS. Lucio prefers WOODEN HEART, SHOPPIN’ AROUND and the title song. None of those make any favourite CD compilations I have made in the past.

The film – a 9. David thought a 8. For light, musical fare, I was very entertained – and never looked at my watch. All agreed.

Rewatchability – 9. This is a movie I’ve seen many times, and don’t at all mind watching again.

Memphis Mafia – Several of Elvis’ friends are seen in the background – but I didn’t make specific notes, and went away on holiday, and so have forgotten.

It was another good night! A winner!

This one was always on tv when I was growing up, and it's remained a favorite. It was also the first soundtrack album I bought. Some of the songs (Didja Ever, G.I. Blues) I find less pleasing now, but there are enough good ones (Shoppin' Around, Pocketful of Rainbows, What's She Really Like, Tonight is So Right for Love) to go back for once in a while. And agreed, Cookie's girl is the really cute one!

Re: WATCHING ELVIS' FILMS AT RANDOM

Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:57 pm

Tonight, David picks FUN IN ACAPULCO from the hat. It was a frequent film on TV, but again, it’s been a while since any of us have watched it.

The wide-screen version presented here is good. The black bars, top and bottom, are minimal and present nearly a standard 4X3 TV version.

This film and soundtrack had been something my kids enjoyed with me, and being such a wonderful dad, I would often sing (not a pleasant sight) (THERE’S) NO ROOM TO RHUMBA IN A SPORTS CAR at night time for my two girls. They got quite a kick out of it, and despite the lyrics, it’s a song I like. I didn’t say it was a great song, but I like it, and I enjoy playing it on the piano. Actually, there’s only song in the whole soundtrack I don’t like, and that’s “Guadalajara”.

David and I recall upsetting Lucio some time ago when we told him Elvis didn’t venture to Mexico for the film. All scenes in Mexico are provided by an Elvis stand-in. Generally, it was done well, but the screen behind his and other characters from time to time is quite noticeable. A significant improvement to a film I really like would have had Elvis on location. It did wonders for BLUE HAWAII and GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS!

The worst “stand-in” shot is when Mike is driving with Dolores up to a make-out spot. The stand-in is definitely wearing quite a different hairstyle.

Elvis’ co-stars do an adequate job. Ursula Andress recently appeared in the first James Bond movie, Dr. No, and she is very attractive. The competing actress for Elvis’ love interest is Elsa Cardenas, a Spanish actress whose entire career was spent mostly in Spanish films and episodic TV in Spain (?). Both women were just about the same age as Elvis, with Ursula born in 1936 and Elsa in 1935.

The child in this film (and Elvis’ films are littered with them) was played by Larry Domasin, and he did a great job. I’ve always loved his performance, and think of him as a little Colonel Parker – 50% commission and everything. His negotiations with the hotel owners are quite amusing, and in this widescreen version, you could see them. On a full-screen version, they were often off-screen or just partially visible.

Larry’s career only lasted about 5 years. If I recall, an Elvis magazine (TMAHM?) had an interview with him. I should look that up.

Elvis’ fighting partner (only one fight in this film) was played by Alejandro Rey. He’s a good actor, is much more physically fit than Elvis ever was, and played for three years in the silly TV series THE FLYING NUN.

Howard McNear (Floyd the barber from THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW) makes another oh-too-short appearance as a surgeon visiting from the US. He’s sorry to miss the Dolores’ bull-fight – and human blood doesn’t bother him!!

IMBD film information notes that Teri Garr plays a hotel guest (not spotted), and that Red West played a poolside guest (not spotted). We do believe we spotted him at the La Perla Restaurant (still there) scene just as Elvis is ready to sing the final song of the film after completing a dive.

The film – a solid 9 (received a 10 from Lucio). For light, musical fare, I was very entertained – and never looked at my watch. All agreed. On-location filming with Elvis would make it a 10 for me.

Rewatchability – 9 - 10. This is a movie I’ve seen many times, and would look forward to seeing again.

Soundtrack – My favourite song, YOU CAN’T SAY NO IN ACAPULCO is Lucio’s least favourite. As noted, aside from “Guadalajara”, I like all the songs, and really like most of them! All agreed. This is a favourite soundtrack album of mine, and yes he should have been singing better material, but his voice is just so beautiful on many of these tracks, I just love them.

Memphis Mafia – Red West, as noted, is said to be in poolside scene and we thought we observed him at the La Perla Restaurant scenes.

Another good night! A winner for us!