Hal Wallis' Sour Publicity Plight --> October 1957!!

Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:54 am

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So, it appears that Elvis' now-legendary appearances at the Pan-Pacific Auditorium, on 7600 Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles, really threw a monkey-wrench in Paramount producer Hal Wallis' money-making future with temperamental talent Elvis Presley.

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"Temperamental talent" Elvis Presley on stage - Monday, October 28, 1957, Los Angeles, CA

According to this mid-December 1957 article, the "devastating press" from the shows on on October 28-29 was so severe there was fear that Presley's "drawing power as a screen figure could be shaken." And Hal Wallis was not happy.

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Miami News, Sunday, December 15, 1957
Note: "Jailhouse Rock" ad at lower left, on a double-bill at Miami's Turnpike Drive-In!

The article called the first show "disgusting, almost lewd" and Elvis' "dollar-greedy treatment of the press ... unbelievably poor treatment." This is the first time I've read of critics complaining in public about no free passes to a performance! They were further unhappy to be "herded into the rear" of the auditorium and only got "peek-a-boo glimpses of the slithering crooner."

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"The slithering crooner" - Monday, October 28, 1957, Los Angeles, CA

Perhaps some of the negative reviews may be traced to this "terrible" treatment of the scribes who attended the shows. And perhaps Wallis' assignment of legendary veteran director Michael Curtiz to Paramount's "King Creole" was done to ensure the upcoming film project would be a well-received, quality success.

If so, Elvis should have done a whole lot more shows like those in Los Angeles in 1957!

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Elvis serenades "Nipper" with a rousing version of "Hound Dog" - Monday, October 28, 1957, Los Angeles, CA
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