Received a contract from my publisher, Scarecrow Press, to write THE ELVIS MOVIES as my next book (which will be my 14th). Many books have been written about Elvis, but there has not been a complete film-by-film look at his movie career. His movies are often overlooked or dismissed, and I believe them to be a very significant part of his legacy as an entertainer. The impact, the shifts in style, the different dynamic presented before and after his army stint, etc, will all be explored, as well as reviews, moviegoer reactions, marketing techniques, impact, reminisces from those who worked with him, etc. While Elvis is first and foremost a singer, he did have an extensive movie career, being featured in a series of star vehicles tailored specifically for him. No book has examined this aspect of his career. I will be the first. So my book has to be definitive.
The movies might not have been "great cinema" but they were lighthearted fun and were enormously popular.
When TICKLE ME was released, a theater owner in Texas wrote to Box Office magazine: "Here is a movie that is the best yet. Nothing but good can be said about this fine Elvis film. Don't pass this up. It wil do good business any day of the week." A small town theater owner in Virginia said about ROUSTABOUT: "it did wonderfu business, as all of Elvis Presley's movies do. I have never had a Presley film that did not do outstanding business. Presley deserves the praise of every small town theater owner."
Sure, Elvis did make some solid dramas like JAILHOUSE ROCK, KING CREOLE, and the western FLAMING STAR. But his light musical comedies were popular, amusing, and hold up remarkably well when accepted for what they are. Sure there are misfires (HARUM SCARUM, FRANKIE AND JOHNNY), but most of the Elvis movies offer some fun.
I welcome any comments, criticisms, opinions, etc, about the Elvis Presley movies. Thanks!
James L. Neibaur