Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:12 am

Is it inferred about the character Joe Buck having "repressed homosexuality" or something alluded to in early, perhaps annotated copies of the script? I had thought the scenes "from the past" that appear from time to time allude to some sexual trauma in his small town past. And that his decision to be a gigilo stems from this trauma. I always saw it this way, but then I didn't see it when it came out. {excuse the pun}

Are you saying he wanted the situation that caused the X rating, when I always thought it showed how he came to New York City to be a big shot with the ladies, and ended up as just another hustler? I mean, the story is so meaningful that way . . . and when Hoffman gets sick, he realizes that there are more important things in life than "fame and fortune" -- even if he sought those things through sex, and didn't reach his goal. Again, I thought the scenes from the past alluded to whatever trauma sent him on this journey in the first place.

That kind of changes the film for me: from the general to the specific. I thought it was about broken dreams and broken people, and how, at least the people found each other. In spite of, or even because of the tragic circumstance of Hoffman's fatal illness. I didn't think it was just a film about sex. With a dramatic layer. I thought the drama was the foundation. The scene on the bus is beautiful, and in my view, has nothing to do with any kind of sexuality. More about human connection and caring.

As for that constant stream of "effing" in a film like "Blair Witch," yeah it is how a lot of people talk, but they really went to it - and do so in a lot of films. So much that you were paying more attention to the cursing than to the dramatic situation. I think films do not have to do this to such extremes that you kind of lose the film amidst all the profanity. That was supposed to be a shock-horror thing, and you kind of numb yourself after awhile to any kind of shock. A lotta films like that.

Elvis placed his wildness in interesting contexts, and really did shock people. And yes, what he did at the Pan Pacific ("we can't talk about that now," he says in '68) was truly shocking, and I think, remains so. It was a strange thing to do. The Colonel encouraged it, but no way he thought it up. Ricky Nelson was there and couldn't beleive what he'd seen. If he did that in Florida, even in ONE show, they'd have busted him. You know: the thing with Judge Gooding. And Elvis, according to June Juanico, in front of all the guys back stage, goes "F*** You Very Much!!!" to the audience, looking straight at the judge.

So, yeah, in a certain context, certain things do shock. It's when the shock is obliterated, that it becomes kinda boring.

I think Elvis could have handled a tough film in the late '60s, very early '70s. Maybe not that exact one, but if he indicated interest, the films would have come his way.

As far as a few years down a rugged road, I just don't know. Nothing is worse than not even giving it a try, as has been pointed out.

rjm


greystoke wrote:
rjm wrote:To Pete or whomever is interested in the concept of "PC" . . .
I have heard of people, dunno if they were gay or not, who were quite offended.

You think everyone has become too sensitive? Hmmm. I prefer not to offend, if I can. This topic has taken an interesting turn. But only cause we were talking about a late 60s film, that Elvis had a shot at, that the media went all Victorian over and gave it an X rating. And today, it would be silly. At the time, I think, they wanted the controversy. So are we more sensitive now, or then? Not that easy a question. I saw the Blair Witch Project this afternoon, and EVERY OTHER WORD was the the four-letter one beginning with "F." With embellishments. IN BETWEEN words, even. So the 69 controversy over a perception of a homosexual act was just so silly. They didn't even curse, as I recall. ------
To any others, who think I want to hear Elvis say naughty things (!!!!!?????) :oops: :

rjm


As I mentioned, Elvis was never going to star in Midnight Cowboy as the film ultimately came to be under the direction of John Schlesinger and with Waldo Salt's screenplay -- early drafts of the script, based on James Leo Herlihy's novel, were watered-down versions of the story, and that's what was doing the rounds before production started, and was thought appropriate as an Elvis vehicle. He was never offered a role and was never in line to play Joe Buck, whilst there's a great difference between one being considered suitable for a role and a part being offered. The former, being little more than talk . . .

The film, however, remains a cinematic landmark from an era in which new languages in sex, violence and dialogue were being explored in cinema -- this was one of several films to receive an X rating at the time, but remains the only X rated picture to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Yet, despite the content, and the initial rating awarded the film, this was soon reduced to an R rating, as many thought the MPAA was too harsh.

The scene in which Joe Buck gives oral to the older homosexual man, and the encounter with the younger kid in the cinema, are counter-points to Buck's own repressed homosexuality, which allows those scenes to be considered and viewed in an entirely different context to what you may be appreciating . . . Granted, what takes place is tame in comparison to cinema from the following decade and now, in 2011; but consider the era, the content and the subtext. This was daring, brilliant cinema and pivotal movie-making -- you may believe this silly now, but think of some of the furore over Elvis's on-stage gyrations and antics. And if you consider harmless asides and double entendres from the concert stage to have been close to the knuckle in 1969, think how those in the wings felt when the 21 year old Presley with writhing on top of Nipper on stage in 1956.

With regards to the Blair Witch Project, again, if you find the language to have been too coarse for your tastes, the aim here was realism and the dialogue reflects how plenty of people actually speak, or how those characters were perceived to have spoke in such a situation -- and this is what many directors strived to achieve during the mid-late sixties, and with films such as Midnight Cowboy. Plenty of films offered realistic dialogue before 1969, of course, but the envelope was being pushed further than before with regards to artistic freedom in late sixties Hollywood -- this was a rich time for cinema.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:50 am

brian wrote:
greystoke wrote:
brian wrote:I think the real missed opportunity in making A Star is Born was the money.

Streisand comes to Elvis and reportedly offers him $500,000.00 plus 10% of the gross.

A Star is Born grossed 28 million domestic and 70 million in total so for Elvis that would have been 7 million dollars.

The most Elvis made on any of his own movies was probably 2 million.

Now do i think doing the movie would have gave Elvis any credibility as an actor absolutely not.

The movie while a big box office hit was absolutely trashed when it came out and with Elvis playing a variation of himself once again most people probably make that connection.

The would probably say Elvis is just playing a variation of himself again which is rather easy to do.

I think for Elvis to earn credibility as an actor would be for him to get guest starring roles in popular shows of the era like Hawaii Five-0, The Rockford Files, Mary Tyler Moore, Columbo etc.

These shows had a huge audience where Elvis could come in to do a non singing role and provided that he did a good job he could start to earn a reputation as a good actor.

The t.v. movies in the 1970s were generally better than they are now and if Elvis could find a good project he could show his acting talents to a big audience.

Maybe film producers would then see Elvis on television giving these good performances and start to offer him important movie roles.


One can only speculate as to what credibility Elvis may have garnered had he appeared in A Star Is Born, but it's certain that his profile would have been raised considerably. Let's also consider how popular the film's soundtrack was, topping the charts globally and selling in excess of ten million copies.

The money Elvis could have earned from his involvement would certainly have been stellar, although you have overestimated his earnings in Hollywood and underestimated what A Star Is Born grossed -- Elvis coined less than $1.5 million tops for a single film, whilst A Star Is Born grossed around $80 million domestically with earnings reaching over $37 million -- and that's not counting international takings. Elvis was offered $500,000 plus 10% of the film's rentals after breaking even, so he would have taken to the bank around $3.6 million.


Isn't those numbers for A Star Born that you are citing is what it would have earned if you factor in inflation?

80 million domestic seems like a bit much.

I meant to say 42 million domestic and 28 million overseas which would be 70 million worldwide.
That's what always read that it originally grossed and that it came in #2 after Rocky.

That's seems more like it to me.

Are you sure Streisand didn't offer 10% of the gross because if she didn't then that just sucks.

That's just it I have the feeling that Elvis' profile would not have been raised considerably had he done the film.


No, that's not adjusted for inflation -- Rocky was the only film released in 1976 that ultimately earned more. A Star Is Born really was a bona fide smash and with the album's success and awards garnered, interest in the film allowed plenty of business through 1977.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:49 am

The film and album were smashes. It would have done even more if Elvis was in it. I hated the movie, liked the Evergreen song, and would like to think that the male music would have been changed somewhat if Elvis were in it. Then, it would have been better and I think Elvis would have the aura of somebody that is a big star. I don't think Kristofferson carried that off.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:42 am

greystoke wrote:The first kernel of an idea that resulted in the 1976 version of A Star is Born, actually came to be in late 1973 when John Dunne and Joan Didion took the notion of two rock singers - one on the rise, and one whose life and career are on the skids - to Dick Shepherd, who was the head of production at Warner Bros. Dunne and Didion would write the screenplay for Warner Bros. with John Foreman coming on board to produce -- the mould being based on A Star is Born.

The first draft was passed on by Peter Bogdanovich, who was approached to direct with Cybil Shepherd as a potential lead. The feelers were out for lead actors and a director, and with Mark Rydell coming into the picture, pre-production was fully underway long before Streisand's involvement and with the names of numerous suitable actors and rock singers being touted for the lead roles -- Elvis's name came into the mix, with Cher, Carly Simon and Liza Minnelli all considered for the female lead, whilst Mick Jagger, James Taylor, Neil Diamond and Marlon Brando were also considered. Formal offers weren't necessarily made to any of the above, and such was also the case with Midnight Cowboy, as Elvis was never offered the part of Joe Buck and what came Parker's way was merely a rudimentary and early draft of a script that was far removed what was ultimately a classic, landmark piece of cinema.

It was Sue Mengers who sent Streisand the second draft of the script around the summer of 1974, when Mark Rydell dropped out of the picture and Jerry Schatzberg came on board as director. Kristofferson was also being considered at that point. When Streisand formally agreed to star, this ensured Jon Peters came on board as producer, with the film becoming property of First Artists and to be distributed by Warner Bros. Numerous rewrites of the script were abound during 1974 - Jonathan Axelrod briefly being involved with a submitted script that was tossed out - whilst Kristofferson delayed in signing to play the male lead -- Schatzberg walked off the project in late '74. Peters now decides that he will direct the picture, and with the title changed to A Star is Born, Peters now begins suggesting that the film had been his idea all along. Elvis is approached in March of 1975, as Kristofferson still hasn't signed on to play John Norman Howard - holding out until he sees a completed script - and a definite male lead is sorely needed. By the time Elvis/Parker decline to participate, the script is complete and Kristofferson is keen to sign and the director duties being handed to Frank Pierson. The film and soundtrack were both smash hits . . .

greystoke wrote:There's often a consensus with regards to Elvis that he needed a challenge to truly thrive, and if nothing else, A Star Is Born would have presented a challenge for him. Yes, he was succumbing to numerous fetters by 1975, but one wonders if a change from what had become so very routine would have allowed hitherto untapped facets of Elvis's artistry and talents to surface.

I have my reservations about A Star Is Born as a film, for it's certainly wasn't a great piece of movie-making, but it was a terrific star vehicle for an actress and singer who was at the very top, and whose talent and power in the music business and in Hollywood allowed her to call the shots in ways Elvis should have been able to. And he need not have abandoned movie-making for want only of starring roles, because he could have been more than able in support or as a leading man next to someone like Streisand -- it certainly didn't hurt Kristofferson. A part in this film would have raised his profile considerably, and had Elvis proved capable in the role of John Norman Howard, plenty of doors would surely have been opened, not least of all in the immediate aftermath of the film's success, had the BAFTAs, Grammies, Golden Globes and Oscars also took to nominate the film had Elvis been involved.

greystoke wrote:One can only speculate as to what credibility Elvis may have garnered had he appeared in A Star Is Born, but it's certain that his profile would have been raised considerably. Let's also consider how popular the film's soundtrack was, topping the charts globally and selling in excess of ten million copies.

The money Elvis could have earned from his involvement would certainly have been stellar, although you have overestimated his earnings in Hollywood and underestimated what A Star Is Born grossed -- Elvis coined less than $1.5 million tops for a single film, whilst A Star Is Born grossed around $80 million domestically with earnings reaching over $37 million -- and that's not counting international takings. Elvis was offered $500,000 plus 10% of the film's rentals after breaking even, so he would have taken to the bank around $3.6 million.

I do agree that acting on television may have benefitted Elvis, and brief shooting times when considering guest appearances on popular shows of the day would have allowed breaks from touring sans prolonged commitments. The standard of movies made for television was also high during the 1970s, and pursuing a project of his own was an avenue, unfortunately, never explored or realised.

Going back to A Star Is Born, again, one shouldn't underestimate how very popular this film was -- critics may have been cold, although the film wasn't wholly derided. And let's also consider how stellar Streisand's track record was, both with regards to the quality of her pictures and her box office draw. There was much for Elvis to gain being part of that, even if there were reservations about the production of the film at large.

greystoke wrote:No, that's not adjusted for inflation -- Rocky was the only film released in 1976 that ultimately earned more. A Star Is Born really was a bona fide smash and with the album's success and awards garnered, interest in the film allowed plenty of business through 1977.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful, on-topic replies. They shed a great deal of light into the genesis of the 1976 remake of "A Star Is Born."

Can you share the source of your information?

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:50 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Thank you so much for your thoughtful, on-topic replies. They shed a great deal of light into the genesis of the 1976 remake of "A Star Is Born."

Can you share the source of your information?


Various sources, Doc -- I've long been aware of A Star is Born being in pre-production over a year prior to Elvis being approached to co-star, and of the many actors and directors in the loop to work on the picture, along with Jon Peters move into production. More than a few Hollywood biographies and desk reference books have discussed this, such as the Hollywood Reporter's Box Office Guide, The Advent of the Modern Blockbuster, Easy Riders and Raging Bulls, etc.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Thu May 10, 2012 10:05 am

I came across something else that confirms my feeling that Elvis did not want to
be in the movie, "A star is born".

According to Larry Geller Elvis did not want to be in the movie.

And according to the article interview, Larry states why he didn't.

Apparently it was the subject matter and the character.

Elvis thought that for a comeback movie it was something he didn't think his fans would accept.
Not his image. Especially the end of the move where the character drives off a cliff.
Elvis didn't want that kind of image. Because of that he bowed out.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Fri May 11, 2012 4:56 am

ekenee, you are 100% correct, Parker had nothing to do with Elvis not doing the film, at first he was excited, the guys that were with him were excited (Sonny & Red), but at that stage in his life, I think to him it may have been too big a challange,(he would have had to clean up, loose some weight etc.) and a day or two after the great news, he told Parker to get him out of it. It really is a shame it never happened.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Fri May 11, 2012 4:57 am

Elvis thought that for a comeback movie it was something he didn't think his fans would accept.
Not his image. Especially the end of the move where the character drives off a cliff.
Elvis didn't want that kind of image. Because of that he bowed out.



That had nothing to do with it.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Fri May 11, 2012 5:03 am

Kingcandids wrote:ekenee, you are 100% correct, Parker had nothing to do with Elvis not doing the film...

Really?

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Fri May 11, 2012 5:10 am

Absolutely! It was Elvis' decision. That whole story about Elvis getting top billing was all made up.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Fri May 11, 2012 5:14 am

midnightx wrote:
Kingcandids wrote:ekenee, you are 100% correct, Parker had nothing to do with Elvis not doing the film...

Really?

Somewhere a retired Dutchman is smiling.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Fri May 11, 2012 5:19 am

Kingcandids wrote:Absolutely! It was Elvis' decision. That whole story about Elvis getting top billing was all made up.

Oh, so the "stories" of Tom Parker's lack of support and overzealous negotiations are nothing more than fairytales? But the “stories” of Elvis demanding that Parker kill the deal are true? Thanks for clearing that up.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Fri May 11, 2012 5:34 am

Kingcandids wrote:
Elvis thought that for a comeback movie it was something he didn't think his fans would accept.
Not his image. Especially the end of the move where the character drives off a cliff.
Elvis didn't want that kind of image. Because of that he bowed out.



That had nothing to do with it.


Then what was it? This was taken from a conversation that Larry and Elvis apparently had.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Fri May 11, 2012 7:00 am

More than one person has said Elvis killed it in the end. and i am sure The Colonel was happy he did and would not try and talk him out of it. BUT.....Elvis was the one that backed out.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Fri May 11, 2012 4:45 pm

At the end of the day it doesnt really matter who decided that Elvis shouldnt do it. Whether it be Parker or Elvis himself, the fact is he didnt do it. It probably wouldnt have been ideal in any case.

But Parker wouldve been more than happy for Elvis to back out of the film for a number of reasons which have been mentioned above. Elvis would probably have liked some other type of film for his first dramatic role since Change of Habit. But it didnt do Kristofferson's career any harm at all so its hard to know.

Elvis was truly bored with life and his career in 1975 and needed something to invigorate him and his career. A serious dramatic film or World tour maybe would have been helpful. Its sad that we will never know.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Fri May 11, 2012 4:58 pm

ekenee wrote:I came across something else that confirms my feeling that Elvis did not want to
be in the movie, "A star is born".

According to Larry Geller Elvis did not want to be in the movie.

And according to the article interview, Larry states why he didn't.

Apparently it was the subject matter and the character.

Elvis thought that for a comeback movie it was something he didn't think his fans would accept.
Not his image. Especially the end of the move where the character drives off a cliff.
Elvis didn't want that kind of image. Because of that he bowed out.


Larry wasn't with Elvis in 1975. His account is probably from second-hand information.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Fri May 11, 2012 5:45 pm

elvisjock wrote:
ekenee wrote:I came across something else that confirms my feeling that Elvis did not want to
be in the movie, "A star is born".

According to Larry Geller Elvis did not want to be in the movie.

And according to the article interview, Larry states why he didn't.

Apparently it was the subject matter and the character.

Elvis thought that for a comeback movie it was something he didn't think his fans would accept.
Not his image. Especially the end of the move where the character drives off a cliff.
Elvis didn't want that kind of image. Because of that he bowed out.


Larry wasn't with Elvis in 1975. His account is probably from second-hand information.


99% of what you read in books about Elvis is second-hand information.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Fri May 11, 2012 7:59 pm

Kingcandids wrote:ekenee, you are 100% correct, Parker had nothing to do with Elvis not doing the film...

Facts:
Streisand and Peters wanted Elvis in the part.
Elvis wanted to do the part.
Management killed the opportunity for a number of reasons, all short-sighted and self-serving.
Two years later, Elvis was dead.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Fri May 11, 2012 11:53 pm

Facts: Streisand and Peters wanted Elvis in the part.
Elvis wanted to do the part.
Management killed the opportunity for a number of reasons, all short-sighted and self-serving.
Two years later, Elvis was dead.


The facts that Streisand and Peters wanted Elvis in the part is true and Two years later Elvis had died.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Sat May 12, 2012 1:32 am

Kingcandids wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
Kingcandids wrote:ekenee, you are 100% correct, Parker had nothing to do with Elvis not doing the film...

Facts:
Streisand and Peters wanted Elvis in the part.
Elvis wanted to do the part.
Management killed the opportunity for a number of reasons, all short-sighted and self-serving.
Two years later, Elvis was dead.


The facts that Streisand and Peters wanted Elvis in the part is true and Two years later Elvis had died.

My statement is supported by the historical record, but if you feel happy believing something else, more power to ya!

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Sat May 12, 2012 3:25 am

My statement is supported by the historical record, but if you feel happy believing something else, more power to ya!


First off, I didn't read anything. My statement was told to me by someone who was present at that meeting between Elvis, Streisand & Peters . And who was with him two days later when he lost interest in the project. He is a very dear friend of mine and have known him for many years. He knows becaused he lived it. We just read what people print.
I don't know what "Historical Record your reading but its not correct. I am not going to get into a Pissing match, because I know what the truth is and not what some want you to believe. One can't always be wright.
I am not tring to change your mind, I just disagreed with what you wrote. But thats what makes us different, everyone is free to believe what they want to believe.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Sat May 12, 2012 3:31 am

Kingcandids wrote:One can't always be wright.

So true.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Sat May 12, 2012 5:13 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Kingcandids wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
Kingcandids wrote:ekenee, you are 100% correct, Parker had nothing to do with Elvis not doing the film...

Facts:
Streisand and Peters wanted Elvis in the part.
Elvis wanted to do the part.
Management killed the opportunity for a number of reasons, all short-sighted and self-serving.
Two years later, Elvis was dead.


The facts that Streisand and Peters wanted Elvis in the part is true and Two years later Elvis had died.

My statement is supported by the historical record, but if you feel happy believing something else, more power to ya!


That's big of you to make a conclusion when not enough real information is there.
Note: historical record is not always "fact".

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Sat May 12, 2012 5:33 am

Kingcandids wrote:I don't know what "Historical Record your reading but its not correct. I am not going to get into a Pissing match, because I know what the truth is and not what some want you to believe.


That is good enough for me.

Re: Elvis and "A Star Is Born" --> A New Mystery!

Sat May 12, 2012 6:34 am

Look, management killed the deal......(at the request of Elvis).