CHANGE OF HABIT
Theatrical Release Date: November 10, 1969 (USA)
Los Angeles Times - Feb 3, 1969
Elvis Presley will make his first film for Universal - Change of Habit a drama about a young doctor who a strong affection ate with a nun Mary Tyler Moore.
Running Time: 93 minutes
Director: William A. Graham
Producer: Joe Connelly
James Lee, Eric Bercovici and
S. S. Schweitzer
Cinematography: Russell Metty (Technicolor)1:85:1
Musical Composer: Billy Goldenberg
Editor: Douglas Stewart
Production Designer: Alexander Golitzen
Set Decoration: John McCarthy Jr. and Ruby. R Levitt
Costume Design: Helen Colvig
Associate Producer: Irving Paley
Art Direction: Joe Alves
Hair Stylist: Larry Germain
Makeup Artist: Bud Westmore
Studio Sessions for RCA, January 20-21, 1969
American Sound, Memphis, Tennessee
March 5/6th 1969 Decca Universal Studio - Universal City, California
Let Us Pray
Change Of Habit
Let's Be Friends (not filmed)
Have A Happy
More detailed info here : http://www.elvisrecordings.com/
Universal Studios - 1964 (LIFE)
Location was at Universal Studios,Hollywood and at various LA Locations
Pre-production work started on the 10th March 1969
Principal photography began 12th March 1969
12/13/14 17/18/19/20/21 24/25/26/27/28 31st of March
1/2/3/4/5 8/9/10*/11* 14/15+/16/17/18 21/22/23/24/25^ 28**/29th** April.
*Elvis did not attend due to sore throat,and rested at Palm Springs
** retakes of 'Have A Happy' production number and post looping
Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson visits on the main stage No.42 at the Universal Studios, to meet Elvis and co-star Barbara McNair.
Barbara McNair recalls the visit of Mahalia Jackson : "Elvis and I were sitting there together and Mahalia came on the set and she asked Elvis if he would participate in a fund-raiser that she was going to organize. Elvis was so gracious,"Oh,Mrs Jackson,I am so happy to meet you,I would love to do it,but I still have to ask the Colonel.",so after she left,he said to me,"I'll never do it,the Colonel won't let me",but he was so gracious to her,he knew all the time the Colonel would not let him do it.
Director William A. Graham remembers " I had worked with Mahalia Jackson when I did "Sounder, Part 2," Mahalia Jackson appeared on that show singing. But yes, we were very excited to have her come to the set".
MAHALIA JACKSON at Martin Luther King Funeral April 9 1968, Ebenezer Baptist Church,Atlanta, Georgia ,sang his favorite Gospel song "Precious Lord, Take My Hand (Take My Hand Precious Lord)"
This image (above) is either a staged publicity photo,or most likely part of a deleted section of this scene.
Location shoot for the football sequence was shot in Magnolia Park in North Hollywood(North Hollywood Park). The park goes from Magnolia to the intersection of Camarillo and Tujunga.
Director William A. Graham : Jane Elliott was having a little romance with Elvis, and sometimes she'd go off in the trailer with Elvis between setups and come out with her wimple askew and her habit looking a little messed up
Elvis between takes in Magnolia park with co-star Jane Elliott.
Jane Elliot : "When I met him, and started working with him, and subsequently had a friendship with him,that lasted for a couple of years".
Richard Bennett(second assistant director): "Jane became friends with Elvis and spent a lot of time in his dressing room.I think it was a real friendship"
Mary Tyler Moore,Elvis and director William A. Graham share a joke between takes either on the Universal back lot or Magnolia Park.
Director William A. Graham :"Well Mary Tyler Moore was wondering what she was doing in an Elvis Presley movie. It was not particularly her kinda movie that she would ordinarily appear in. And I remember that she was a little bit on the prissy side, but that was okay because she was playing a nun, so I would expect her to be a little bit reserved. She also was very concerned about how she looked on camera because she suffered from diabetes, which caused her skin to be prematurely wrinkled. And so Russ was always required to put a special light on her, a light that was right beside the camera that would wash out all the wrinkles. And so even if we had a three-shot, she would kinda stand out with a kind of a heavenly glow that was created by this light. On the other hand, you know, I don't wanna say anything derogatory about Mary Tyler because she's a wonderful actor and a wonderful person and she did a fine job in the movie."
Colonel Parker and Elvis, either on the Universal back lot,for the 'Have A Happy' Production number or in Magnolia Park
Director William A. Graham describe's working with Colonel Parker on Change Of Habit "I hear you've been going up to Elvis', Sonny." And I said, "Yeah, that's right. I've been working with him. We've been working on the acting and he's really coming along very well." So he said, "Well listen, Sonny," he said, "Let me tell you something. We make these movies for a certain price and they make a certain amount of money, no less and no more." So he said, "Don't you be goin' for no Oscar, Sonny, because we ain't got no tuxedos." And so that was my reprimand. And so I kept on going up to see Elvis, but the Colonel was a little bit suspicious of -- that we were gonna take the movie off in a little bit different direction from Elvis' normal stock in trade, and we did".
Elvis signing autographs in Magnolia Park. Joe Esposito is to the left of the picture
Robert Deanda (Carlos in the football scene) : "That was fun day with Elvis in the park and everybody watching him film.There were a lot of fans there that day. All these girls would yell 'Elvis!Elvis!..take a picture with my baby!' Elvis said to me,"I got to watch that,taking a picture with baby stuff,ten years down the road they will say..see,he's the daddy..he's holding my baby!"Everything was roped off.Every time they changed a shot,they moved the rope,to keep the crowd out of shot.They had the rope tied from tree to tree.Elvis had a great time.He was very friendly with everybody,shook everybody's hands,signed autographs,he was real good with people,very nice and very humble.
Robert Deanda : I remember one scene when Elvis tackles her (during the football game) then they do a brief scene lying down,and he kept tickling her,just being flirty.She kept going "Elvis,cut it out..Elvis..now,come on!"
Mary tyler Moore,Elvis and Lorena Kirk. This scene is after the football game,and on route to find an ice cream.
Director William A. Graham :"Everything was filmed on the Universal back lot, except I think we had one scene that was shot in a little park nearby. We couldn't afford to go anywhere! The movie cost three million dollars and Elvis got a million".
On location for the Ajax Market scene at Western Avenue,south of Santa Monica Blvd.
Sister Barbara Bennett(Jane Elliot)Dr. John Carpenter(Elvis)and the LT Moretti(Ed Asner)
Walt Gilmore: (assistant trainee director) "Well it is a big deal to stock a set. It is much cheaper to go down and rent a place like that.We only had it for half a day,they didn't loose a lot of business".http://www.mayfieldsenior.org/academics ... alog09.pdf
scroll down to see a clear image of the exterior of the school which was used as the convent in the movie,and can be seen in the opening scene after the 'Universal' logo.
The above image is from the end scene when Elvis(Dr.John Carpenter) talks to Mary Tyler Moore (Sister Michelle)about their future together,although this actual version of the scene,which was shot outside the Mayfield High school didn't make the finished movie.This exterior version suffered from technical problems and therefore it was deceided to shoot this scene again inside the school in the hallway and foyer area. Looking at this image and the finished movie,it's apparent that Elvis isn't wearing a tie in the exterior version,but is on the interior/'Let Us Pray' production number.
The original exterior shoot for this scene was done over the the Easter break holidays,when the school was closed,with this scene taking the one day on Wednesday April the 9th 1969.(Easter Sunday was April 6th 1969)
'Let Us Pray' production number filmed on location at Saint Patrick's Catholic Church,LA. 14th-25th April 1969.
There were problems while filming the Church scene.An extra objected to the shoot taking place in a Catholic Church. The film crew had agreement from the priest,and the permission from the Arch Diocese,and in the end money sorted things out.
Jane Elliot ,Mary Tyler Moore and Barbara McNair during the 'Let Us Pray' production number.
Darene Love appears on screen with Fanita James from The Blossoms in the 'Let Us Pray' number.
Elvis standing by some movie trailers,in front of the religious school building for a Wardrobe still. The scene is 270 which is either the John Carpenter's meeting with Sister Michelle or the 'Lets Us Pray' number.(Elvis Frame By Frame)14th-25th April 1969.
April 21st-25th 1969.
April 21st-25th 1969.
April 21st-25th 1969.
Elvis on the Universal back lot,dressed for the painting of the apartment scene. This photograph would have been taken around the time Elvis exits the apartment holding the guitar,and was shot in darkness.
San Francisco Chronicle,June 8th 1969
'Like The Set,He's Closed,With Absolutely No Admittance'
by William Otterburn-Hall
Elvis is wearing a paint-stained blue denim shirt and tight blue jeans.He looks relaxed and affable and rather meatier around the jaw line than one remembers from previous films.Marriage is obviously agreeing with him.
His eyes have that smoky slow-burn of the old time movie vamp. He seizes a guitar and strums a few chords.It's the last week of shooting,and like the good old days between exams and the end of term..
The atmosphere on the set is hip and loose,full of leather-clad youth and clever in talk.The director is thin and intense,wears a check shirt and gym shoes,and is called Billy Graham,which is going to look interesting on the posters of a swinging nun.Elvis produces some dialogue.He is never likely to win an award as an actor,but he knows what the kids want and he gives it to them.The girls are talking a party.The cameras turn.Elvis says,"You get a lot of people down here on a saturday night,and all the old hates come out.Before you know it you've got World War III on your hands".
Earth quaking stuff,but this simple home spun philosophy is off key,"Bombed out of their skulls" wasn't in the script,andthe director isn't too happy about it. "It's a good line",says Elvis."Okay,Okay",says Billy Graham.The line stays,maybe it will come out in the cutting room,but it's there for now.
"The whole is downhill" says a technician."He don't talk to anyone,except his own friends". There is no sign of tension,but then Elvis has nothing to be tense about. He can go onchurning out the same thing for another decade,and they'll still queue to see it.If he's over the top,as some unkindly souls occasionally try to make out,he dosn't seem bothered.(Finished prints has "Blown out of their skulls)
Jane Elliot : "The Lords Prayer was typed into my noodle ring,they typed it out for me surrounded it with the food and stared into my plate and it off my plate".
Elvis meeting fans around the time of the making of the movie.
Elvis on the Universal Studios back lot ,around the time Dr Carpenter spots Amanda(Lorena Kirk) sitting on the steps.
Elvis with director William A. Graham.
William A. Graham: I was kind of nervous about meeting Elvis. I was in awe of him, like so many of us were. But to my surprise he turned out to be very approachable, very easy to talk to, and we got along just fine.He put me at ease. And of course he had the approval over the director and I guess he thought I was okay, so he said, "Let's go ahead and, and use Billy."
William A. Graham: Elvis was wonderful to work with. Elvis was the nicest man I ever met in my life. He was the politest man I ever met. He called everyone sir or ma'am, you know, starting with the crafts service man with the guard at the gate, all the way up to the head of the studio. Everyone was sir. He was very responsive to direction. He didn't show any of the kind of ego, the kind of temperament that you would expect from a big star -- and he was a big star. He was wonderful with the crew
William A. Graham: He didn't like to go into the commissary at lunchtime because people would pester him for autographs, so very often he would eat in his trailer. And then quite often he'd come out and sit around on the set and bring out his guitar and he would sing and play for us. You know, he'd play some of the old favorites like "Hound Dog," or "Blue Suede Shoes" and this was wonderful for us. This was really a thrill.
William A. Graham : At the time, Elvis had the hairdo that he was famous for. He had a kind of a pompadour in front and his hair was full of grease. And although because this was a movie about a doctor working in the ghetto it just didn't seem to be quite the right hairstyle. So I talked to him and I said, "Elvis, how would you feel about changing your hair a little bit?" Well, he said he would be open to the idea, and so then we talked about who would do it. And I said, "Well, do you like the way my hair is done?" I had a Japanese lady in Beverly Hills who was cutting my hair at the time, and he said, "Yes." So we went to see Jan and she washed all the grease out of his hair and modified the styling and it was quite a landmark achievement. It was pretty unusual to get that done. And Elvis actually liked it very much.
All the above images are from the Universal Studios back lot taken outside Dr Carpenter's surgery.A & F are the same image , but have included G for being uncropped and for identification of the location(background)
Note : some of these images are in colour elsewhere,but have kept them B/w for consistent look.
The Universal Studios park
The above 'Have A Happy' production number was filmed on the Universal back lot park. The scene was in fact shot three times.The first shoot used a small old merry-go-round,which looked out of place .The second shoot had technical problems with the sync and the camera,(The playback system had just been used on 'Sweet Charity' using quarter inch tape) then after a third attempt ,some pick ups were still needed because Amanda wasn't smiling at the end of the number.
Cynnie Troup (assistant trainee script supervisor): To get that little girl to smile,oh my god!! They had a day of re-takes,after the whole movie was over,after the wrap party,which Elvis was certainly involved..It was not a very good song,that scene was awful.It was tough to match,who sitting on what horse,it wasn't fun scene at all.
NME June 28, 1969
ANN MOSES WATCHES 'THE KING' WORKING
"During the course of two hours Elvis probably sang and re-sang about ten times that happy little song.Between shots he'd hug and kiss Mary Tyler Moore,then retreat to his high set chair where he'd talk with his buddies..An Elvis Presley set is a very strange place.No one seems to approach Elvis when he's not working,not out of fear or indifference,but,I think more out of respect that his free moments should be his own.Still it's not unusual for Elvis to approach any member of the cast or crew and sit down for a chat".(Moses first day exterior/ Universal back lot park)
Director William A. Graham : We were shooting this musical number on a merry-go-round where he's taken this little girl to the park and he takes her on the merry-go-round and she's riding around and Elvis is singing to her. Well, she was a very young girl and she could only work for a few hours a day with us getting into all kinds of penalties and overtime. So when it came time to do Elvis' close up the little girl wasn't available to do the offstage. Also, you know, her attention span was not that great. So Elvis said to me, "I always feel better when I'm singing a song if I can look at somebody and if I can sing to somebody." He says, "I wonder if you would mind standing beside the camera and let me sing to you when I do my close ups." So I had Elvis Presley sing a song directly to me in a movie, and that was quite a thrill
Universty of Tennessee Memphis
"You got be kidding"
The Afro American - July 12 1970
Tense situation - Barbara McNair portraying a nurse-nun, meets resistance from Ji-Tu Cumbuka (left) and Bill Elliott,two militants who object to her presence in the ghetto. It is a scene from Miss McNair's latest movie effort, "Change of Habit." Elliot in real life is husband of Dionne Warwick.
NME July 5, 1969
'RUBBERNECKIN' WITH ELVIS
Guitar playing rips his fingers
Stage 42 : The majority of the morning hours were taken up filming this song - from every angle. First,the whole scene,then a profile,then a close-up,then a shot of his hands,playing the guitar,and so on..One of Elvis's co-stars,Jane Elliot..came on the set in her street clothes..when themusic started the next time,she just couldn,t help dancing,so she grabbed the Unit Publicist,Walter and they began dancing,like you've never seen! Elvis only had a couple of lengthly(longer than two or three minutes)breaks all morning.While they re-adjusted the cameras for different angles,he'd just stay on the set and sing with the Blossoms (vocal group) 'Money Honey,'Johnny B. Good(e)' 'If I Can Dream' ' Love Me'-and on and on.It was a private concert and just as fantastic as ever! 'Weren't they great! I can really dig it when people react when I'm singing. I just get more excited'.(Moses second day to the Studios)
The Age - July 9 1970
The Blossoms can be seen sitting on the sofa to Elvis's left during the 'Rubberneckin' number. Fanita James,Darlene Love and Jean King.
A little cheeky joke from Elvis to Barbara McNair.
Barbara McNair : I felt like everybody else felt about Elvis,you could never really get to be close to Elvis because he was always being guarded by his guys,but it really wasn't that way,he was very approacable.We talked all the time.He talked about his mother,he talked about religion.For instance,if we were off for the weekend,he would come back on Monday and he would tell me everything he did over the weekend.It was just regular conversation.We would sing to his records in his dressing room.He had just put out 'Suspicious Minds'and so he was practicing it.
Ann Moses can be seen in the original version of ETTWII.
+April 15th 1969 Elvis signs the document for his upcoming engeagement at the International,Vegas.
Link to more candidshttp://www.elvis-collectors.com/ ... april+1969
Link to Easter candids 1969 viewtopic.php?f=8&t=22287&hilit=april+1969
Info taken from :Elvis Frame by Frame by Bill Bram ,a superb book well worth finding a copy.http://www.biwa.ne.jp/~presley/index1.htm
Interview with the director.
Last edited by davide on Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:28 pm, edited 4 times in total.