With Tennessee Williams on the set of GI Blues (5 pics)

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MikeFromHolland
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With Tennessee Williams on the set of GI Blues (5 pics)

Post by MikeFromHolland »

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There is some evidence (if you read between the lines) that Tennessee Williams rewrote his first play Battle of Angels into Orpheus Descending (which would later become the movie The Fugitive Kind, directed by Sidney Lumet) with Elvis Presley as inspiration for the character of Val Xavier, the sexually explosive drifter who walks around holding a guitar and melts the hearts of women in an indiscriminate fashion. Elaine Dundy mentions the similarities in her book Elvis and Gladys, and upon my own investigation of Williams’ rewrites of Battle of Angels, I find it a very intriguing and plausible theory.

Read further on: http://www.sheilaomalley.com/?p=48609

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Paragraph about this in the book Elvis and Gladys:
https://books.google.nl/books?id=IYbOeqSWVhUC&pg=PA298&lpg=PA298&dq=tennessee+williams+elvis+orpheus&source=bl&ots=7qqN0Zxzwu&sig=OMtxGiCMrXOw3hjAgs6vo_yQCBo&hl=nl&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwja79XJ6ufKAhUJFh4KHbaNA5IQ6AEIMTAC#v=onepage&q=tennessee%20williams%20elvis%20orpheus&f=false
Peter Guralnik, who wrote perhaps the best biography of Elvis, admitted that, in his early years, Elvis had such a wild and animal force that his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, was to "control the acceptable level of risk". Coop, how were the United States in 1956, had in their cells thundering fox in the face of Elvis Presley.
At the time, it was no secret that Williams wanted Elvis to play Val in the film version of "Orpheus" in 1958, which eventually was called "The Fugitive Kind" (The Fugitive Kind).
Finally Marlon Brando played this role.

Playwriter Tennessee Williams (with his mother) visiting Elvis at the set of GI Blues in 1960:
Tenessee Williams on set GI Blues 01.jpg
Tenessee Williams on set GI Blues 02.jpg
Tenessee Williams on set GI Blues 03.jpg
Tenessee Williams on set GI Blues 04.jpg
Tenessee Williams' mother on set GI Blues 05.jpg

BONUS:
On Set GI Blues.jpg
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Mike

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drjohncarpenter
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Re: With Tennessee Williams on the set of GI Blues (5 pics)

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Cool share! And that blog you link to, "The Sheila Variations," is absolutely gripping, a fantastic analysis.

These photos with Tennessee Williams are striking, for a number of critical reasons.

First off, Williams and up-and-coming actor Laurence Harvey were being escorted around Paramount by producer Hal Wallis because the wily producer was working on a deal to bring "Summer and Smoke" to the big screen.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_and_Smoke_(film)

Williams' superb "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof," became an acclaimed late 1958 MGM film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman. And his latest project was providing the script to Sidney Lumet's "The Fugitive Kind," starring Marlon Brando. The United Artist film had just opened about six weeks earlier. There almost certainly was a Presley connection in the character of "Val Xavier," as noted by outstanding blogger Sheila O'Malley in your OP, and the writer must have been thrilled to meet Elvis. No wonder he brought his mom along!

http://www.sheilaomalley.com/?page_id=2

Anyway, a deal would be made with Wallis, and Harvey would star in the adaptation, released in November 1961. It's a shame that Presley management was never, ever going to consider using someone like the legendary playwright on a project, but travelogues in Hawaii were a priority. Sadly, Williams battled prescription addition and depression in much the same way that Presley did.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_Williams

The date of this visit to the Paramount set is Wednesday, June 1, 1960. I've added details below each one.


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With writer Tennessee Williams, producer Hal Wallis, actor Laurence Harvey at Paramount - Wednesday, June 1, 1960
Note: the clock shows it is 2:40pm.



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With Edwina Williams, producer Paul Nathan, writer Tennessee Williams, producer Hal Wallis, actor Laurence Harvey at Paramount - Wednesday, June 1, 1960
Note: Harvey is (inadvertently) "flipping the bird"!



Image

With Edwina Williams, writer Tennessee Williams, co-star Ron Starr at Paramount - Wednesday, June 1, 1960
Note: Elvis is in a different outfit, but guests are in same clothes, so it's the same visit.



Image

With writer Tennessee Williams, manager Tom Parker, actor Laurence Harvey, producer Hal Wallis at Paramount - Wednesday, June 1, 1960
Note: the clock now shows it is 2:42pm.



Image

With Edwina Williams at Paramount - Wednesday, June 1, 1960


BONUS:

Image

With Tom Diskin, unknown, actor Nick Adams, Marie and Tom Parker, producer Hal Wallis and Trude Forsher - Friday, June 24, 1960
Note: taken not on set but at Parker's office for his 51st birthday party (two days early) ... photo is cropped, you cannot see Diskin or Forsher, or "Happy Birthday" on the wall behind them.

Here are a few better, less-cropped or new shots, starting with the Parker party:

600624_w Diskin_Adams_Parkers_Wallis_Forsher.JPG
600601_w Williams_Wallis_Harvey.JPG
600601_w Williams_Nathan_Williams_Wallis_Harvey.JPG
600601_w Edwina Williams.JPG

Thanks again for the share.
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Re: With Tennessee Williams on the set of GI Blues (5 pics)

Post by MikeFromHolland »

Thanks again for the share.
And you for the extra info and photos. Very inspiring.

About The Sheila Variations: there are a lot more interesting "essays" on there. Will recommend anyone to have a look (to older blogs as well).

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drjohncarpenter
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Re: With Tennessee Williams on the set of GI Blues (5 pics)

Post by drjohncarpenter »

MikeFromHolland wrote:And you for the extra info and photos. Very inspiring.

About The Sheila Variations: there are a lot more interesting "essays" on there. Will recommend anyone to have a look (to older blogs as well).
Yes, "The Sheila Variations" is a terrific blog, with many insightful essays on Elvis:

http://www.sheilaomalley.com/?tag=elvis-presley


.
Dr. John Carpenter, M.D.
Stop, look and listen, baby <<--->> that's my philosophy!