The Elvis Movies
Elvis made 33 movies from 1956 until 1972. His scripted films ended with 'Change Of Habit' in 1969. He made two documentaries, "That's The Way It Is," 1970 and "Elvis On Tour," 1972.
At one point, he was Hollywood's highest paid actor! It wasn't unusual for the companies to pay Elvis 1 million dollars per movie.
Some of the movies are available on DVD, with restored sound and picture quality.
Although sometimes slated for their laid-back style and non-demanding acting, the Elvis films are classics in their own right. I remember well, during the school holidays when the Elvis films were being shown.
Here's a list of the movies:
Love me tender
First Elvis Presley Movie. The only time where Elvis was not the best paid actor on the film.
Jimmy Tompkins (Deke Rivers)
The first time Elvis appeared in a colour movie. His parents can be seen in the audience (his mother is dressed in blue when Elvis sings "Got a lot of livin' to do")
Elvis is very funny in this film especially when he is babysitting!
The famous Andy Warhol picture came from a still from this move - showing Elvis holding a knife.
Wild in the country
The soundtrack of this film was Elvis's most successful movie album. It was thought the formula of the movie must have been right - unfortunately a lot of the future films would follow in the same style, but cheaper. This is one of the best soundtracks with quality tracks, although "Ito Eats" could be a contender for the worst movie song, and it's in this one!
Follow That Dream
Very enjoyable film, again highlighting Elvis's brilliant comedy acting - one of my favourites and often overlooked
Walter Gulick/Kid Galahad
For this movie Elvis was trained to fight by a professional boxing coach. Charles Bronson appears in this film and has commented that it is the worst film of his career. He shouldn't have bothered taking the money. But money talks
Girls! Girls! Girls!
His only movie to be nominated for a golden globe. The classic "Return to Sender" came from this film, so if anyone says all the movie songs were rubbish, point this one out!
It Happened at the World's Fair
Kurt Russell uncredit movie debut. He is seen kicking Elvis in the shin. Much later Kurt Russell portrayed Elvis in "Elvis The Movie"
Fun in Acapulco
A highlight in this film is the song "Bossa Nova Baby"
Josh Morgan / Jodie Tatum
Elvis Presley played two parts in this movie. He wore a wig to portray his blonde cousin. Check out some of the dance scenes - especially "Kissin' Cousin's" when you get to see "Elvis" who doesn't look anything like him! Oh the joy of the freeze frame!
Viva Las Vegas
Elvis and Ann Margret had a love affair during making this film together and were seeing each other for a year after making the film. Their friendship lasted until Elvis passed away in 1977. Elvis always sent her flowers in the shape of a guitar during her opening nights in Vegas.
Elvis performed many of his own stunts. There is a great Karate fight by Elvis, who had studied the art
Very enjoyable soundtrack to this film
Lonnie Beale / Panhandle Kid
The only Time Elvis did not record a movie soundtrack. All his songs were from his back catalogue - which certainly added something extra to the film. Quite a fun movie to watch and Elvis's comedy acting is just great!
Not a brilliant film. Elvis was disappointed as he thought he could play a Valentino character - he was let down by the low budget and poor script. It upset Elvis at the time who expected a good part to play.
Frankie and Johnny
This soundtrack is also enjoyable. Watchable film, but not great.
Paradise, Hawaiian Style
Donna Butterworth's last picture - thank god! For me this film is almost unwatchable because of the terrible choice of this little kid. I know some people like her, but it's the 'over-the-top' sugary performance that does nothing for the film. Had I a gun I would shoot out the TV when she appears!
President Lyndon B. Johnson met Elvis on the movie set. It's an average film, but always worth watching when Elvis is there.
Easy Come, Easy Go
Lt. (j.g.) Ted Jackson
USS Gallant, an ocean-going minesweeper appears in the film
Annette Days only movie. She was working in London with no acting experience and whisked off to Hollywood! Elvis gave her a brand new car during the film!
Scott Heyward / 'Tom Wilson'
The formular for the Elvis movies had by now being pretty much the same. But, even this film has it's highlights. "Hey, Hey, Hey" is a regular Elvis disco favourite - if you can, listen to the outtakes of this song, they are really funny! Not a fantastic soundtrack but a watchable film to while away an hour and half with Elvis.
Stay Away, Joe
Hear Elvis actually singing to a Bull, called Dominic! All-in-all a good film though. One of the one's you very rarely see on TV
Nancy Sinatra co-starred with Elvis. Look out for the brilliant cafe where the chairs and seating are made from cars! "Let Yourself go" is a brilliant moment in the film. Elvis looks good in his 1968 (pre-comeback) look.
Live a Little, Love a Little
Albert, the Great Dane in the movie, was played by Elvis's own dog, Brutus. Elvis's dad appears in the movie. It was the first film Elvis would appear sharing a bed with a girl! (They had a board between them, so it escaped having an X rating!)
The only Time Elvis Presley sported a beard on the big screen. Low production costs make this one of Elvis's poorer movies. I think Elvis would have suited this type of roll and the film could have been so much better. It is a different movie, compared to his other films. And one where you never see him singing in the movie.
The Trouble with Girls
Quite a different Elvis film. Elvis appears in a white suit and a hat. This was the year he made his first appearance on stage to a paying audience. A highlight for me is "Clean up your own Backyard" sang in the movie. Would make a great video, if they ever wanted to release the track - but I'm sure they won't!
Change of Habit
Dr. John Carpenter
One of my favourite films (and not the usual Elvis film) Elvis has his hair styled differently for this movie. It features Mary Tyler Moore and the songs are great, although it's not full songs - but top quality ones. It's a more adult type movie and deals with living in a ghetto area - it even has a PG rating on my DVD! How cool is that?!
Elvis: That's the Way It Is (documentary)
3rd Concert season in las Vegas. Fabulous film showing Elvis rehearsing and on stage. Check out the remade digitally enhanced film with extra footage.
Elvis On Tour (documentary)
Digitally remastered film out on Blu Ray and DVD
Concert film; 1973 Golden Globe winner for Best Documentary film (it tied with Walls of Fire (1971)