Elvis: 75th Birthday Collection [7 Discs] [DVD]
- SKU: 9930968
- Release Date: 06/01/2010
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Ratings & Reviews
- Closed Captioned
Tensely directed by Don Siegel, Flaming Star is the grittiest of Elvis Presley's post-Army films. Elvis plays Pacer Burton, a half-breed youth in the old West, torn between loyalty to the whites, as represented by his father (John McIntyre), and the Indians, represented by his mother (Dolores Del Rio). A series of brutal Kiowa raids, and the subsequent reprisals by the white settlers, sorely test Pacer's fortitude. Though offered moral support from his loved ones, Pacer is forced to work things out himself. The film was based on a novel by Clair Huffaker. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Follow That Dream
One of a handful of Elvis Presley vehicles for United Artists release, Follow That Dream is a leisurely comedy/musical with a homey appeal that will delight even non-Presley fans. Based on Richard Powell's novel Pioneer Go Home, the film casts Elvis as Toby Kwimper, the most responsible member of an itinerant rural family comprised of Pop Kwimper (Arthur O'Connell) and nubile cousin Holly Jones (Anne Helm). Claiming "squatter's rights," the Kwimpers set up housekeeping, much to the dismay of local gamblers Carmine (Jack Kruschen) and Nick (Simon Oakland). In an attempt to force the family off their land, social worker Alicia Claypool (Joanna Moore) tries to prove that Toby is "degenerate," but succeeds only in making a fool of herself. Beyond a handful of pleasant songs, the film's highlights include Elvis' unwitting breakup of the local gambling casino, and the climactic trial scene featuring Roland Winters as a dyspeptic but basically likeable judge. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
This musical boxing drama finds Walter (Elvis Presley) as a recently discharged soldier looking forwork in New York's Catskill Mountains. He happens across Grogan's Gym, a boxing emporium that helps perfect the "gentle art." Proprioter Willie Grogan (Gig Young) and trainer Lew (Charles Bronson) run the camp for aspiring pugilists. Walter saves Grogan's long suffering girlfriend Rose (Joan Blackman) from an assault by a gangster when he knocks out the goon. He earns the nickname "Kid Galahad" and a chance to show off his talents in the boxing ring. While Walter trains for the big fight, Lew is approached by unsavory gamblers, who want Lew to be lax in repairing any cuts Walter sustains in the ring for a slice of the economic pie. Lew refuses and has his hands broken by the gambling goons. Although Walter knows the fix is on, he battles his way to victory against overwhelming odds and an intimidating opponent. Walter exacts revenge on the men who broke Lew's hands, which may be the first and only time in cinematic history that Charles Bronson needs any outside help. Presley delivers seven songs, the most memorable being "I Got Lucky." United Artists got lucky with the release of Kid Galahad, which drew legions of loyal Presley fans at the box office. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi
Frankie and Johnny
Not a remake of the 1934 Helen Morgan vehicle of the same title, Frankie and Johnny stars Elvis Presley as Johnny, a Mississippi gambler, and Beverly Hillbillies regular Donna Douglas as his girl friend Frankie. In keeping with the old ballad, the romance of Frankie and Johnny is threatened by the intervention of seductress Nellie Bly (Nancy Kovack). Nellie brings Johnny luck at the gaming tables while Frankie sees red. Frankie and Johnny was written by onetime Marx Brothers contributor Nat Perrin and directed by future Tonight Show helmsman Fred de Cordova. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Wild in the Country
Rock 'n roll king Elvis Presley stars as Glenn Talbot, a country boy with a problem temper and a yen for literary greatness in this typical Presley vehicle directed by Philip Dunne. After Glenn is sent packing by his father for mixing it up one too many times with his brother, the court makes him a ward of his uncle. His inner turmoil leads him into therapy with the older and very attractive Irene (Hope Lange), a patient-doctor relationship that is misconstrued by their small town. The two spend a platonic night in the same room in a motel, but no one is believing it was innocent. Glenn's romantic interests include Noreen (Tuesday Weld), with whom he shares a drink or two or more, and a song, and Betty Lee (Millie Perkins). Between the singing and carousing and fist fights, it still looks like a happy resolution looms large on the horizon. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi
Elvis Presley plays Scott Heyward, the son of a Texas oil millionaire in this thin storyline. Scott changes places with the poor but honest water-skiing instructor Tom Wilson (Will Hutchins) to find out if women love him for himself or his money. Tom goes to the posh penthouse previously occupied by Scott, and Scott takes over as the instructor. Scott's father Duster (James Gregory) blows a gasket when he finds out what his son is doing. Boat builder Sam Burton (Gary Merrill) talks Scott into driving his new boat in the big race. Elvis delivers 8 songs in one of the more lackluster vehicles of his 1960s film catalogue. A bevy of beauties, some exciting race scene, and glossy production all help this one across the finish line. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi
Love Me Tender
Elvis Presley made his motion picture debut in the Civil War drama Love Me Tender. Elvis, however, is not the star of the proceedings: that honor goes jointly to Richard Egan and Debra Paget. The story concerns three brothers--Egan, William Campbell and James Drury--who steal a Union payroll on behalf of the Confederacy, only to discover that the war is over and that they're now technically outlaws. Rather than return the money, the brothers divvy it up amongst themselves. Upon returning home, Egan discovers that his sweetheart (Debra Paget) has married Elvis, his youngest brother. Since Love Me Tender has been played incessantly on TV since the early 1960s, it is giving away nothing to reveal that the film is one of two in which Elvis Presley's character dies at the end. Naturally, Elvis is afforded plenty of opportunities to sing: the scene in which he launches into an anachronistic hip-swivelling performance at a county fair is one of the high points of mid-1950s kitsch. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
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