Elvis Presley Blues: 4 Film Favorites [4 Discs] [DVD]

  • SKU: 23038297
  • Release Date: 03/11/2014
  • Rating: PG
  • 5.0 (1)
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King Creole
Elvis Presley delivers one of his finest early performances in King Creole. Elvis plays a teenager named Danny Fisher, who is forced to drop out of school to help support his ineffective father (Dean Jagger). Drawn to trouble like a magnet, Danny is saved from a jail term by New Orleans salloonkeeper Charlie Le Grand (Paul Stewart), who gives the boy a job as a singer. It isn't long, however, before local gang boss Maxie Fields (Walter Matthau), a shadowy figure from Danny's criminal past, puts the muscle on the boy, insisting that Danny sing at his establishment. To lure Danny to his side of the fence, Maxie relies upon the seductive charms of his gun moll Ronnie (Carolyn Jones), while Danny's true love Nellie (Dolores Hart) suffers on the sidelines. In addition to the expected musical numbers (which are cleverly integrated into the storyline), the film's highlight is a brief exchange of fisticuffs between Elvis and Walter Matthau. Together with Jailhouse Rock, King Creole is one of the best filmed examples of the untamed, pre-army Elvis Presley. The picture was adapted from Harold Robbins' novel A Stone for Danny Fisher. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

G.I. Blues
Elvis Presley stars in GI Blues as Tulsa McLean, a soldier stationed in Germany, who pulls strings to stage a big show for his fellow GI's. In the tradition of the musical chestnut The Fleet's In, Tulsa also bets his buddies that he can date "ice princess" entertainer Lili (Juliet Prowse). Song highlights include "Wooden Heart," "Blue Suede Shoes" and the title number. The spectacular box-office performance of G.I. Blues proved that Elvis' popularity had not only survived his Army tenure, but had actually increased. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Jailhouse Rock
One of the best of Elvis Presley's pre-Army films, Jailhouse Rock offers us the sensual, "dangerous" Elvis that had won the hearts of the kids and earned the animosity of their elders. Presley plays a young buck who accidentally kills a man while protecting the honor of a woman. Thrown into prison, Elvis strikes up a friendship with visionary fellow-con Mickey Shaughnessy. Shaughnessy suggests that Elvis perform in the upcoming prison show. Ol' swivel-hips scores a hit, and decides to stay in showbiz after his release. Together with pretty Judy Tyler (the former Princess Summerfall Winterspring on Howdy Doody, who would die in a horrible traffic accident shortly after completing this film), Elvis sets up his own record company. Alas, success goes to his head, and soon Elvis plans to ditch Tyler in favor of signing with a big-time label. Shaughnessy shows up long enough to punch out Elvis for his disloyalty; as a result, Elvis' vocal chords are damaged and he is unable to sing. Deserted by his flunkeys and hangers-on, Elvis learns the value of friendship and fidelity when Tyler and Shaughnessy stay by his side in his darkest hours. His voice restored, Elvis climbs back up the charts--but this time, he's a much nicer fellow, and a lot more committed to Tyler. Usually the musical numbers in a Presley picture (this one has a doozy, complete with chorus boys dressed as convicts!) are more compelling than the plot. Jailhouse Rock is a perfect balance of song and story from beginning to end; seldom would Elvis be so well showcased in the future. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Viva Las Vegas
Viva Las Vegas, one of Elvis Presley's most popular vehicles, adheres as rigidly to formula as a Kabuki dance. Elvis plays a race-car driver competing in the Las Vegas Grand Prix opposite his principal rival, Cesare Danova. To finance his entry, Elvis takes a job as a casino waiter. Naturally, he is occasionally prevailed upon to sing, making one wonder why he didn't choose this talent as a means of making some quick cash. As always, Elvis chases all the wrong girls, only to ignore the "right" one, portrayed by Ann-Margret in her considerable youthful prime (We're supposed to believe that A-M is the daughter of irascible William Demarest. So much for the reliability of gene pools). With a pre-fat Presley, an indescribably gorgeous Ann-Margret, and no fewer than 12 songs on the soundtrack, how could Viva Las Vegas help but reap a fortune at the box office? ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Elvis Presley
    Elvis Presley - Danny Fisher
  • Carolyn Jones
    Carolyn Jones - Ronnie
  • Walter Matthau
    Walter Matthau - Maxie Fields
  • Dolores Hart
    Dolores Hart - Nellie
  • Dean Jagger
    Dean Jagger - Mr. Fisher

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