Elvis: MGM Movie Legends Collections

Elvis: MGM Movie Legends Collections

There were very few people who despised Elvis movies more than Elvis Presley himself. Initially, Presley loved the idea of being a serious actor, aspiring to be as cool and charismatic as rebel idols Marlon Brando and James Dean. Credibility wasn’t a concern for manager "Colonel” Tom Parker, however, and so the King of rock’n’roll gave up his crown to make heaping piles of shitty movies throughout the ’60s. Though associates have led historians to believe Presley deeply resented making these formulaic musicals (the infamous ’68 Comeback Special was allegedly Presley’s "fuck you” to Hollywood), you wouldn’t know it from watching him tangle with the four films in this collection. Far from being jaded, Presley’s having fun in the improbable homesteading comedy Follow That Dream (1961), which finds him hamming it up as a romantic lead wary of beautiful women in spite of his rugged magnetism. Stereotypes and underestimation are consistent devices in Presley and he often plays simple men with hidden talents or expertise. He sinks his teeth into Kid Galahad (1962), where he plays Walter Gulick, a guitar playin’ wannabe mechanic who takes up sparring for money only to become the hottest boxer on the circuit. The plot is silly but it’s cool to see Charles Bronson play Presley’s trainer, particularly since the two icons had no respect for one another on-set. But by the oddly endearing Frankie and Johnnie (1966) and the exorable Clambake (1967), Presley just looks silly, wasting his talents on bullshit scripts and soundtracks. Elvis Presley fought the nagging doubts he had to put his all into making these movies. Watching them again, God only knows what he could’ve accomplished had he spent his energy making music in Memphis rather than wasting everyone’s time in Hollywood. Plus: theatrical trailers. (MGM / Fox)