Best Elvis Movie

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Personal favorite Elvis film.

Loving You
2
3%
Jailhouse Rock
10
15%
King Creole
16
24%
Kid Galahad
0
No votes
Viva Las Vegas
2
3%
TTWII
20
29%
Elvis On Tour
6
9%
Follow That Dream
7
10%
Flaming Star
4
6%
Wild In The Country
1
1%
 
Total votes: 68


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Mike Eder
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Best Elvis Movie

Post by Mike Eder »

Factor in plots, music, co-stars, and even how he looked health and comfort wise. I am listing my top choices as your selections but feel free to write messages about any favorite whether it's there or not. I guess my pick would be "Jailhouse Rock" with "King Creole" coming close. I picked the first one over the later because I feel the music is complimented better visually. I would love to pick TTWII or On Tour too because in many ways there are more important then any other films he made. Yet I feel it is with his fifties movies the Elvis changed the mores of the times, and crerated his "Rockin Rebel" image.
Last edited by Mike Eder on Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:24 am, edited 1 time in total.


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JerryNodak

Post by JerryNodak »

My favorite has always been Blue Hawaii. As for those on the list I'll go with Follow That Dream.




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Post by James77 »

I think Jailhouse Rock is his best all-around film. It's a great showcase for the 50's Elvis, with his charm and charisma readily on display. The ending is also very poignant. As Elvis sings Young and Beautiful to Judy Tyler, there's the irony of watching two actors who will ultimately die far too young.

But I don't necessarily place all of his "serious" roles above the lighter fare of the 60's. Those films also serve a purpose, as they showcase another side of Elvis. When I watch those films, I see a guy who knows how to live life to the fullest- which, of course, isn't far removed from how Elvis was actually living at the time.

If I had to pick just one Elvis film to watch, Roustabout is actually pretty high on my list. There's a goofy charm to it, and Elvis is given a nice little character arc to play. And while it's not as elaborate as Viva Las Vegas, the production values had not yet fallen off completely. (Incidentally, one of my favorite moments in any Elvis film occurs at the beginning, when the college kid exclaims, "That's karate!" :lol: )




Rob

Post by Rob »

"King Creole" for me, but "Flaming Star" is oh so close.



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Post by Joe Car »

What, no Charro! I would say King Creole is my favorite.




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Post by Pete Dube »

Rob wrote:"King Creole" for me, but "Flaming Star" is oh so close.
Ditto.




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Post by likethebike »

If you'd have asked me ten years ago I would have picked King Creole without hesitation especially because of Michael Curtiz's direction and the presence of Walter Matthau. However, Follow That Dream looks better every time I watch it. It's almost a dead heat for me. I voted for Dream because it's now my favorite but King Creole has better music and incorporates it better. Jailhouse Rock is compelling, has great music and Judy Tyler who is terrific, but has too many clunker scenes particularly Vince's movie.

Flaming Star is terrific for the first hour but in the final frames the action becomes really confused and a lot of the Indian dialogue is period stilted and corny. Still though overall a very compelling picture. Elvis gives what is along with Dream his best performance and the rest of the cast particularly Dolores Del Rio and western stalwart John McIntyre are also excellent. I love the way Siegel handles the initial Indian attack it's almost like a horror movie. The opening party sequence is just as good as it puts us only half at ease as the underlying tensions that cause the Indian attack are subtly revealed. It's a really good metaphor by the way on black/white race relations and the road it can lead. Before it gets all prophetic at the end, the script does a good job of displaying the casual racism that Indians and blacks had/have to endure. "Indians living in a house like this." That coming from someone who is a GUEST in an Indian's house. Sorry to go on about this one just watched the other day.

I would put Viva at about the Jailhouse level. The latter movie has a much better script but the former is better directed.

Wild in the Country has some moments but the direction is tepid and Clifford Odets' script veers from genuinely lovely to a second rate Peyton Place ripoff. It was based on a very rewarding novel to which it bears little resemblance. Elvis in 1960 was about ten years to old to play the character named Jim Tyler in the book. It is a very difficult to film book as much of the novel is strictly the lead character's meditations on the world around him.

Kid Galahad which I see as a kind of a parable about positive thinking and the value of small town life and Loving You are probably better than that one. I would also lump in Trouble With Girls in his good movies although it is the least of the films on my list. Still, although many fans hate it, it does a good job of recreating small town America in the 1920s and better the way an event like the Chautauqua can change everything. I think some of its lack of reputation comes from the fact that it's very difficult to appreciate how novel something like the Chautauqua was in the 1920s. In our media mad age, it is simply hard to believe that for a small town this was the only contact with and knowledge of the greater world at large that many residents would get. I also think it may be hard to appreciate for the style of story telling- using a series of numerous character fragments to tell a larger story instead of focusing on a group of core characters- is an acquired taste. Paul Simpson called it Altmanesque but as many people hate Robert Altman as love him so it is that much easier to dislike someone with less talent working in the same tradition. People get on the anachronisms but they happen in most period pieces particularly in dialogue, hairstyles and music. (When I was a kid I thought everyone in the Roman Empire wore Brylcreem.)

I don't rank the documentaries because they are really working different ground than the scripted movies. I like EOT better but Elvis performs better in TTWII.




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Post by Pete Dube »

I haven't seen Change of Habit since I was a kid, but I recall that being a fairly decent film. Stay Away Joe is another one I like.

LTB: Good analysis of Trouble With Girls. I only saw it for the first and only time last year, and I liked it. It is a bit Altman lite (and I'm not crazy about Altman's work), but it's an interesting if off-the-wall change of pace for Elvis. He's good in it (although he overdoes the cigars).



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Post by Mike Eder »

All very interesting comments. I'll address why I didn't pick certain ones mentioned.

Blue Hawaii is something I saw recently and while I like how it's filmed and the acting is fine I think there are too many songs. They don't get put into the movie smoothly enough, but some of them are good. I wish Steppin had been kept in, one of the best from those sessions and it get's cut. Again it is visually a fine picture.

Roustabout gives Elvis a little bit of an edge and a few songs are pretty darn good, but I don't think the motivations for the characters are all that well explained and I find the female co-star lacks a spark with Elvis.

Charro! is a good movie but it just isn't quite as good to me as the ones I picked. I am more picky about Western's in general so really the fact that it doesn't bore me says something to it's generally good quality.

The Trouble With Girls is a personal favorite. I like it as a movie, I like most of the songs, I think the actors are good, and I think Elvis is good. I guess it would be right outside my top 10. I think Elvis is very natural in this movie, he had become a fine actor by this point and wasn't trying too hard anymore. Never understood why this one got bad reviews.

Change Of Habit was decent but there are too many awkward moments in it for it to really be top ten. Elvis looks good in this film, his acting is very natural, and he interacts well with the cast. Problem with it is that it is too tied to social issues of the day, and watching the rape, or the girl being held is just very uncomfortable viewing. Trying too hard to be relevant. I like parts of it very much especially most of the other clinic scenes and the scene where Elvis is relaxing playing football and at the piano.

likethebike did a fine review of the ten I picked now I will just give quick comments as to why they are there.

Loving You may be the lightest of his fifties movies, but it is still Elvis untamed performing music good enough to stand next to his regular records.

Jailhouse Rock and King Creole have great music, great acting, and interesting plots. I can't really put them down at all and they are classics quite outside Elvis' fanbase.

Flaming Star almost got cut because it is so dark, but the acting is so good that I can overlook the heaviness of the tale. Again I am not a big western fan, but this has a universal message that still holds true. I don't know if I would call the Indian's stereotypes by 1960 standards. For it's time it is a very forward thinking film. Elvis is fantastic in it and Guralnick is WAY off in his summation. The pills didn't hurt Elvis' acting whatsoever the scripts and direction are what got worse.

Wild I like because it has an interesting story, Elvis gets to express real feelings, he isn't a goodie two shoes. Yes it is a little contrived, but Elvis really becomes the part. The songs are attractive with only I Slipped being used unnaturally. I can get into this movie.

Follow I had to include. It took me a while to come around on this one as I thought the songs (not counting the title track) and jokes were kind of corny. Now I see that Elvis acting like a simpleton took really good timing and I can understand the humor. There are also scenes that let Elvis really act, and more then any other film it let's Elvis play a the comedy protagonist instead of the straight man.

Kid is a real favorite. The songs are very good, it has a real plot, and it is fast paced. It never becomes fake, all the narratives makes sense. The characters are all etched out well. Elvis is likable. If he didn't make any movies in the fifties this might be my favorite. It just has a good feel.

Viva is his best "musical". The staging of each song is thought out and well organized. Most of the music is terrific and there is GREAT chemistry between Elvis and Ann. Overall there is a real sense of fun. It just shows that with extra effort all of Elvis' movies COULD have been tailored to work more for him, but few took the time.

TTWII and On Tour are just unbeatable as far as spending a few hours with Elvis. I feel his real nature and being are reflected in these films as well as some of the hottest concert footage around. The first has Elvis right in the middle of his prime period. The second finds Elvis still very near the top of his game. I disagree with those that say he looked bad. Not his very best maybe, but watching the outtakes have made me realize how up Elvis was for these shows, and how decent he still really looked. I agree with likethebike that the first is a better show and that the second is better made.


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Post by yiske »

I always liked "Flaming Star" the best. I think the story is still relevant today.


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Post by Suspicious Minds »

I voted for King Creole because I liked the soundtrack and the story line.
I wanted to vote for That's The Way It Is but that is a documentry film isn't it? I watched this film back in the early 70's and it was the first time I saw Elvis on stage on film.


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Post by drjohncarpenter »

Where is Clambake?


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Post by YDKM »

I just voted for Jailhouse Rock-but viva las vegas is my fav for the electrizity with Ann Margaret and pretty good music too! :lol:


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Post by ColinB »

His best films were those few pre-army ones from the late 50's.

I went for Loving You because of the colour, and it came nearest to capturing Elvis' 50's stage performances on the big screen.

But Jailhouse Rock & King Creole were close.


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Post by GIRL HAPPY BOY »

Where is LIVE A LITTLE, LOVE A LITTLE & GIRL HAPPY & FUN IN ACAPULCO my all time 3 favorites :wink:
But if i go for the list...well...its hard because i love: KING CREOLE for everything in it !
I love JAILHOUSE ROCK for the same reason as KING CREOLE
WILD IN THE COUNTRY is very good and i love it more than FLAMING STAR or CHARRO
KID GALAHAD very good songs great storyline
VIVA LAS VEGAS...welll you know great looking E with great looking ANN,so i choose for : VIVA LAS VEGAS !
Sincerely
Lior :wink:



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Post by Mike Eder »

Girl Happy Boy we may be in the minority but I like Wild In the Country a little better then Charro and Flaming Star as well. I like the then modern setting better.


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Post by Narek »

My 2 favorites are King Creole and Flaming Star. I voted for KC


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Post by rickeap »

It says personal favourite, not best, so i opted for TTWII. I've watched it more than the others
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Post by bajo »

It's a hard task to figure out which is really the favourite.
But, I like Loving You, Jailhouse Rock and King Creole the best from the 50's. Love Me Tender is somehow on the bottom of the 50's list.
From the early sixties, I must admit that Flaming Star, Wild In The Country, Kid Galahad, Roustabout and Tickle Me tend to stand out.
Of the later sixties I like Stay Away Joe, Live A Little Love A Little, Charro and Change Of Habit the better.
But, my taste have changed over the years. I must admit that seeing Frankie And Johnny again now was completely different than when I saw it more than 30 years ago.
The Trouble With Girls also comes off much better these days.
Of the lightweight musicals Blue Hawaii, Girls Girls Girls, Fun In Acapulco, Viva Las Vegas and Girl Happy are enjoyable.
On my bottom of the list Paradise Hawaiian Style is secured. But, I like the soundtrack album!


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Post by ColinB »

bajo wrote:...But, my taste have changed over the years.
I must admit that seeing Frankie And Johnny again now was completely different than when I saw it more than 30 years ago.
But you don't say if you like it better now, or not !


Colin B
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Rob

Post by Rob »

drjohncarpenter wrote:Where is Clambake?
Mamma's little baby loves clambake, clambake
Mamma's little baby loves clambake too
Mamma's little baby loves clambake, clambake
Mamma's little baby loves clambake too


That tune will be with me all day now. Thanks a bunch.



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Post by bajo »

Colin! I must admit I actually liked it better now!


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Post by ColinB »

bajo wrote:Colin! I must admit I actually liked it better now!
Yes, we can look at those old 60's films more objectively now !

I remember at the time always thinking "come on, Elvis, show them how good you can be !"

But he rarely did.

Now we can enjoy them as the harmless fluff they are...........


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Re: Best Elvis Movie

Post by Swingin-Little-Guitar-Man »

how can I take part in this poll when Girl Happy isn't listed? :shock:



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Re: Best Elvis Movie

Post by TIGERMAN-GB »

My personal favourite has always been Jailhouse Rock

so naturally that's how I voted, although King Creole has

to come a close second.

8)


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