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View Full Version : Hal Wallis On Presley Films & Other Serious Projects



Unchained Melody
10-05-2008, 02:03 PM
"Would you believe that Richard Burton and Peter o "tToole owe part of their current Sucess to Elvis Presley. These two brilliant Shakespearean-trained actors, winning world-wide acclaim for teir performances in Becket, might not have had the oppurtunity to star in the picture m were it not for the Sir Swivel Hips. Don't laugh, its not that Elvis refused the roles of Henry II or Becket. No, Elvis helped finance Becket indirectly. Produces Hal Wallis who has produced Presley' biggest hits, also produced Becket. And if it were not for the revenue from Elvis' movies, there might not have been the wherewithal to film Becket. Says Wallis, "In order to do ARTISTIC PICTURES, it is necessary to make the commercially successful Presley pictures. But that doesn't mean A Presley picture can't have quality too." ....At the moment Wallis is shooting Roustabout, Starring none other than Elvis Presley himself. This story may not be the greatest, but then O"Toole and Burton can't sing like Elvis either.

April 20th 1964 - The last day of pricinpal shooting, a story appeared in the Las Vegas Desert News and Telegram which was headlined "Elvis Helped In Success of Burton-O'Toole Movie".

Diane
10-05-2008, 02:11 PM
I kind of have mixed feelings about that article. It sounds like he was sacrificing Elvis to finance better roles for others and that bothers me. Why is business always ahead of doing what's best for a person?

Diane

Unchained Melody
10-05-2008, 02:15 PM
I kind of have mixed feelings about that article. It sounds like he was sacrificing Elvis to finance better roles for others and that bothers me. Why is business always ahead of doing what's best for a person?

Diane

Indeed thats exactly what he was doing.
Parker was no worse than Wallis was for doing that to Elvis.

JDD
10-05-2008, 03:01 PM
Thats one way to look at it Diane, but another is that because of Elvis a lot of extra people had jobs, and their families were taken care of . Because of Elvis popularity , his films were basically the equal to a buy one get one sale. So crews, and distributors, theater workers etc. all got two movies to work on, more checks, more jobs better lives. He was then what he is now an industry beyond the man. I'm sure he would have liked to have had more serious movies but in a way his sacrifice there did a lot of good for a lot of people.

Plus I myself can't be too disappointed in the movies because there was so many of them, that documented such a large time frame of his life left behind forever.

JD

Unchained Melody
10-05-2008, 03:03 PM
Plus I myself can't be too disappointed in the movies because there was so many of them, that documented such a large time frame of his life left behind forever.
JD

That is a very good and interesting way to look at it!

Diane
10-05-2008, 03:05 PM
Yes that's again another way to look at it. The only thing that bothers me about it is Elvis was the cause of so many people having work and money aside from his generosities. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I hope in the long run Elvis got at least some back of what he gave.

Diane

Unchained Melody
10-05-2008, 03:07 PM
Yes that's again another way to look at it. The only thing that bothers me about it is Elvis was the cause of so many people having work and money aside from his generosities. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I hope in the long run Elvis got at least some back of what he gave.

Diane

Its just ashame though he never got his chance to make just one serious dramatic movie..something that he always wanted to do just never happened.

Donut
10-05-2008, 03:31 PM
I remember reading that Elvis felt really bad about this and asked Wallis when would he get "his Becket". It seems nobody cared for what he wanted to do in his career in spite of his complaints.

KPM
10-05-2008, 03:37 PM
I can imagine the hurt and anger Elvis must have felt from comments by Wallis which showed the differences between Wallis's "serious movies" and "a Presley project" which finances them. Wallis probably felt it was a compliment to Elvis and his films ,that they were "the only sure thing", but he did not think that statement thru well. IMO.

Unchained Melody
10-05-2008, 03:40 PM
I remember reading that Elvis felt really bad about this and asked Wallis when would he get "his Becket". It seems nobody cared for what he wanted to do in his career in spite of his complaints.

You think Elvis would have jumped at his chance to do A Star Is Born in '75 when he was offered the part instead of backing out of it...:doh:

Donut
10-05-2008, 03:48 PM
You think Elvis would have jumped at his chance to do A Star Is Born in '75 when he was offered the part instead of backing out of it...:doh:

Erm.. no, but I know he wanted to be taken seriously in Hollywood during the 60's and he only got silly scripts from them.

Diane
10-05-2008, 03:48 PM
By then Brad, I don't think Elvis was much up to doing anything different, especially something that would have made him need to cut down on his medication. By then, he was a hardened addict and not able to function as well mentally and physically. Had it been offered to him earlier in his career, I think he would have jumped on it.

Diane

Unchained Melody
10-05-2008, 03:50 PM
By then Brad, I don't think Elvis was much up to doing anything different, especially something that would have made him need to cut down on his medication. By then, he was a hardened addict and not able to function as well mentally and physically. Had it been offered to him earlier in his career, I think he would have jumped on it.

Diane

Just think of what he could've done had it done been for those **** drugs. Robbed him so much..!!:mad:

Diane
10-05-2008, 03:54 PM
Sure did...........:'(

Diane

Unchained Melody
10-05-2008, 04:07 PM
Should add I got that article from Peter Gurlanick's Careless Love..;)

Brian
10-05-2008, 05:23 PM
Indeed thats exactly what he was doing.
Parker was no worse than Wallis was for doing that to Elvis.

That was my point in an earlier thread about Colonel Parker being unfairly blamed for the bad movies during the 60's when you read the article you can tell Hal Wallis was the major factor in Elvis not getting any serious scripts because he signed Elvis to sing not act, didn't really think very much of Elvis as an actor and didn't feel that Elvis could bring in good box office in a non singing role. Colonel though could have asked more for serious roles but I doubt that would've done any good.

Diane
10-05-2008, 05:42 PM
The Colonel didn't have to go along with Wallis Brian. He saw several years of continuous $$$$ coming in and that was good enough for him. He wasn't thinking of what it was going to do to Elvis at all. Elvis was just a commodity to most everyone.

I have the book Careless Love Brad but it's been a few years since I've read it. I do like his books but because he wasn't a close friend of Elvis, too clinical.

Diane

Brian
10-05-2008, 08:45 PM
The Colonel didn't have to go along with Wallis Brian. He saw several years of continuous $$$$ coming in and that was good enough for him. He wasn't thinking of what it was going to do to Elvis at all. Elvis was just a commodity to most everyone.




Yes he did

If Parker had asked Wallis and the other studio bosses for better roles and they said no that would've been it.
I read somewhere that Parker was upset about the low budget look of Harum Scarem and wrote to the studio's asking for bigger budget and better scripts but was turned down.

He could've spoke up more but at the end of the day Wallis was the boss and he decided the projects as Elvis and most other actors didn't have script approval back in those days. Hollywood back then was different than it is today and in a way I agree with Wallis that Elvis couldn't bring in big box office in non singing roles.

Unchained Melody
10-05-2008, 08:53 PM
Brian question did in 1965 when Elvis' contract was up with Hal Wallis did Colonel make a deal was it with MGM that lasted throughout 1969 for more movies or was it still with Hal Wallis ?

Unchained Melody
10-05-2008, 08:55 PM
Yes he did

If Parker had asked Wallis and the other studio bosses for better roles and they said no that would've been it.
I read somewhere that Parker was upset about the low budget look of Harum Scarem and wrote to the studio's asking for bigger budget and better scripts but was turned down.

He could've spoke up more but at the end of the day Wallis was the boss and he decided the projects as Elvis and most other actors didn't have script approval back in those days. Hollywood back then was different than it is today and in a way I agree with Wallis that Elvis couldn't bring in big box office in non singing roles.

For some reason I think Parker could've gotten what he wanted had he tried hard enough. He was just like Wallis, the faster it took to make the movies the more money, equals the perfect formula. Parkers way of thinking is if its not broke don't fix it. Simple as that really.

Brian
10-05-2008, 08:58 PM
Brian question did in 1965 when Elvis' contract was up with Hal Wallis did Colonel make a deal was it with MGM that lasted throughout 1969 for more movies or was it still with Hal Wallis ?


I believe it was a contract to make movies for other studio's MGM producing some but the last Elvis movie that Hal Wallis produced was Easy Come Easy go in 1967 I think

Unchained Melody
10-05-2008, 09:00 PM
I believe it was a contract to make movies for other studio's MGM producing some but the last Elvis movie that Hal Wallis produced was Easy Come Easy go in 1967 I think

Thank you Brian.
Apparently Colonel signed a new contract for movies with Elvis in 65 and it was said to be Elvis' best year to date 1965, but in all ways we know that is inaccurate.