View Full Version : 'The Real Failure of Elvis Movie Career'
08-30-2006, 06:43 PM
I don't think Elvis' movies were failures, but I do think he should have been given some more dramatic roles, such as in King Creole (one of my favourites)...
This was on EIN...see the link below...
All Elvis' movies made profit. Amongst the music-travelogues were some strong dramatic roles demonstrating Elvis' acting potential. So what went wrong? Is The Colonel to blame or did Elvis misunderstand the demands of the film industry? In this fascinating article, EIN contributor Harley Payette investigates whether Elvis really could have been 'a contender'.
08-30-2006, 06:49 PM
This is a nice article Franny. I don't think that Elvis' movies were total failures, they just didn't allow him to show his full potential but you could see if he had been given better scripts that he would have done very well. Who knows, he may even have become one of the "greats".
08-30-2006, 07:00 PM
Elvis' ability as a comic actor was exceptional....I never get tired of watching Follow That Dream.......
There is really only one movie that I can't get through.....
Easy Come, Easy Go.....still haven't watched the whole thing after all these years.
The thing is that the roles Elvis was given, worked at the time......poor man, I feel for him when he said that some of the scripts made him physically ill....but having said that, wouldn't you have liked to have been on the set during all the pranks......water fights etc.......something had to make the time pass....
08-30-2006, 07:15 PM
I agree with you both Diane and carolynlm...and I certainly wouldn't use such a harsh word as "failure", but I think after Elvis did all those movies, which most were very similar in script, he probably wanted more of a challenge and something different...I also thought he was great in comedy as well as in drama!
08-30-2006, 07:26 PM
I agree Carolyn Easy Come Easy Go had to be the worse of the lot. Clambake didn't win any oscars either. It sure would have been fun to watch Elvis and his buddies enjoying their pranks! I've read though that some producers etc. were annoyed, guess they had no sense of humor.:D
Franny you are right, Elvis wasn't challenged enough with having basically the same scripts over and over after the first four movies. No wonder he was bored and gave it up. Some may say he gave up too soon but he didn't have any incentive to stay.
08-30-2006, 07:43 PM
Red West tells the story of once during one of the movies and the water balloons were the order of the day......Elvis was in the make up room for a long time so they could get his hair 'just right'......when he walked out, Red had been hiding up in the rafters and he dropped the water balloon right on Elvis' head.....Elvis just quietly turned around, without saying a word and walked straight back into the make up room.....
Personally if I'm investing, I'd rather have a critical failure, then a commercial one. I think thats the big secret there in a nutshell.
His more dramatic post army roles didn't make as much money, so they didn't make them anymore. In order for Elvis to get the roles he (supposedly) wanted he would have had to stand up to the Colonel, take a pay cut on this one and maybe not get top billing, to make a more dramatic or artistic movie then the next one do another formula film . Every thing I've ever read suggests that the couple of times Elvis was offered a co star role in a dramatic picture The Colonel nixed it, and Vernon and the Colonel would gang up on him and he'd cave in. Today Movie stars also get roped into silly movie roles, that make big bucks but aren't as challenging. Then they use that to justify a role they really want to take next time. Every single big star that Elvis admired at one time took a role just for the love of the art, that they weren't the top star or had shared top billing in. Elvis never did.
Fear , Ego and Greed are to blame . You can decide for yourself if Elvis should be assigned blame in any or all of those, in addition to the Colonel and the Studios, or not. Me I got my ideal he deserves blame on two of the three , but doesn't change my opinion of him.
08-31-2006, 05:24 AM
I think we have to keep in mind the era in which the "silly" movies were made, the sixties. In the fifties Elvis didn't make any of these movies with each movie getting better as were his performances, especially in King Creole. In the sixties, times changed. Movies that were popular were Beach Blanket Bingo, Pillow Talk and a bunch of other fluff movies. The Colonel found a way to tap into the market with films along the same lines as it seemed EP's dramatic roles didn't do as well. I for one enjoyed them, as did my parents. I just wish somehow Elvis could have combined his concert career, with movies, as he did seem to get his movie career on track in the late sixties, with better and different roles in Charro, The Trouble With Girls, Stay Away Joe and a few others. Though not great movies, at least his roles were changing.
09-01-2006, 05:20 AM
I don't think any of Elvis' movies were THAT bad, Elvis did seem to be able to pull anything off,of course there are some great Elvis movies and some that were just ok but all were good in there way, you just have to watch them with a light heart, ive seen far worse movies then Elvis'!!.Some of the less better ones were towards the end of his movie career but then i think Change Of Habit is excellent and that was his last!! Tricky subject really!!
09-01-2006, 07:12 AM
I don't think Elvis's movies were failures they just reflected the times and dont forget he was only in his 20's when he made most of them.I think the movie producers saw an niche for Elvis to apeal to the teens and if he would have kept making movies they would have changed to appeal to his audience.
Also the colonell was only looking at profit:'(
09-01-2006, 09:53 AM
Yes, you are right. Many singers appeared in movies like Elvis did. It was just a fab of the time and those movies made a lot of money, the soundtracks made a lot of money and the earnings where a lot better than they would have been if Elvis performed live. For a very long time those movies made very much money.
But at the middle of the decade Elvis should have tried to do more serious pictures. They still could have been comedies, but without the songs and without trying to be "teenage" movies. Elvis became just too old for this type of film. If they had tryed to portray Elvis as a more mature character and if they had reduced the number of movies (maybe one film every two years) Elvis could have been established as a more serious actor. But Elvis and the Colonel just seemed to be able to do one thing - and than a lot of it! When they did movies, they made a lot of them and when they did live performances they did one tour/vegas engagement after another. They didn't seemed to be able to do one or two tours, one vegas engagement or one movie. They went to the extreme whatever they did. I guess that's where the failture can be found.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.2 Copyright © 2014 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.