Tag Archives: G.I. Blues

Jenna Does Elvis #14 – Speedway (1968) / Live a Little, Love a Little (1968)

speedlive

Wow guys, this is really winding down. I have only five more Elvis movies left, and my heart is feeling a bit heavy.

Now we’re getting into 1968, better known as the year Elvis released his ’68 Comeback Special and blew away the entire world by not just for looking spectacular in an all-black leather outfit, but for performing actually good music. If you haven’t watched the comeback special, I highly recommend it—this is Elvis live for the first time since 1960, and boy does he bring it. But, just before Elvis got his groove back, two movies came out that same year:

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Jenna Does Elvis #9 – Girl Happy (1965) / Tickle Me (1965)

girltickleWell, I can finally say that I’m in no-man’s land as far as these films are concerned. With The British Invasion in full swing and the quality of these films going down, down, down, Elvis was starting to lose his patience, and it shows. In fact, he hated the music he was forced to record for Girl Happy so much he refused to record any new songs for several months after—and I can’t say I blame him. As a result, all of the songs in Tickle Me are just recycled from previous recordings.

As for me, well, I’ve now watched eighteen Elvis films—that’s more than halfway through—and I’m finally starting to feel some fatigue. On one hand, I’m really enjoying how much Elvis knowledge I’ve acquired—I find myself being able to have conversations with people I know in which I drop a ton of Elvis facts with ease and confidence, and being able to watch them respond in turn with polite nods and glances at their watches. Well, after these next two films, I too was looking at my watch. The year is 1965, and as dopey as I thought Help! was, these next two make it look like a lost Spielberg epic.

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Jenna Does Elvis #7 – Fun in Acapulco (1963) / Kissin’ Cousins (1964)

acapulcokissin

I can see the boardroom meeting now:

“Listen men, we need a fresh spin for these Elvis movies. Cranking out ‘[insert occupation] Elvis’ films three times a year is all good and fine, but we need to be one step ahead—this rustling overseas from England is making me nervous.”

“Well sir, themes are still popular, and heck, if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Why, the solution is more themes, of course!”

Cut to: Fun In Acapulco.

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Jenna Does Elvis #3 – G.I. Blues (1960) / Flaming Star (1960)

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When we last spoke I’d seen King Creole, a movie I greatly enjoyed. After King Creole, Elvis was shipped off to the army, his mother died, he met his future wife Priscilla, and he picked up an unhealthy addiction to barbiturates. Couple that with John Lennon’s famous “Elvis died when he went into the army” quote, and it seemed I might be in for a precipitous  drop in quality.

I was feeling optimistic though—the last two were fun, and while none of the films so far has been life-alteringly great, none of it’s been unwatchable either. Granted, my tolerance for the unwatchable is notoriously high, but still—so far, this journey has quite honestly been slightly better than anticipated.

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