Want To Get In The Mood For Elvis? Here Are 5 Of His Films You Should Check Out

Post by:
24 Jun 22

Want To Get In The Mood For Elvis? Here Are 5 Of His Films You Should Check Out

As the rock’n’roll icon of the 1950s, it’s easy to think that Elvis Presley dedicated himself solely to music.

However, to do that would do a disservice to his acting abilities which he used to good effect in a string of popular movies.

With Baz Luhrmann’s biopic Elvis recently released, it’s time to look back on some of the singer-actors finest film contributions.

Jailhouse Rock

The movie that accompanied the hit single, Jailhouse Rock, is said by many to contain Elvis’s ‘greatest on-screen moment’ when he blasts out the title song along with an iconic dance sequence.

Elvis plays Vince Everett, a recently convicted prisoner who learns how to play guitar from his cellmate, Hunk ( Mickey Shaughnessy). Together, they plan to forge a successful showbiz career when they get free.

Not everything goes to plan, though. Vince hits a mountain of problems following his release, and his only saviour seems to be Peggy Van Alden (Judy Tyler), a beautiful promoter who has his best interests at heart. But can he still make it?

The film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, which deemed it “culturally, aesthetically or historically significant,” and it continues to live on in the hearts of Elvis fans to this day.

Viva Las Vegas

Elvis’s trip to Las Vegas in this 1964 musical doesn’t follow the plotline you think it might. As a keen young racer, he goes there to compete in Grand Prix, but a costly engine malfunction leaves him without a cent.

Finding himself in the middle of Sin City, you may think he decides to raise the money by playing casino games. Elvis, though, must have believed in gambling responsibly, and chose another route instead. He enters a talent contest in a bid to win the prize by showcasing his powerful singing voice.

While on his mission to get the dollars he needs, he strikes up a flirty friendship with young swimming instructor Rusty Martin (Ann Margret) who he tries to seduce.

The couple forms one of the iconic romantic duos of 60s cinema and, with a memorable soundtrack, it’s easy to see why the movie lives on with such popularity today.

Kid Galahad

Like many Elvis films, Kid Galahad features a love interest, with Elvis’s character having to fight for his lady. Quite literally, in this case.

Walter Gulick (Presley) loves the new sleepy town he’s moved to in Cream Valley, where he can work on old cars and watch the world go by. That quickly changes, though, when he attracts the attention of local sweetheart Rose (Joan Blackman) who makes him the object of her desire.

When Walter returns the interest, he ignites the anger of her brother Willy (Gig Young) who challenges him to a boxing match. When Walter later refuses to throw the contest to pay off Willy’s debts, he finds he has more problems than he thought.

Kid Galahad may not be Elvis’s most famous film, but it shows his versatility as an actor, showing how a quiet, modest appearance can sometimes hide a fierce competitor.

Blue Hawaii

This comedy, shot in the gorgeous surrounds of The Aloha State, depicts Elvis as Chad Gates, a surfer boy who just wants to have fun after leaving the army.

Problems arise, though, when Chad’s parents want him to take over the family fruit business, the opposite to what the youngster wants. Also, his good looks land him in trouble with his girlfriend as he attracts admiring looks from other ladies he comes across.

It looks like Chad is about to lose both his inheritance and his girl, until his mother, played by Angela Lansbury (the actress was only 10 years older than Presley), comes up with a winning solution.

While the film attracted criticism at the time for its loose plot, Blue Hawaii is a cult favourite – probably because it showcased one of his most popular hits: ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’.

Love Me Tender

Elvis’s acting debut is famous for its title song, but it also features an interesting storyline revolving around a controversial love triangle.

The Reno Brothers are a mid-19th-century Texan gang who are torn apart when Vance (Richard Egan) goes off to fight in the Civil War. The younger sibling Clint (Elvis), upon hearing that Vance has been killed, marries his brother’s girlfriend so that she won’t get lonely. Alas, the news was false. Vance returns and a bitter dispute ensues between the Renos. Who will get the girl?

The film helped the sales of the title song, which surpassed the one million mark before it was even released, the first in history to do so.