Archive for January 8th, 2010

The King

Had he still been alive, today would have been Elvis Presley’s 75th Birthday. Whilst better know as a singer Elvis was a talented actor when given the chance.  Sadly most of his films were rubbish, there were some good ones and even a few great ones.

There’s a man in New Orleans

Who plays rock and roll

He’s a guitar man

With a great big soul

He lays down a beat

Like a ton of coal

He goes by the name of King Creole You know he’s gone, gone, gone

Jumpin’ like a catfish on a pole

You know he’s gone, gone, gone

Hip shaking King Creole

In King Creole Danny Fisher (Elvis) drops out of school to help support his family . He takes a job singing in the King Creole nightclub, the only club in town not owned by gangster Maxie Fields (a fantastically sleazy Walter Matthau). Seeing Danny’s potential Maxie encourages him to come and perform at his club The Blue Shade. Not willing to take no for an answer Maxie uses his moll Ronnie (Carolyn Jones) to seduce/persuade Danny.

Originally intended as a vehicle for James Dean with the lead character being a boxer, after his death the film was shelved but became a stage play. When Elvis was suggested for the part the charcter was re ritten as a singer and the required songs were added. Legendry director Michael Curtiz, the man responsible for classic movies such as Casablanca and The Adventures of Robin Hood was hired. The End result was the ultimate Elvis movie, keeping one foot in the light musical dramas that his manager Colonel Tom Parker favoured but moving towards the more serious movie that Elvis wanted to make.

Anyone who has seen True Romance will remember Clarence Worley’s (Christian Slater) Elvis obsession and may rember his quote. “In Jailhouse Rock he was everything rockabilly’s about. I mean, he is rockabilly. Mean, surly, nasty, rude. In that movie he couldn’t give a fuck about nothing except rockin’ and rollin’, living fast, dying young and leaving a good-looking corpse.” Whilst this is true King Creole is a better film!

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