Elvis Presley – Ramblings of a Lifelong Fan – Part 10 – The Movies 1-4

Elvis made four films before going into the army. His earlier works were more serious, more dramatic than the ones that would follow after he returned. Ironically, in the media, and in the movies, he was portrayed as this rebellious troublemaking hothead, but in reality, his costars raved about how polite and kind he was.

The first four movies were:

  • Love Me Tender 1956

About: Elvis plays Clint Reno, the youngest of four brothers in the civil war era. His older brothers come home after the end of the war and the oldest, Vance (who the family had been told died), finds Clint married to the girl he loves.

Side note:  When word leaked that Elvis died at the end, fans were so distraught that the studio decided to add an image of him singing “Love Me Tender” on screen as the movie was ending with the scene of his loved ones walking away from his grave.

My favorite song from the movie: Let Me

One of my favorite scenes: When he’s on the porch singing We’re Gonna Move. He was so cute, with his adorable smile and the way he interacted with his family.



  • Loving You: 1957

About: Elvis plays Deke Rivers, an orphan who is discovered by an ambitious woman in the music business. She launches Deke to stardom. Deke thought he’d found true friends after a lifetime of searching, but he is crushed to learn she only cares about success.

Side notes:   Elvis’ parents, Gladys and Vernon, were visiting the set and the director put them in the movie as audience members in the final scene. A year later, Elvis would be in the army, and five months after that, Gladys would pass away. Dolores Hart, who played Susan, also co-starred in King Creole. She would eventually become a nun. Elvis’ band, Scotty Moore, Bill Black, DJ Fontana, and the Jordanaires appeared in the movie.

My favorite song from the movie: Mean Woman Blues

One of my favorite scenes: Deke is in a café and this a-hole is giving him a hard time, insists he sing. Deke does, then he asks the guy what he does for a living. The guy tells him he works for his old man installing seat covers. Deke says, well, I normally get paid to sing. How about you do for me what you do for a living and go out there and put a set of seat covers on my car. The guy says sure, I bet your color is yella. Deke proceeds to beat the crap out of him and knocks him into the juke box. The guy is unconscious, leaning back against the juke box and Deke hooks a foot under his leg and tugs, and the guy slides to the ground. I loved Elvis’ fight scenes, and I thought that one was so cool.


Loving you

  • Jailhouse Rock: 1957

About: Elvis plays Vince Everett. Early in the movie, he kills a man in a fistfight and is sent to prison, where he meets a washed up country singer who plants the seed of Vince singing professionally. When Vince gets out of prison, he meets a young woman in the music business who helps launch his career, and Vince becomes famous. The fame goes to his head and he ends up hurting the people he loves. (But, it has a happy ending :))

Side note:   Elvis’ co-star, Judy Tyler, and her husband were killed in an automobile accident on the drive home from Hollywood to New York after filming.

My favorite song from the movie: Don’t leave Me Now

My favorite scene: One of my favorite scenes in any Elvis movie. Watch the clip.



  • King Creole 1958

About: Elvis plays Danny Rivers, a young guy from a poor background whose mother passed away when he was young, and his father fell to pieces and lost one job after another, launching the family into poverty. Danny sees his father as a weakling, and he wants to make something of himself. He gets involved with Maxi Fields, a crime boss, and falls for Maxi’s girl.

Side note:   This was the only movie Elvis was really proud of. He did an amazing job, and it was a phenomenal film. He admired actors like James Dean and Marlon Brando, and had hopes of becoming a serious actor, but the roles he was given afterward were pretty much all fluff (However, they were ‘fluff’ that I loved, and he still did a great job in them).

My favorite song from the movie: Don’t Ask Me Why or Young Dreams or As Long as I Have You.

One of my favorite scenes: Danny is in the club sweeping up and these guys are being mean to Roni, who, as it turns out, is Maxi Fields’ girl. They insist Danny sing and he does, then they ask him what he does for an encore. He ignores them and is leaving when the one guy slaps Roni. Elvis turns around and grabs her and is taking her out when the guys start to rush him. He grabs two beer bottles off a table and breaks off the bottoms and brandishes them at the guys. One of the men says, “You’re a pretty fancy performer, ain’t ya kid?” and Vince says, “Now you know what I do for an encore.”




Elvis made 31 feature films and I have seen each one of them umpteen times. I’m watching them again, as a refresher, and I think I’m enjoying them now more than I did back then. I only own 26 of the 31 on DVD, but will soon have them all. 🙂



Filed under Entertainment

12 responses to “Elvis Presley – Ramblings of a Lifelong Fan – Part 10 – The Movies 1-4

  1. My friend who was in love with Elvis hated the female lead in King Creole because she was not beautiful enough for her beloved Elvis! Thanks for the memories.


  2. Hi, Alicia,

    I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never seen an Elvis movie! Sure I’ve seen cuts, but never watched a full-length. After reading your wonderful ramblings above, I think I’ll have to hunt them out and have an Elvisfess. My MIL LOVES him!!! But you’ve got her beat hands down lol 🙂


    • It’s okay, no need to be ashamed. You can always rectify your error. 🙂 Yes, an Elvisfest sounds like just the thing! I would highly recommend King Creole and Jailhouse Rock. My favorites of his later movies were Girl Happy, Clambake, Tickle Me, Change of Habit, and Live a Little Love a Little. (I think. It’s hard to pick favorites when it comes to EP). LOL, well, it’s not a competition between me and your MIL, but if it is, I like that I win!!! 😉 JK. It’s awesome that she’s a fan!


  3. I think Monique must be of a younger generation, because I think anyone over about 40 has probably seen several. (No insult Monique, just a guess.) One that sticks in my mind is when Mary Tyler Moore played a nun. It was so not-like the other Elvis movies and that is why I remember it.


    • Ha! I doubt if it’s an insult to call someone ‘young’ :). Yes, you are speaking of Change of Habit, the last feature film he made. He was a doctor in the projects and MTM was a nun. It was one of my very favorites. It somewhat went back to the seriousness of his earlier roles. And, he was freakin’ hotttt!!! (Not that he wasn’t in the other movies :))


      • Monique DeVere

        Haha no insult at all! I love it when people think I’m younger than I am. Generally it’s because they’re looking at me and not because I’ve gone and showed myself up by not having seen films that most people have seen tons of times lol 🙂 🙂


    • Monique DeVere

      You’re my new bestie, Charlotte! 😀 I’m a few years over 40… Now I really am pink-cheeked. Will need to rectify my lack of Elvis knowledge ASAP lol


  4. Diane Burton

    Always love your view on Elvis’s songs, movies, et al. I’ve learned so much from your Ramblings. Yes, I’ve seen clicks from his films, though I can’t remember ever watching the whole film(s). Guess I’ll have to rectify that. 🙂


  5. Leah St. James

    Great memories. I didn’t know that about Judy Taylor and her husband. How sad!


    • Judy Jankowski

      I grew up with Elvis and have been a fan of his since day one ~ I agree that his first movies were great and Loving You seemed to me that it was kind of true to his own life experiences. I did enjoy Roustabout though, he had some great actors in there with him. Blue Hawaii was wonderful; beautiful scenery and actors also. Was not crazy about all the other girly ones that he made…only watched because he was so darn cute in them and I’m sure he would agree he wasn’t happy with them either. I read that he never watched Jailhouse Rock for the longest time because of the death of Judy Tyler and he never watched Loving You again after the death of his mother. A little more information too is that the young blonde in Blue Hawaii was also killed at an airport after the filming of Blue Hawaii. So sad! Thanks for sharing all your information about the movies. Love your website!!!!


      • Hi Judy, thanks for stopping by! Yes, I’ve loved Elvis all my life too, and I’ll have to say, I enjoyed all his movies, even though you are correct, he was not proud of them. 😦 I know he wanted to be a serious actor, and for his sake I wish he could have, but he gave millions countless hours of enjoyment with his films. So, there is that. 🙂 Yes, that’s true about Jailhouse Rock, Loving You, and Blue Hawaii. So sad and tragic. I’m so glad you love my website, thank you again!


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