Excepting "Viva Las Vegas," this will be Elvis's last decent film
|A crop-dusting bi-plane soars through the sly, while Elvis sings “Beyond the Bend”- and it all sounds heavenly, especially after watching the travesty that is “Stay Away Joe.” So far, so good, as the plane dusts crops, Elvis handling things from the pilot’s seat. Then he spies two pretty girls in a convertible, cruising along the interstate- and nearly wrecks the plane. |
7:00- As Elvis attempts to keep smooching Yvonne Craig (soon to star as the TV version of Bat Girl), he breaks out with “Relax,” a sultry ripoff of “Fever.” After the parents arrive, a bit of comedy ensues with Elvis delivering some funny lines as he tries to minimize the ramifications of his makeout session with the daughter.
12:35- A fistfight breaks out- always a welcome sight in an Elvis film; the King even engages in some karate chops and backhanding. Then Elvis and his buddy fly out of town to escape some gambling ruffians. After they lose custody of their plane, Elvis and his buddy walk along the freeway, then lose their matches to a couple of scheming women, in the second actual comedic scene of the film.
18:52- The boys hitch a ride in a pickup truck.
21:42- As Elvis strums a little girl’s ukelele, he sings “Take Me to the Fair.” It’s a cute song, and reminds one of how charming Elvis could be, in the company of little kids.
Once Elvis and company arrive at the fair, the film becomes a tour of the Seattle World’s Fair- not necessarily a bad thing, if handled correctly. At least it’s not stock footage.
Around 34 minutes, Elvis croons “They Remind Me Too Much of You.” It’s a decent ballad, and sung with welcome restraint.
41:10- Most welcome is “One Broken Heart for Sale,” EP strolling around an apartment complex as he strums and sings. Though it sounds like a knock-off of “Return to Sender,” it soared to #11 on the charts.
44:00- Elvis pays a pre-teen Kurt Russell to kick him in the shin, a ploy he contrives to visit a pretty nurse.
52:30: As they sit in a restaurant atop the Space Needle, Elvis sings “I’m Falling in Love Tonight,” the heavy organ accompaniment giving the tune an old-fashioned sound. The following scene is not bad; Kurt Russell reappears and blows Elvis’ cover, then delivers another painful shin kick, thus ruining the King’s chances with Nurse O’Brien.
59:40- Elvis sings “Cotton Candy Land,” another tune performed for the little Asian girl. These kinds of songs are something Elvis excels at- at least in this film.
1:10- Next comes another love song aimed at Nurse O’Neil, the non-hit but tasteful “A World of Our Own.” “How Would You Like To Be”- the third song Elvis performs for the little girl- is modeled after “Good Luck Charm.” It isn’t much of a song, but it’s still cute.
With fine minutes to go, there’s another fistfight as Elvis slaps around a bad guy, thus resolving a major plot point. And then, in a most contrived moment, Elvis and nurse O’Brien step in front of an approaching marching band so that the King has musical accompaniment for the insipid “Happy Ending.”
All in all, though, this film looks like an Academy Award candidate after suffering through “Stay Away Joe.”