This is Elvis’ first starring role in a film, and his second film overall after Love Me Tender.
It is pretty much what you would expect from an Elvis film, Elvis singing and gyrating at every opportunity, and a totally unimportant drama story in the bits in between. It had lots of wholesomeness, except for the roughy that Elvis quickly sorted out in a punch-up, and it was corny at times. The story was based on a short story that was published in Good Housekeeping. A chap named Hal Kanter directed and is famous for saying, “Radio is theater of the mind; TV is theater of the mindless.”
So mostly it was interesting to watch just because of Elvis who did a pretty good job. His acting was better than I expected it would be, but once he put on his guitar and started singing he was instant Elvis all the way, even though he was obviously lip-syncing.
Most of the songs were unfamiliar except for the title song and “Teddy Bear”.
Reviews when this came out in 1957 were mixed. This one in particular is amusing:
On its review, Monthly Film Bulletin qualified Presley’s career as “one of the most puzzling and less agreeable aspects of modern popular music”. the review declared: “Presley adopts a slurred and husky style of delivery and a series of grotesque body gestures to impose on his otherwise innocuous material a suggestive meaning. … in ‘Loving You’ he is allowed more scope and is at times both the cause and sum total of the film’s somewhat doubtful entertainment value.” (from Wikipedia)
The actress playing Elvis’ love interest in the story played by Dolores Hart made a dramatic career change a few years after this film which was her first
By the early 1960s an established leading lady, she “stunned Hollywood” by announcing that she would forgo her life as an actress, leaving behind her career to enter the Abbey of Regina Laudis monastery in Connecticut, where she served her monastic community for many years.
This is really only a film for Elvis fans, not something you would watch if you came for the story.
Date watched: January 17th
Film count 2017: 14