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  • Gareth Crook

Blue Hawaii (1961) - 2/10

I’m spotting a theme with Elvis movies. He’s always the kid at odds with his parents or the world or both. Chad (Presley), fresh out of the army, is met by his girlfriend Maile (Joan Blackman) as he lands back in Hawaii and heads straight for the beach. Maybe it’s the era, but Presley’s part is once again one of an over confident arse. I must say though that Hawaii looks lovely, as does his bright red MG convertible. This takes some time to get going, spending most of the opening messing around in the sun, singing songs and picking up dogs by their front legs (poor bloody dog!). We’re half an hour in before anything happens. Finally getting off his surfboard and heading home to see his parents. It’s very bland though, like a bad American sitcom with his mum (Angela Lansbury), a bloody annoying aging southern belle racist. His parents have expectations. To work in the family business, marry someone suitable, all things that Chad has no intention of doing. All Chad wants to do is play around and find excuses to sing. The song count here is higher than other Elvis films, making the none existent story suffer even more. Plus they’re mostly rubbish. The acting too is terrible. There’s nothing to play off, it’s all saccharine sweet, Saturday matinee filler. With Maile’s help, Chad gets a job as a tour guide. Flirting with a visiting school teacher and four school girls. Honestly you couldn’t make this up… I really wish they hadn’t. One of the less impressed girls asks “I believe you’re being paid to show us a good time, when does it start?”, I’m kinda curious myself! I’ll cut to the chase, it doesn’t get any better. It’s terrible. I’m sure there are worse Elvis films, but there are certainly better. King Creole for one. Even Jailhouse Rock makes more attempt at a plot. This is nothing but a cynical cash in. Ironic seeing as it was Presley’s highest grossing film.



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