Presley Pictures: Costume and Period Pieces

Elvis did make movies other than Scenery, Fights, Songs and Girls. Even though, that’s all the fans of the time wanted to see. Elvis as fantasy, rather than watching Elvis live out his own fantasies.

A few of his movies were not set in the current era of the films.

Love Me Tender – a civil war family drama

Love Me Tender Lobby Card






Elvis is the left behind son, who marries the girl in love with his adored older brother.

it was an odd idea to have Elvis die on screen in his first movie and the audiences rioted. Elvis also dies in Flaming Star, but in that one, he rides off into the sunset.

Flaming Star







Flaming Star was one of back to back serious movie attempts – Wild in The Country being the last attempt for a while, since fans didn’t react well to Elvis playing something unlike himself.

Another Western, this one makes the Top 100 list of westerns for it’s social commentary, and while Elvis did record 4 songs for the movie, this is one of the movies with the fewest songs. I think the trailer has a song clip that didn’t make the movie.

Blue Hawaii had 16 and doomed Elvis from movies into extended music videos before MTV was thought of.

Sheik Elvis Harum Scarum Lobby Card







Elvis was reported excited about this role, until  he read the script.

Elvis is an American Star who gets caught up in a rebellion of a country that, while somehow avoiding the rest of the world’s development, still speaks English.

Col Parker’s suggestion of a Talking Camel would probably have improved it and even the marketing didn’t know what to make of the flick’s genre.



Going from Desert Sheik to Riverboat Frills, Elvis did a turn as gambler womanizing Johnny.

Frankie and Johnny Lobby Card Frankie vs Johnny







Elvis in his last group of movies, that ironically had deeper content, but Elvis’ discontent and disillusionment came too through his phoning it in – His 70s hair is at odds with the 1920’s period piece sortof about small town ethics, but really it’s labour/management disputes in the entertainment world.

The trouble with girls promo Trouble with Girls lobby card






This movie featured a lot of experimental at the time camera angles and odd shots that were more annoying and needless than anything else.

It also had one of the more solid casts that Elvis had around him and it’s really unfortunate that we never got to see a more mature Elvis

Back to westerns and back to playing a rare bad guy turned good, Elvis does a credible western in Charro – another movie where he had hoped to play with more guns and was unpleased with the movie.







I find the jail scene hysterically funny and think Elvis had amazing timing with his line delivery when he was engaged and not drugged out rapid vapid firing off his dialog.


While we got to see Elvis with softer fluffy hair in Change of Habit getting to see him bearded scruffy was more edgy.


Certainly with Elvis getting laid on screen in Live A Little Love a Little, Charro and Change of Habit was a turning point to a more mature Elvis.


Of all the movies he got offered and turned down, it is really too bad he didn’t do Midnight Cowboy and Star is Born.


But perhaps that latter script struck him too close to home and it’s sad that people who make movies, resist their own messages.








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3 Responses to Presley Pictures: Costume and Period Pieces

  1. Pingback: Re-Imaging Presley Pictures: From Camp to Creepy | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

  2. Pingback: Covering Elvis Presley | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

  3. Pingback: USA: Living La Vida Levis | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

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