Tulsa, a soldier with dreams of running his own nightclub, places a bet with his friend Dynamite that he can win the heart of an untouchable dancer...but when Dynamite is transferred, Tulsa must replace him in the bet.
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Tulsa is a specialist in the US Army stationed in Germany. He loves to sing and has dreams to run his own nightclub when he leaves the army....but dreams don't come cheap. Tulsa places a bet with his friend Dynamite that he can spend the night with a club dancer named Lili, who is rumored to be hard to get. When Dynamite gets transferred, Tulsa is brought in to take his place. He is not looking forward to it, but in order to keep his money, he must go through with it. Written by
Pat McCurry <email@example.com>
GI Blues was Elvis Presley's fifth picture and first one since his return from the Army as America's most celebrated draftee of the Fifties. It also marked his first film with director Norman Taurog who did nine films with the King.
Taurog like so many in Hollywood in front of and behind the camera was getting less and less employment and taking what he could get. These were the kind of people that Elvis's manager Colonel Tom Parker made sure helped his meal ticket in any way possible. Norman Taurog won an Oscar in 1931 for Skippy and was nominated for his direction of Boys Town in 1938 which won Spencer Tracy an Oscar. Over the years Taurog directed such musical performers as Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Mario Lanza, Eddie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds. This man was most assuredly a help to the King's career and I've no doubt Parker was behind getting him.
Parker is a controversial figure, especially among Elvis's legion of fans as to whether he helped or hindered Elvis's career. He might have done a little of both, but one thing the man was always sure of is that in Presley's movies, he made sure that he got the best support in front and behind the camera. Norman Taurog extended his own career via the King. Everybody made out here.
The Colonel also was a master at keeping the publicity going while Elvis was a $78.00 a month GI serving in Germany. So much so there was a tremendous about of advance publicity about this film which was about a young rock and rolling soldier who finds love in Frankfurt.
Elvis gets hooked into a Guys and Dolls type bet that he can't spend the night in Juliet Prowse's apartment. Prowse is a local entertainer at one of the clubs in Frankfurt and she's got a reputation as one cold lady. But you know she ain't got a chance with the king.
Part of the publicity surrounding this film was Juliet Prowse's relationship with another guy she did a film with that year, Frank Sinatra. She and Sinatra were quite the item and they announced their engagement and then broke it off just as quickly. Juliet was quite the dancer both in GI Blues and in Can-Can. I remember all of this quite well as a lad. And it was always a special treat in Elvis films when he got a female co-star who was also musical like Ann-Margret, Nancy Sinatra, or Juliet Prowse.
Elvis had a bunch of songs in the film including his own Blue Suede Shoes playing on a jukebox during a bar brawl. One song I really liked was Pocketful of Rainbows which he sings to Juliet while riding in a cable car. It should have been a bigger hit for him.
GI Blues was a fine jump start for Elvis's return to the big screen and to his loyal legion of fans.
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