Blue Hawaii (1961)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Musical  |  22 November 1961 (USA)
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Reviews: 31 user | 14 critic

Chad Gates has just gotten out of the Army, and is happy to be back in Hawaii with his surf-board, his beach buddies, and his girlfriend. His father wants him to go to work at the Great ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nancy Walters ...
Roland Winters ...
John Archer ...
Steve Brodie ...
Christian Kay ...
Iris Adrian ...
Hilo Hattie ...
Jenny Maxwell ...
Ellie Corbett
Selena (Sandy) Emerson (as Pamela Kirk)
Darlene Tompkins ...
Patsy Simon
Lani Kai ...
Carl Tanami


Chad Gates has just gotten out of the Army, and is happy to be back in Hawaii with his surf-board, his beach buddies, and his girlfriend. His father wants him to go to work at the Great Southern Hawaiian Fruit Company, but Chad is reluctant. So Chad goes to work as a tour guide at his girlfriend's agency. Written by Pat McCurry <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Elvis Presley rides the crest of the wave in... See more »


Comedy | Musical

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild sensuality | See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

22 November 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hawaii Beach Boy  »

Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jenny Maxwell, who plays Ellie Corbett, was later the victim of a famous never solved murder when in June of 1981 she and her husband, prominent attorney Ervin "Tip" Roeder were gunned down at the entrance to their Beverly Hills condo. Police were never able to develop a viable suspect or motive for the double homicide. It was eventually written off as a botched robbery but it is worth noting that at the time of the murder Roeder was aggressively campaigning to reopen the investigation into the death under mysterious circumstances of another prominent actor, Nick Adams. Adams death was ruled an accidental drug overdose but many of his friends, including Roeder, didn't accept this explanation believing that Adams had probably been murdered. See more »


Sign pointing to Waianae is actually pointing towards Manoa Valley, on the other side of the island of O'ahu. See more »


Mr. Chapman: She's a lovely woman, that Miss Prentice. They make a handsome couple, young Gates and Miss Prentice.
Maile Duval: They do?
Mr. Chapman: Yeah. Miss Prentice is quite taken with the boy, too. She's even extended her tour.
Maile Duval: Now that's hanky-panky. From where I stand.
See more »


Referenced in Battle of the Blades: Episode #3.9 (2011) See more »


Rock-a-Hula Baby
Written by Fred Wise, Ben Weisman & Dolores Fuller
Performed by Elvis Presley
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User Reviews

Woefully underrated ode to Hawaii
28 April 1999 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

There's quite a bit to like about this pleasant if unoriginal musical. Hawaii has never looked better before or since, showcased by beautiful, panoramic shots in this movie. Here, it's a relentlessly wholesome place, a mirror image of the seamy underside shown in "Hawaii Five-O" years later. Tourist-trap "native traditions" are given special attention. Day or night, it's so intoxicating that it almost makes you want to immediately hop a plane to Honolulu or to Kauai, the "island of love."

The soundtrack is quite possibly the best of any Elvis movie, with such gems as "Can't Help Falling In Love," the toe-tapping "Rockahula," "Hawaiian Wedding Song" and an abbreviated but still enjoyable rendition from Elvis of the traditional Hawaiian classic, "Aloha Oe." Unlike virtually every other musical, they never break into song for no good reason. Whether it's to change the subject, serenade a grandmother on her birthday, or liven up a party, there's always a radio or band present rather than having the music come out of nowhere.

Elvis was in top form here - handsome, slim, and boyish. A far cry from the overweight, ostentatious, muttonchopped, rhinestoned, caped and bell-bottomed joke he became a decade later. The rest of the cast was good, with the exception of an over-the-top Angela Lansbury and a cold, unmusical Joan Blackman. Still, the love story was one of the better ones, with the relationship established before the movie opens instead of the ridiculous whirlwind romance of most other Elvis movies.

Watch this on the biggest screen TV to get the feeling you're actually in this Hawaii that never was, at least during the outdoor scenes, not when they retreated to the studio. Better yet, make it a double feature with "Gidget Goes Hawaiian" and you can luxuriate in the Hawaii of 1961, only two years after it had become the 50th state.

14 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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