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Here is an Elvis picture with something for everyone: The King appearing in a dual role as a soldier and a hillbilly, exciting fist-fights, surrealistically phony mountain and forest studio sets, hapless choreography, and gorgeous Yvonne Craig as one of the backwoods spitfires who tries to capture E's heart. The film's true value, however, is that is accomplishes the touchstone of any Presley flick worth its salt -- it contains a scene in which Elvis takes a pratfall into a body of water. In one song, E croons, "Life's a playful puppy/You can grab by the scruff/And if you live every sec, what the heck?/Once is enough." My thoughts exactly.
I think this is a good movie, it does what it is suppose to do make you chuckle and listen to Elvis sing. The cast is totally into the "backwoods characters" they play. Elvis himself (in a dual role) gives a great performance as the backwoods cousin Jody, a Jethro type character but a little sexier and a little smarter. The Air Force pilot cousin Josh is more like the typical Elvis role. Arthur O'Connell is great as Papa Tatem. Jack Albertson(from Chico and the Man fame)was also good as Capt. Salvo. The production was low budget and made in about 14 days. Elvis hated the blond wig. The idea here is fun. Nothing serious just 60's fun.
This movie, tho not one of Elvis' best, certainly isn't as bad as some reviews have stated. Those who say it is Elvis' worst film have obviously never seen "Double Trouble", "Clambake", "Speedway", "Stay Away Joe" and a couple others. The movie is fun, if not brilliant and the blond wig he wore is tacky and a couple of the songs are pretty horrible (Barefoot Ballad). However, the supporting cast is quite good headed up by Oscar winning actor Jack Albertson. It also features the wonderful character actor Arthur O'Connell and Glenda Farrell. Batgirl from TV's "Batman", Yvonne Craig, is in fine form as Elvis' love interest. As for the music, the title tracks are pretty good. "Tender Feeling" is a wonderful ballad and "Catching on Fast" is a lively rock tinged number that goes down quite well. It is also apparent from many of those who did not like the film at all that they did not pay attention as they all claim one of the Elvis characters, Josh, is an army officer. Not so. He is an air force officer. Go back and look folks. At any rate, I've seen every Elvis movie ever made many times and this one is worth a watch.
My rating: 6/10
This movie is all about fun and laughs. Very humorous, with a several good lines [What're you doin' with my face?]. The songs were toe-tapping, up-beat songs with that Elvis flair. Although it did have a very understated plot, Kissin' Cousins was a very enjoyable ride [if you like that kind of thing].
Now, the way I rate movies...This one was great for fun and little thinking, but it obviously was not a masterpiece of filming or anything like that...
Fun for oldies music lovers!
Glenda Farrell was in some of the greatest films of the early 1930's,
including, "Little Caesar," "I Was Fugitive From a Chain Gang,"
"Mysteries of the Wax Museum," and "Gold Diggers of 1935". It was
delightful to see her as a hillbilly mammy in this film. The director,
to his eternal credit, even gave her a song to sing without Elvis. It
was the best song in the film. I wonder if anybody else ever got to
sing a solo in an Elvis picture?
It was also nice to see Yvonne Craig, she because famous a couple of years later when she became a regular on the "Batman" television series as "Batgirl". It was a gimmick that helped save the rapidly fading series for a short while. She was rather adorable and perky in the role, as she was in this movie. Unfortunately, her career went nowhere, except for occasional television guest spots.
Pam Austin also looked great in this film. She became famous for a Dodge television commercial a couple of years later, inviting people to join the "Dodge Rebellion." She starred in "the Perils of Pauline" with Pat Boone two years later. It was quite an amusing and sweet movie, but sadly her career also went nowhere afterward.
We have to remember that three of the most popular television series at the time this film was made were 1) The Patty Duke Show (Patty Duke playing cousins with opposite personalities), 2) Petticoat Junction (rural comedy) and 3) Hootenanny (music variety show). It must have seemed like a great idea to combine all three themes in one movie. The conflicted cousins theme comes off the worse. Air Force Major Elvis is fine, but Hillbilly Elvis just stands around looking grouchy. The Petticoat Junction theme is transformed into a "Little Abner" theme, but there is no Julie Newmar (Stupifying Jones)to focus on. The Hootenanny that takes up the last 25 minutes is the only part that sort of works. It would have been nicer if there was more time for the choreography. It looks like they only had a couple of days to get it together, but everyone seems to be having a good time and it does send the audience out of the theater tapping their toes.
While not a good film, it is fun and worth seeing for Elvis and Glenda Farrell fans, and people who enjoy 1960's television sitcoms. I thought this was much better than the other Elvis film that Gene Nelson directed, "Harum Scarum". That one really is only for die-hard Elvis.
I've seen most of Elvis' films by now, though I do have some more to go... but I think I'm pretty secure in my feeling that KISSIN' COUSINS is surely one of the worst of them all. It's a dumb comedy that's not even funny, with Elvis playing twin cousins, one a dark-haired army man and the other a blond hillbilly. Presley is in the army when he's sent along with his commander (Jack Albertson) to the backwoods mountains to convince his redneck relatives to allow the government to install a missile base on their property. Yvonne Craig plays one of the many hillbilly gals who's sweet on her own cuz. All of the songs here are pretty awful, though the fast version of the title track works during the closing dance sequence. But I was often so bored that I found myself regularly checking out the dual Elvis characters whenever they were in the same shot to see if I could spot the stand-in, who shifts duties from blond to brunette, as needed. *1/2 out of ****
Elvis had to work overtime in this flick because he plays two parts. Did Marlon Brando ever play two parts? Did Montgomery Clift? Did James Dean? Nope, only Elvis could handle such a challenge. Actually I'm not even sure if Brando, Clift and Dean did double duty, but even if they did, there is no way they could be as good as Elvis. In the 1960s seeing double was hot in the television and motion picture business. Hayley Mills, Patty Duke and Bob Denver all took on duo roles in their respective projects. It only made sense to have Elvis do it too. He seems to have fun playing Jodie Tatum since he is liberated from having to play "the Elvis movie character" that he pretty much was forced to do in all his other movies. He's allowed to be a bit of a rascal. Elvis also gets to fight himself which is always fun to see an actor do. The biggest weakness of this film is that Yvonne Craig did not get to play two parts. I wouldn't have minded seeing two of her.
elvis is not engaged here at all and who could blame him? by late '63
he surely expected to be making one serious picture after another.
nonetheless, storyline happens to be very entertaining > the Military heads desperate to secure ol' Smoky Mountain for their missile site, while trying not to be swept away from the sexed up "kittyhawks", bring a smile.
did not need "two Elvis(s)"....but whatever. they both sing real good. as one song suggests, "ON(C)E IS ENOUGH". :)
title tune is particularly strong, shoulda-coulda been a smash...guess the competition from overseas at the time, like, his many imitators, cut down on his airplay. KISSIN' COUSINS/IT HURTS ME (not from film) was as good as many singles from the previous decade!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hey its an Elvis movie you know it will be a bit hokey but also entertaining with songs and at least for the guys lots of eye candy. Elvis plays mirror image cousins that the Air Force lieutenant side only discovers when he goes to a Smokey Mountain mountain to try and set up a missile base. Yvonne Craig plays one of the hill clan's nubile daughter's. The daughters are interested in latching on to husbands. There is a valley clan that runs to only girls so when the Air Force shows up with nothing but men they go nuts. They ambush the men as they run about the mountain looking to save the head of the mountain clan. The men are very glad to cooperate with their ambushers. Of course all ends well with women finding husbands, the Air Force gets its lease
Elvis returns to the military comedy genre a few years after 'GI Blues'
in this hillbilly romp about a pilot recruited to help convince his kin
folk to let the S.A.C. put a missile silo on their land. Elvis also
plays a secondary role as his look-alike hillbilly cousin.
The material is straight out of Li'l Abner - man-crazy half-dressed hillbilly females, disgusting possum based cuisine, a mournful coon hound and a patriarch named Pappy, not to mention moonshiners with a powerful dislike for 'Revenuers'. It's pretty familiar stuff, but dished up with enough energy and amiability that for once the whole exercise manages to rise above the usual (low) formulaic quickie level of the 'Elvis movie'. There are a few half decent songs and a couple of rousing musical numbers in the spirit of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (albeit much less elaborately choreographed). Of interest - leading actress Yvonne Craig became famous two years later as Batgirl.
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