Charlie Rogers is a leather-jacketed biker who's fired from a singing engagement after getting into a fight with a group of college toughs. While riding his cycle to the next gig, an irate ... See full summary »
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Michael D. Moore
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Charlie Rogers is a leather-jacketed biker who's fired from a singing engagement after getting into a fight with a group of college toughs. While riding his cycle to the next gig, an irate dad runs him off the road when he flirts with his daughter. He's forced to hook up with a traveling carnival until his bike can be fixed. The carnival is run by a tough old broad, a broken-down drunk and his nubile daughter. Along the way, Charlie (who's got a chip on his shoulder about being an orphan) somehow learns about family values from this vaguely dysfunctional one. A scheming rival carny shows up, based on the legend of Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's real-life manager. Written by
Elvis Presley's eye was cut whilst filming the "Tea House" fight scene at the start of the film. He can be seen sporting a band-aid later on. See more »
When Freddy takes Charlie's challenge to hit the target twice in a row at the dunk tank Freddy disputes the first throw so they start again. On the first throw of the re-start you hear the sound of a hit and the girl is dunked but you can see that the ball never really hits the target. See more »
Screen legend Barbara Stanwyck became probably the biggest name ever to appear in an Elvis Presley movie in Roustabout. Barbara plays the owner of a carnival who takes in Presley after the King has been fired from a gig at a club. Of course she owes him after her right hand man Leif Erickson runs Elvis off the road and damages his motorcycle and guitar.
After a while what's keeping him around is pretty young Joan Freeman who is Erickson's daughter. And Presley's drawing in some big bucks and may just pull the carnival out of the red, the red being the mortgage that banker Dabbs Greer has on Stanwyck's show. That is if rival carnival owner Pat Buttram doesn't lure him away or fortune teller Sue Ane Langdon doesn't lure him with her own special lure.
I think Roustabout ranks as one of Presley's best feature films. He was starting to lose his allure to the fans of the Beatles and soon enough his pictures would become a rote formula. But as the young man with a chip on his shoulder who becomes a Roustabout at the Stanwyck carnival Elvis is at his very best.
For Stanwyck she saw this as a way of getting her name across to younger movie audiences. But after one more film she would abandon the big screen for the small one and did all her remaining work on television.
The title song and a song called Poison Ivy are the best for Elvis in the 11 numbers from the score. I didn't know Elvis went in for satire but the song is a really acid number against privileged college frat boys, I really loved it. It's also what gets him canned from that club gig.
Fans of both legends should be pleased with Roustabout.
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