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Michael D. Moore
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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Elvis Presley is in fine form as singer Rusty Wells, who is hired by Big Frank to watch over his daughter, Val, while on her first girly holiday. Much mayhem ensues when heart throb Romano tries his luck with the hapless girl, and Elvis et all have to intervene. Written by
Paul Batey <email@example.com>
The song "The Meanest Girl in Town" was one of the only songs not composed for this movie. It had been written for Bill Haley and the Comets and recorded by then in 1964 under the title "Yeah She's Evil". See more »
When Elvis is playing the bass guitar (club scene right before the brawl) he sets the bass down, but you can hear the bass riff continue to play. See more »
[enters; angry tone]
And just who's the lame-brain for making arrests on the college group plan?
Wait til you hear this chief...
[cutting him off]
Everyone's been calling the station! The mayor, the chamber of commerce, the newspapers... sounds like one of your bright ideas to get publicity for yourself, Benson!
But sir, what happened was there was a disturbance and brawl at the Kit Kat Club and so...
[again cutting him off]
Never mind! How many did you bring in from the raid?
[...] See more »
Nightclub singer Elvis Presley (as Rusty Wells) is hired to chaperone sexy Shelley Fabares (as Valerie Frank), with predictable results... While it was not strong enough to have be trumpeted as a significant improvement at the time, "Girl Happy" is a cut above the (then) average Presley movie. Most importantly, director Boris Sagal, along with the writing team of Harvey Bullock and R.S. Allen, effectively make more of a situation comedy with Elvis music, than the more often used, and vacuously plotted, "Elvis travelogue" with tunes. The comedy is well-paced, nicely played, and includes some genuinely funny moments.
Ms. Fabares' innocent sexuality compliments Presley, and they play very well on screen together. Fabares was understandably invited to co-star in additional Presley movies (with mixed results, due to weakening material). Also very good are Elvis frantic band-mates Jimmy Hawkins (as Doc), Gary Crosby (Andy), and Joby Baker (Wilbur). Fabares and Mr. Hawkins had been a cute teenage couple on "The Donna Reed Show". Mr. Crosby was one of Bing's sons (which turned out to be less fortunate than you'd think). And, Mr. Baker was in a regrettably short-lived Dick Van Dyke-type comedy called "Good Morning World".
MGM wisely used RCA's soundtrack studio record takes for "Girl Happy" (for the most part). In the past, there were sometimes completely separate versions for film and record, with the lamer versions making the film. Presley recorded the "Girl Happy" songs in June 1964; in hindsight, these and the just completed "Roustabout" were the last gasp of Presley as a dependable pop soundtrack singer. Critics weren't enthusiastic about his 1960s film songs, but there were scattered gems throughout. Nothing herein approaches "Return to Sender", but there are no real dogs, either.
The speeded-up vocals evident on "Girl Happy" were not uncommon; recording stars and record companies routinely speeded-up recordings. In the 1960s, many radio stations speeded up every record they played; this way, they could play more records, and get in more commercials. Many old TV shows are speeded-up, also but, back to Presley: His next film, "Tickle Me", featured no newly recorded soundtrack songs. After a long period of inactivity, he recorded "Harum Sacrum", the first wholly substandard soundtrack of his career. That was followed by "Frankie and Johnny". So, dig right in and "Do the Clam".
****** Girl Happy (3/27/65) Boris Sagal ~ Elvis Presley, Shelley Fabares, Jimmy Hawkins, Gary Crosby
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