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Elvis Presley plays pop singer Guy Lambert who is touring England where
he becomes involved with Jill Conway (Annette Day), a teenage heiress
with a crush on him. It also becomes clear that her uncle Gerald
Waverley (John Williams) is trying to kill her in order to get his
hands on her money and Lambert must save her life.
Often slated because in real life Elvis never toured yet alone visited England, and the film was shot on one of those cheesy but likable MGM sets built in America to stand in for England rather like those used in a Man From UNCLE adventure. Hardly surprising since the art directors are George W. Davis and Merrill Pye who worked on some of those films. Those who have seen One Of Our Spies Is Missing for example will know what I mean. For me, this is one of the King's more enjoyable movies with a reasonable storyline for Presley's usual standards and he sings "Long Legged Woman With The Short Dress On", one of my favourite tunes which is proving VERY hard to find on CD. The film also features Norman Rossington (the only actor to appear with both The Beatles and Elvis) as a hapless diamond smuggler. John Williams is well cast as the smooth and scheming Gerald Waverley. The only downside is the fact that Elvis who is without doubt one of the most important figures in the development of popular music has to sing OLD MACDONALD. But fast forward past that bit and the rest of the film isn't at all bad.
I am amazed this movie has at the moment so little stars compared to
other Elvis movies.
Contrary to other comments I find Elvis in top form in this movie, very much in shape (I think his wedding was just around the corner) and charming. For an Elvis flick it was refreshing that the setting is in Europe and I find the direction and sets reflecting this quite well. Being European (an Englishman in Holland) I thoroughly enjoyed the old fashioned footage of different countries in that time and the sets.
There are quite a few good songs in the soundtrack and the story, though corny (an Elvis Flick), is entertaining and funny.
Amusing Elvis fare, in which E is stuck protecting a wealthy heiress (Day)
from her greedy uncle (Williams) who wants her killed before her 18th
birthday so it won't be discovered that he's been stealing from her
inheritance. Of course, this same date also explains why Elvis is reluctant
to hook up with the petite Brit, and enables the evil uncle to send bumbling
Belgian cops on E's trail for kidnapping. Also, groupie Romain turns out to
be after more than E's autograph -- she's in the employ of the uncle too!
Elvis sings some pretty good songs, some pretty bad songs, and gets involved
in some funny situations. He even kills a guy in a fight (well, actually,
he does that in a lot of his movies).
Did frozen funds inspire this Anglicization of Presley? hmmmmm......
We've seen Elvis as the racecar driver, millionare texan, boxer (kid
galahad), convict, hillbilly (kissin' cousins), dumb hilbilly again
that dream) Now we see the Tourist Elvis singing his way through England
(although it's really Belgium, I'm told.)
Elvis is actually at his best when he is glib and cynical. In those instances his acting is really quite good in a comical way. Sort of like the wisecracking Jim Rockford of Rockford Files. When he tries to get serious, in most of his films, he appears wooden and scripted. This is not a bad Elvis movie, mostly due to the funny antics of the bumbling detectives following him, and Elvis' more relaxed acting style.
The fact that he breaks out in a song at the drop of the hat in some of the corniest situations doesn't matter. After all, it is an ELVIS movie.
One thing that baffles me is the title. Why DOUBLE trouble? Did I miss something? OK I think i get it.. 2 different women causing him trouble?...
Hear Elvis say "bikkies" (a kick for me, as one who grew up with that
contraction of "biscuits," in America known as cookies), see Elvis lay
his kenpo down on a bad guy who dies as a result, see Elvis drive a VW
bug, witness Elvis smash windows, marvel at Elvis in a mustache and
glasses mask, and watch him beat up a beautiful woman! Those are some
of the highlights, anyway. In truth, this film is among my very least
favorite of Elvis films, even judging by the somewhat unique standards
of the '60s travelogue Technicolor musicals that became the standard by
1962. The formula had worn thin by 1965 ("Frankie And Johnnie," "Harum
Scarum," "Paradise, Hawaiian Style"), to say the least, and -- other
than some bright points in "Spinout" and the entirety of "Easy Come,
Easy Go" (like "Double Trouble," shot in 1966...for some reason, I like
that crazy film) -- nothing got better, in my opinion, until the
formula changed radically with 1968's "Stay Away, Joe" and "Live A
Little, Love A Little."
The period 1965-1967 was Elvis' nadir, in other words, though the May, 1966 Nashville sessions (that yielded the immaculate "How Great Thou Art" gospel album and a few stellar secular songs, including a definitive take on one of Bob Dylan's songs) and recently-surfaced home recordings from that period show all too well how phenomenal Elvis' talent was at the time, a contrast that would anger and frustrate anyone who cared about his place in American and world culture and history. But we have what we have, and the criminal waste of talent that to a great extent represented Elvis' film career during this time is undeniable but shouldn't necessarily result in us writing off the results out of hand for that reason alone. There are a few moments in this film that are good, and a few when Elvis seems to actually be engaged rather than bored with the whole proceedings and just sleepwalking through it to fulfill contractual obligations.
There're some great actors in supporting roles, too, like Leon Askin (General Burkhalter!), Chips Rafferty, John Williams, Norman Rossington (the only actor to appear in films with the Beatles and Elvis), and Michael Murphy. Annette Day is kind of lackluster in the lead female role. Yvonne Romain is much more like it. And the Wiere Brothers have always irritated the hell out of me in this film -- wish they were not in it, because they really stupid things up.
The songs are not the greatest even compared to other songs from Elvis movies of this time, but I do like the title track, "Long Legged Girl" (a tasty song, actually, written by Joy Byers, who usually contributed great songs even to otherwise not-so-great movies, such as "Let Yourself Go" in "Speedway"), and the jazzy "City By Night." "Could I Fall In Love" is a nice ballad, a duet of Elvis with Elvis, but the entire June, 1966 session for this movie suffered from sonic problems and I believe it's one that Elvis complained vociferously about. I also believe that Elvis walked out on recording "Old McDonald" before he'd produced an acceptable master take, being totally disgusted by the task, and the master was spliced from what the engineers had captured. Not his greatest recorded moment, anyway. And, darn it, it (and the rest of the soundtrack) was recorded on my second birthday.
IMDb mixes up the screen character credits for Chips Rafferty and Norman Rossington but, to be fair, so does the end title sequence in the film. Oops.
In this one, singer Guy Lambert (played by Elvis) is touring Europe. Actually, most of the film takes place in Belgium. Lambert is all tangled up in a spy, diamond smuggling and love affair. All that is very complicated for nothing because the movie is not so good. Actually, if you're not an unconditional fan of Elvis, you could easily skip this one. You won't miss anything. For the fans though, Elvis sings a few songs including: Long-Legged Girl, Could I Fall in Love and a unique version of Old MacDonald Had a Farm. Annette Day is not very convincing in the role of Jill, the girl who's falling for Elvis. I gave it a 5.
This was actually a decent movie but not great. It was a step up from the movies that he had been recently doing.Elvis plays Guy Lambert touring Europe, which Elvis wanted to do in real life. Unfortunately Guy gets mixed up in a scandal, and he and his love interest are running for their lives. The only part that I didn't like was Elvis sining "Old MacDonald."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Against all my expectations, this turned out to be almost as "way out"
a comedy as STAY AWAY, JOE (1968)! The generic title would indicate a
dual role for Elvis but what we have here instead surprise, surprise
is him being chased by two women at the same time. The would-be
groovy title sequence promises an "Elvis in Swinging London"-type of
thing but what we get eventually is a wildly disparate hodgepodge of
genres which, frankly, do not jell at all well: including a
chase-driven comedy-thriller in the vein of the Bob Hope vehicles of
the 1940s dealing with damsels in distress who are up for large
inheritances but, this being the era of the James Bond extravaganzas,
with an artificial spy/action flick texture clumsily laid on!
Annette Day is a rather weak leading lady (not surprisingly, this is still her only movie to date) and much more interesting and enticing is her rival, the half-Maltese Yvonne Romain (who's eventually revealed to be the villainess). Also in the cast is the ever-reliable John Williams as Day's outwardly gracious but ultimately scheming uncle/guardian; Chips Rafferty and Norman Rossington as a couple of bumbling crooks (who manage to be quite amusing under the circumstances) but not so The Wiere Brothers surely among the most resistible comedy teams in living memory! as a trio of feather-brained Belgian police detectives out to catch the Rafferty/Rossington team.
I don't know if I really should mention this but Elvis Presley's rendition of the standard children's ditty "Old MacDonald's Farm" is featured here for posterity's sake! Oink, oink...
Elvis Presley was a hugely influential performer with one of the most
distinctive singing voices of anybody. He embarked on a film career
consisting of 33 films from 1956 to 1969, films that did well at the
box-office but mostly panned critically (especially his later films)
and while he was a highly charismatic performer he was never considered
a great actor.
As said many times, a lot of Elvis' early efforts were decent or more, his five best films overall being 'King Creole', 'Flaming Star', 'Jailhouse Rock', 'Viva Las Vegas' and 'Loving You'. It was from 'Kissin' Cousins', his first real mediocre at best effort, onward when his films became hit and miss or worse. While Elvis certainly did worse, like 'Harum Scarum', 'Double Trouble' generally is down there with his weakest.
Regarding Elvis himself, there is more of the relaxed charisma and the enthusiastic charm than in most of his 1965-7 output (most of which he looked utterly disinterested in), the role really doesn't require much but he does his best and while he has looked in better shape he still sounds good. A few of the songs are decent, "Long Legged Girl" is the best of the lot and for a song from an Elvis film from this period is good. "City of Night" and "Could I Fall in Love" also fare well.
Some of the supporting cast also don't fare too badly considering what they were given to work with. Fun Leon Askin, lovable Norman Rossington, urbane John Williams and sultry Yvonne Romain come off best. Chips Rafferty is quite good too.
However, not all the supporting cast and songs work. Annette Day's acting inexperience comes through loud and clear in a performance that neglects any acting ability of any kind. She shares very little chemistry with Elvis either. Michael Murphy, in his screen debut, does his best and gives a creepiness at times but in a way where the darkness doesn't balance particularly well with the rest of the film. Stanley Adams and Walter Burke try too hard in bumbling roles more at home in a sitcom and the Wiere Brothers are just annoying and don't fit.
Apart from a few songs, the rest of the soundtrack suffers from being very forgettable, very sloppy lip-synchronisation (very rarely in time) and from being poorly recorded, almost like the equipment used was on its last legs and on the verge of breaking down any second. Only one of them reaches risible level though and that's "Old MacDonald Had a Farm", even Elvis himself looks embarrassed.
Norman Taurog's, a wildly variable director dependent on the material, direction is all over the map. As is the corny (even for an Elvis film) and wildly disjointed script, that is far too busy, and a story that is a mess of style, structure and tone, again trying to do too much and very little of it comes together (just didn't see the point of the diamond subplot especially considering how barely remembered it is in the film).
Overall, not awful but messy. Really strictly for the fans, and most likely even they will be pining for a film that lives up to Elvis' considerable talents rather than working against them. 4/10 Bethany Cox
Guy Lambert (Elvis Presley) is the leader of a small combo touring Europe. In London, a wealthy heiress falls in love with the singer. Annette Day plays Jill Conway who is sent away to Belgium to keep her away from Lambert and finding out her uncle (John Williams) is trying to steal her inheritance. Guess who ends up singing in Belgium? More trouble arises when Lambert is suspected of jewel smuggling. Nine songs try to save this movie. The better tunes are "Baby, If You Give Me All Your Love", "City By Night" and "Long Legged Girl". Elvis looks puffy and his leading lady is the least attractive of all his movie co-stars.
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