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|Index||31 reviews in total|
Pretty much everybody who ever talks about this film says it's horrible
and stupid. I could not disagree more. This is a light-hearted and
funny movie that left me with a smile on my face. Sure, it's
silly...but it's supposed to be. And Katy Jurado and Burgess Meredith
both give hilarious performances. The 4 songs in the film are fun and
catchy, and as always...Elvis's voice is top-notch. Three of his
friends (Charlie Hodge, Joe Esposito, and Sonny West) join him on this
movie, and it only adds to the fun.
Say what you want about this movie, but as an Elvis fan...I was just happy to get to spend over an hour laughing with the King.
How can you stay away?
There's so many negative reviews about "Stay away, Joe" in here I just
can't stay quiet any longer and let this injustice happen. Here's a
side you haven't heard yet.
Elvis Presley's movies are my guilty pleasure for a simple reason: they are perfect films for a pure relaxation because I don't have to think when I watch them. That means I don't have to worry about missing a complex plot because there never is a proper plot to start with. I can just kick off my shoes, grab a beer, sit back, switch off my brains and enjoy all the general wackiness and catchy easy-going rock n' roll tunes from the grooviest decade of them all.
In my books "Stay away, Joe" definitely falls into the "so bad it's good"-category. Now if you're like me and appreciate "the trash value", this is the ultimate 1960's camp experience. It's so bad that it's almost surrealistic to watch and just when you think that it can't possibly get any worse it surprises you in the most imaginable ways. In the end you're so amazed by all the new levels of stupidity you just don't know whether to laugh or cry. In a nutshell: I love it because it's so damn amusing that there once was a generation that actually made films like this. I still give it 1 out of 10 though - once it hits the bottom 100 it will became an instant bad movie classic.
I have to disagree with a previous comment that this is Elvis' worst film. OK, it's not a comedy classic but surely, at least in my opinion, "Harum Scarum", "Paradise, Hawaiian Style" and "Easy Come, Easy Go" are much more inferior to this rather enjoyable yarn. I for one always enjoy watching it whenever it's screened on Cable TV and it's a pity it has not been released on DVD yet. Besides a very good-looking Elvis, the supporting cast Burgess Meredith, Katy Jurado & the wise-cracking Thomas Gomez (as grandpa) are a joy to watch. And the opening title sequence with the camera flying over the Grand Canyon while the lovely "Stay Away" (a re-working of "Greensleeves") plays on the soundtrack must rank as one of the most beautiful openings in all of Elvis' movies.
After such smellaroos like "Clambake", "Kissin' Cousins" and "Paradise Hawaiian Style" this movie is a breath of fresh air. At this juncture of his movie career, his films didn't engender much confidence. With the exception of "Speeedway" which was actually filmed before this one, his films were at least decent again. Elvis plays a half breed named Joe Lightclould who is always getting himself in trouble. Strong supporting cast, with the late Burgess Merideth who was one of many. And the music was a big improvement over what he had been doing lately. Perhaps being married gave him back his drive, perhaps being a father gave him back his drive. And perhaps he just got fed up with the crap the he had been given and demanded better rolls. I give this movie three and a half stars.
Stay Away, Joe! is an American Treasure, that should not be overlooked if you truly love Elvis Presley movies. You have to understand the era in which this movie was made, #1...it was during the big outdoor Drive in Movie craze when carloads, truckloads of teenagers flocked by the millions to cheap grind house movies, #2...it reflects the attitudes of many young people during the so-called "swinging sixty's free love etc. It accurately represents the living conditions of most First-Nations people at that time in American history...to this day reservations are plagued with poverty, broken down cars, and stray dogs...Elvis was not ashamed to portray a halfbreed native American, no matter how much this may have offended the straight, upper class, white America! If you want honest camp, wild and crazy young people, great Elvis songs you must see this movie with a open mind, remember, you, watching this movie in the comfort of your home on a Sunday afternoon was not the intended audience!
"Stay away, Joe" is one hilarious comedy movie. It's got a fine supporting cast, an Elvis who was extremely comfortable with his role and there are at least half a million laughs. One has to admit, that once or twice one gets the impression, the script wasn't quite finished when they started shooting (like in the overlong party sequence near the beginning) and the director wasn't as talented as Burt Kennedy, but we still get some 100 min. of fast paced entertainment. As a fan of western movies I have seen all the Peckinpahs, Hawks' and Fords and I find it interesting that "Stay away, Joe" tells a similar story like "Junior Bonner" which was made several years later; rodeo champion returns home, wants to support his folks, encounters all sorts of problems. Even in some details "Junior Bonner" seems to be inspired by this movie; e.g. in both movies there is a big fight scene during which the hero takes his girl by the hand and, crawling on all fours, tries to find a quiet spot outside. Anyone who liked "Support your local gunfighter" will most likely enjoy "Stay away, Joe", too. I give it 8 out of 10.
Any film with Katy Jurado is worth seeing and she's on screen for about
twenty minutes here. This is better than Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
where she's on-screen for two minutes and even makes that film worth
This is a silly comedy, with a few effective gags and lots of slapstick. I think the movie is hated because 1)many of the Native American characters are played in brown make-up by Euro-American actors and they seem to childishly enjoy getting drunk and getting into fights. 2)Presley has a bed scene with Quentin Dean (who won a Golden Globe the year before for "In the Heat of the Night"). Dean is supposed to be a Lolita type nymphet. Her age isn't mentioned, but she appears to be about 16 years old, at most.
If you can get over these two offensive points, the movie is fun in a three stooges type of way. Presley seems to be enjoying himself and his performance is pretty smooth and easy going. This was one of his last films and he seems totally comfortable playing rodeo rider Joe Lightcloud.
It is always nice to see Joan Blondell. She had become a big star again in 1968 with her role on the hit television show,"Here Comes the Brides." Still, her role is pretty pedestrian as the bootlegger mother of Quentin Dean, who first tries to keep Elvis away from her, but then decides to use a gun to make him marry her.
Still, its Katy Jurado's delightful small performance that made the film worth watching for me. We even get to see her taking a bath. That is worth two of the six stars I gave the film.
It's very sad when you see a big star like Elvis Presley get reduced to this. I am a very big fan of Elvis Presley. Two years ago I started collecting everything of The King. Magazines, books, CDs, movies, you name it. I have it all. I've been trying to reach 31 with Presley's movies. So far I have 21. Every Elvis movie that I've seen I've liked. But when I saw this movie I was really disappointed. I kept saying the whole time of this movie, "What the hell is going on?" The movie had no story and it had no point. There's things going on in the movie and there are obstacles for Elvis to overcome, but the movie just doesn't have a point. This is coming from a die hard Elvis fan too. People say that Clambake is Elvis Presley's worst movie and Elvis himself almost refused to do it, but what was he thinking when he agreed to this. This movie is just about Indians on a reservation that like to drink, party and roughhouse. Good actors are even dragged into it. I have no idea why Burgess Meredith starred in this, or why Katy Jurado did. To top it all off I still can't understand why Elvis did this. The only good parts in this movie are when Elvis is singing, running for his life, and fighting. People say how he sings to a bull. I don't know where they got that from. He is singing about the bull Dominique, but he's not singing to a damn bull. When you watch this movie it's not even like an Elvis movie. Elvis doesn't even get to show what a good actor he is in this. Elvis is given nothing to work with. This is the type of movie a comedian would do. This is not for Elvis Presley. Towards the end of Elvis' career I don't know what MGM was thinking. Look at their first movie with him(Jailhouse Rock) and then look at this movie. The movie even has a dumb ending. Maybe Elvis wanted to get away from the same formula they used in his movies where he gets the girl. Elvis Presley made very good movies. See his other movies if you want to see a good Presley flick. Hey, it took me 21 until I got to a a bad one. I still want to watch this movie again though. I'll admit that it is watchable. Maybe I'm missing something.
Elvis Presley plays a "half-breed" Native American ("Indian") who has
to defend his reservation from nasty business tycoons. Everyone likes
to get drunk, fight, and make children. Fighting, wrestling, and
"punching out" each other replace the stereotypical hand-raised
Although he does have make-up on, it's obvious Elvis is healthier than he appeared in prior films; possibly, he was getting ready for his famous "comeback". It couldn't have been because this movie's script was anything to get excited about. Joan Blondell trying to seduce Elvis, and Burgess Meredith in "war paint", should be ashamed.
The best song is "Stay Away" (actually, "Green Sleeves" with different lyrics). The most embarrassing song is Elvis' love song to the bull "Dominic". There are some surreal scenes, but it never becomes trippy enough to succeed in that genre; though, "Stay Away, Joe" might provide some laughs if you're in the right "mood".
Otherwise, stay away.
** Stay Away, Joe (3/8/68) Peter Tewksbury ~ Elvis Presley, Burgess Meredith, Joan Blondell
A squashy slapstick mess posing as a comedy. Elvis Presley plays an Indian bull-riding champ who leaves the rodeo for a stay at home on his folks' desert-spread in Arizona, where government suits have just invested in the family's herd of cattle (which is in dire need of a stud). What director Peter Tewksbury is in dire need of is some narrative skills, though what he lacks in assessment he makes up for in sloppy comedic montages (his social commentary isn't exactly pointed, but Tewksbury does have a satiric bend to his outlandishness and there are some funny scenes). Despite colorful supporting turns by Katy Jurado and Joan Blondell, the general wackiness gets way out of hand, and there's too much hoopin' and hollerin' to sustain much interest. As for Elvis, he's loose and frisky throughout--and while it's nice to see him having fun on-screen, one has to wonder if he had just given up on movies at this point. This shambles of a picture has a distinct what-the-hell feel to it, and though spirits are high, the returns are mostly low. *1/2 from ****
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