A traveling chautauqua show. an educational and entertainment troupe, pitch their tents in a small American town with an ensemble of speakers, lecturers, teachers, musicians, and actors as manager Walter Hale must deal with a myriad of problems, including small town prejudice and politics, nepotism, union problems, and a murder. Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Except for a couple of westerns all of Elvis Presley's films were modern day movies. Only in this next to last film, The Trouble With Girls was Elvis in a period piece. In it he plays the manager in training of a Chautauqua show who gets involved in the business of a small town his show was playing in when one of his barkers Anthony Teague was accused of murder.
The film takes place in 1927 and imagine Meredith Willson's small Iowa town from The Music Man as the location just a decade later and him deep in the Roaring Twenties. Presley is being trained by Edward Andrews to take over the show because Andrews wants to retire. Andrews and Presley clash over a difference in management styles probably due to a generational difference.
There's only one girl that Elvis problems with, Marlyn Mason who wants to be involved with Elvis but not just romantically, she's organizing the Chautauqua performers for Actors Equity so we're talking labor/management issues as well.
Into this Music Man setting a murder is committed, the deceased is Dabney Coleman without his familiar mustache. This was at the beginning of Coleman's career, but he's starting his very fine line of really smarmy human beings he's taken a patent out on in performing. He owns the local drugstore/ice cream parlor and he's not above taking advantage of people in all kinds of ways.
Sheree North gives a nice performance as a single mom with a talented little daughter in Anissa Jones. And John Carradine as a ham actor and Vincent Price as a Chautauqua lecturer on morality make some great cameo appearances.
Elvis does not do much in the way of singing in The Trouble With Girls. I really liked his number Preach In Your Own Backyard, but it really didn't fit in a Twenties setting. A decade earlier Presley revived the Al Jolson classic Are You Lonesome Tonight and Colonel Parker should have worked that one in for the King.
Presley was coming to the end of his run as a film star and that's a pity because more people should have seen and appreciated The Trouble With Girls.
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