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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
When Elvis was on the stage singing "Clean Up your Own Backyard". The musician behind him is playing a Yamaha 12 string guitar(Most likely, a Yamaha FG-220), which is a dreadnought. Elvis is playing a six string dreadnought. Both guitars in question are square shouldered dreadnoughts with a 14th fret neck/body join.
Considering the movie itself being set in 1927, both the six string guitar and the twelve string instrument Elvis and his backup musician were playing didn't exist in 1927.
The dreadnought guitar was invented in 1931 by CF Martin & Co. and had round shoulders with a neck/body join at the 12th fret. The square shouldered dreadnought with the 14th fret neck/body join wasn't introduced until 1934. See more »
One of the few of Elvis' last movies I'd never seen before, and kind of refreshing. The action takes place in 1927 and that setting looks and feels very much in the spirit of the period as Presely plays the cool manager of a traveling show, or a "Chautauqua". He tries to keep the show going on and the profits coming in, while all sorts of crazy situations present themselves, including a murder. There's quite a cast of characters on hand: Marlyn Mason is the union shop steward and piano player, Sheree North is the local town slut, Dabney Coleman plays a despicable gambling drug store merchant, and even Vincent Price and John Carradine get into the act as members of the troupe (Price is delightful as an energetic Philosopher, but Carradine not so much in a wasted quickie as a Shakespearean actor). Also featuring little Anissa Jones (Buffy from "Family Affair") and a quick singing turn by Susan Olsen (Cindy of "The Brady Bunch").
The direction here is sometimes odd, but some handling of sequences are interesting. Elvis is solid in the film and really looks great if not a true reflection of the times, but the only song of note is his rather nifty rendition of "Clean Up Your Own Back Yard", one of the film's highlights. Someone really made a mistake in coming up with this extremely inappropriate title, though -- this is not one of Presley's typical formula films about girls, girls, and more girls ... it's misleading and doesn't do the movie justice. **1/2 out of ****
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