Wallis Keeps Presley To Formula Grindstone
|Thank You, Scott MacGillivray, For This Photo Upgrade|
Elvis Adrift with Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962)
Remember when you first began meeting people who'd never seen Elvis pics in a theatre? For me, it was coming of (middle) age, and now it's tough finding anyone who recalls drop-off to shows like this, and what, thirty more of the things? Here was my impression of Big E's following: They were mostly kids --- at least that was case at the
Girls! Girls! Girls! was lucky for one song that broke out of an otherwise punk soundtrack and raced up charts: Return To Sender. It and the title tune are highlights here. Laurel Goodwin gave a good account of filming to interviewer Tom Lisanti in a marvelous book, Drive-In Dream Girls. She recalled Elvis as fine, but surrounded by a retinue "with I.Q's of 70." Goodwin also tabbed Wallis as "an old letch" known to contractees who spread word and warning amongst themselves. We might have guessed there was rivalry between girls, girls, and girls working with Elvis, which Laurel Goodwin confirms via account of "pain in the ass" Stella Stevens, who saw this show in slumming terms. I got through Girls! Girls! Girls! thanks to novelty of High-Def and rose-hue sniff of 60's showgoing that comes of all Elvis. So when did he become well and truly sick of doing them? Too bad the King ducked off-casting and dramatic stuff that might have changed tides, because when movies were finished with him, they were really finished. Still, for coming at a near-peak, Girls! Girls! Girls! did well: $3.1 million, which was down from his first two post-service, G.I. Blues and Blue Hawaii, but still solid in profit columns, penny-watcher Wallis not letting his pix run over.