“Excuse me if I use this metaphor; don’t make them like Ann-Margret anymore.”
Elvis movies are the perfect antithesis to the transparent world we live in today. How many movies did Elvis Presley make? He acted and starred in 31 films from 1956 to 1969.
Long before digital downloads ever entered the digital mind, these MGM gems were rock ‘n roll Hollywood musicals, and many of the songs from Elvis’s movies were radio hits as well. The films were sugarcoated, honey-dipped and echoed the rabbit-eared, living room televisions of the day. These idealistic cinema-tastic spectacles were jam packed with beautiful girls and cool cars. Elvis would strum his guitar and sing into the eyes of his leading ladies, charismatically melting their hearts while melting the hearts of his adoring fans.
There was nothing crude or lewd about Elvis movies. Not a hair was out of place; not a bathroom in sight – a flawless premise where Elvis would always lose the girl but in the end he would win the race and win her back. Together they would drive off into the sunset. Every guy wanted to be Elvis, and every girl wanted to be his leading lady.
Today, we wittingly expose every imperfection, every blemish, creating celebrities out of just plain folk, all because they decided to bare their ass for the whole world to see. (Personally I believe some shows have merit, but there’s just something about Mayberry that soothes my soul.)
Reality TV is big business and also an inexpensive way for television executives to find people who are dying to steal the spotlight and do whatever it takes to perhaps one day get celebrity status at a fraction of the cost. In contrast, there was nothing factual or cheap about Elvis movies; Elvis was paid $1 million per film. And those movies were never meant to be anything but what they were, and still are today…just pure clean unadulterated fun.
“I’m turning off the s*%t on CNN; there’s a Presley flick on TBN; think I’ll kick it back and forget about life for a while.” That’s exactly what happens when I watch an Elvis movie. I slip into a world were Technicolor lovers dance across the silver screen of my fantasy.
Elvis movies are the polar opposite of what the world is now. Those feel-good films were created exactly to do just that…make you feel good, and as campy as they may seem now, they still have the same effect.
In a world where nothing is left to the imagination, for an hour and 45 minutes, I’d rather imagine what it would be like to be in an Elvis movie, than to be with a bunch of strangers deserted on an island called reality.
My sentiments propelled me to write a song called “Elvis Movie”. If you’re a fan of everything Elvis, it can be heard at www.davidorocks.com by previewing the album.