Sixties City presents a wide-ranging series of articles on all aspects of the Sixties, penned by the creator of the iconic 60s music paper Mersey Beat
Elvis' 28th, opened in the U.S. on October 23rd 1968, although it was never
released in British cinemas. The script, by London-born Michael Hoey, was
based on Dan Greenberg's first novel 'Kiss My Firm But Pliant Lips.' Norman
Taurog was directing his ninth and last Elvis movie and it was to be his
last film. Elvis plays Greg Nolan who is driving his jeep on Malibu Beach
when he meets a girl called Bernice (Michelle Carey) who, after Greg spurns
her advances when she says "Will you make love to me?", sets her ferocious
Great Dane named Albert on him, forcing him into the surf. There were rumours
that the dog was Elvis's own Great Dane, Brutus, but this is untrue.
She then takes Greg back to her beachfront home where she drugs him with pills and he is incapacitated for several days. When he recovers he discovers that, due to his absence from work, he's been sacked from his job as a newspaper photographer with the Hollywood Citizen News. He also finds that she has moved all his possessions into her beach house. Annoyed with her, Greg has to find himself a new apartment, which is so expensive that, to make ends meet, he has to take on two jobs: one with a posh advertising agency run by Louis Penlow (Rudy Vallee) and another with Classic Cat Magazine, a 'girlie' mag similar to Playboy. He has to juggle each of the jobs to prevent his bosses realising that he's working for someone else.
Taurog was trying to make a 'stewball comedy' and it is possibly Elvis' first 'adult' film as he gets to sleep with the female character, who is an odd woman (Greg says she is "Nuts. Absolutely nuts!") who keeps assuming different names (Bernice, Betty, Suzy, Alice), and personalities, although he eventually falls in love with her. When they are initially in bed together, Greg places a board between them - harking back to the Clark Gable/Claudette Colbert scene in Frank Capra's screwball comedy 'It Happened One Night.' There are lots of girls in Elvis' movies and this one isn't any different. The credits list them as 1st secretary, 2nd secretary, Perfume Model, 1st model, 2nd model, 3rd model, 4th model, model, female companion, 1st woman, 2nd woman, 3rd woman, blonde, lobby model, dancer, masseuse, girl at party, etc.
Hennin, who played Sally the Mermaid model, had a hot affair with Elvis
in real life. There is also a fight scene in which Elvis fights his two
real-life bodyguards Red and Sonny West. He also knocks out Harry, played
by Dick Sargent (later to star in the TV series 'Bewitched'), for kissing
Bernice. Elvis' father Vernon appears briefly as an extra sitting at a table,
but is uncredited.
There was no soundtrack or EP issued for the movie, but a single 'A Little Less Conversation' was issued, although it didn't reach the Top 40. Ironically, in 2002, a remix of the number took Elvis to the top of the charts. There were only four numbers in the movie: 'Wonderful World', penned by Guy Fletcher and Doug Flett which is sung over the opening credits; 'Edge of Reality', by Bill Grant, Bernie Baum and Florence Kate, which is featured in a dream sequence; 'A Little Less Conversation' by Mac Davis and Billy Strange, sung to Celeste Yarnell at a pool party, and 'Almost In Love' by John Bonfa and Randy Starr, which Elvis sings to Michele Carey. The songs were recorded at Western Recorders in Los Angeles in March 1968 and featured Elvis on vocals with Joseph Gibbons, Neil Levang, Alwin Casey and Charles Britz on guitar; Pete drake on steel guitar; Larry Knetchal, Charles Berghofer on bass; Don Randi on piano; Hal Blaine and Gary Coleman on drums. Another song, 'Let's Live a Little', was cut from the film.
|Bill Harry attended the Liverpool College of Art with Stuart Sutcliffe and John Lennon and made the arrangements for Brian Epstein to visit The Cavern, where he saw The Beatles for the first time. Bill was a member of 'The Dissenters' and the founder and editor of 'Mersey Beat', the iconic weekly music newspaper that documented the early Sixties music scene in the Liverpool area and is possibly best known for being the first periodical to feature a local band called 'The Beatles'. He has worked as a high powered publicist, doing PR for acts such as Suzi Quatro, Free, The Arrows and Hot Chocolate and has managed press campaigns for record labels such as CBS, EMI, Polydor. Bill is the critically acclaimed author of a large number of books about The Beatles and the 60s era including 'The Beatles Who's Who', 'The Best Years of the Beatles' and the Fab Four's 'Encyclopedia' series. He has appeared on 'Good Morning America' and has received a Gold Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.|
Article Bill Harry 2017 Original Graphics SixtiesCity 2017