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Elvis Presley in Blue Hawaii
Short plot summary

Chad Gates (Elvis Presley) has been serving his country (in his previous movie GI Blues - and, of course, in real life too) and has just flown back to picture postcard perfect Hawaii with his centre fold perfect model girlfriend Maile Duval (Joan Blackman) waiting for him at the airport.

His Daddy's rich, he's good looking, he's got a great girlfriend, he's got a shack by the sea, the only cloud on the horizon is THE WORLD'S MOST ANNOYING MOTHER, played by Angela Lansbury, and then, later on in the movie, you come across his employer at the Travel Agency and you realise that somewhere in this movie was when Elvis movies started to go all wrong...

What our panel of critics thought
"I did me some checking on the internet and got me a scandal... Angela Lansbury was born in 1925, Elvis Presley was born in 1935. That means that in 1961, when this movie was made, Elvis Presley was 26, and Angela Lansbury, who played his mother, was 36."

"Is this the last of the good, or the first of the bad Elvis movies? Watch closely and you can see the fusion taking place."

"The great thing with Elvis is that no matter what kind of stupid useless dopey drippy situation or characters they put him with he comes out of it with a smile."

"One of my favourites, although it's such a sad moment when Elvis sings 'Can't help falling in love [with you]' to a 78 year old grandmother - although singing 'Hound Dog' to that floppy eared dog in a top hat on TV came close."

"Elvis has never been more buff."

Please tell me the ending

Mailie and Chad marry in picture postcard perfect Hawaiian marriage on a slow boat down a river which is glasslike.

Dr Bravisimo-Encore II Movie Review

Common wisdom says that this is the first of the bad Elvis movies, and it's hard to dispute that. However it is enjoyably bad, with some very good moments, saved by 26 year old Elvis and the scenery. Audiences around the world had just seen G I Blues which was quite good, and, before that, Jailhouse Rock which the same common wisdom says is probably Elvis's best movie. After Blue Hawaii watch Elvis movies at your peril.

This movie is woefully let down by the Angela Lansbury mother character, and the Travel Agent manager. However Elvis is so good the brown stuff just drips off him leaving no mark and you can't help loving him even more.

Quotable quotes (real)

"I was almost always true to you."

"Do you think you can satisfy a school teacher and four teenage girls?"

Singing about a fight he had just got into and was jailed for punching a guy in the face: "Till someone shoved his face against my hand."

Other comments

Some fantastic scenery, some excellent songs and a few hilariously dumb Elvis movie numbers. The Angela Lansbury character is atrocious and the travel agent manager is idiotic, but apart from that this movie has much to recommend in it.

The debate amongst Elvis fans as to whether this is the first bad Elvis movie, or the last good one, will run and run. It has elements of both.

It is a fun outing and it is quite amazing how Elvis gives a form of credibility to what is, at times, a truly awful screenplay.

Date of review

September 11, 2004

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