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The Elvis Files, Volume 4 1965-1968

By ElvisNews.com/ LexAug 28, 2011

The 3rd book in Erik Lorentzen's The Elvis Files series is volume 4 and handles 1965-1968. Is it as attractive as the first two parts that were issued?

Design

The massive book count 569 pages, including some page-sized ads. Just like the previous volume it handles the movies in depth. This information is decorated with tons of pictures. Thumbing through the book is a delight by itself.

Content

The book starts with some publicity shots and a part adapted from Fortas’ book From Memphis To Hollywood before it’s time to go on with the immortal Harum Scarum. Of course many pictures of the set, the movie and some publicity shots. There are some candids included from the time the movie was made. Talking about candids… this book contains many of them. Those impromptu moments always have something special.

Frankie and Johnny and Paradise, Hawaiian Style are next. The header by Piers Beagly “The Beatles were recording Rubber Soul, Bob Dylan was writing Like a Rolling Stone, and Elvis was singing Queenie Wahine’s Papaya” says it all! The articles from the magazines at the time weren’t too positive either, why didn’t he get awake earlier? It’s the death of Bill Black is the main referrer to better times…

1966 starts with some candids in the snow at Graceland before continuing the movie-years with Spinout. Double Trouble and Easy Come, Easy Go (contender for the title worst Elvis movie) follow. Clambake is the first 1967 movie, with quite some wardrobe shots making it more or less funny. Then it’s time for the wedding and honeymoon, with tons of more or less known pictures. Speedway has a bit extra because of Nancy Sinatra’s presence. Stay Away, Joe closes 1967.

Before going on with the movies, a baby was born in 1968 and of course the book covers the birth of Lisa-Marie thoroughly. Live a Little, Love a Little precedes the famous visit to Tom Jones in April and the Hawaii holiday in May. Then it is time for the comeback… publicity shots, pics from the recording sessions, press conference, rehearsals and of course the special itself… they’re all there! Next to the great pictures (unfortunately they differ in quality) it is fun to read the positive press about it!

Then it’s time for a quite different Elvis… the bearded one! Charro gets quite some coverage and there are even nude pics included! “Maffia” Elvis closes the movies with The Trouble With Girls, before the book finally finishes with another pile of candid moments.

Conclusion

This volume carries quite some candid pictures, which I happen to like, but because of the nature the quality is not as good as movie stills or publicity shots. To some that may be a minor, but to me those shots make Elvis more human and less God-like. It’s amazing how much time that man took for his fans!

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Reactions

Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 4, 2011report abuse
Elvis was a highly gifted singer and not an actor. Though some of his early movies were promising. Sinatra in High Society was also mediocre. It was just a musical. And musicals can indeed never be compared, Andy_1. Elvis got caught in this rud and did not get out of it till the latter part of the sixties. And that was with a big bang, showing his true greatness again.
Andy_2 (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 4, 2011report abuse
agree with you oldscudder, he was never going to be a great actor but as we know the films he had to make completely took away any chance he had of doing anything worthwhile on the big screen. I was just trying to make the point that this was the way he had decided to go in the sixties and to compare the movie soundtracks to records released by other artists is nonsense. Still wouldn't be without the films made between 56 to 62 though.
theoldscudder (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 4, 2011report abuse
Andy2 It's too bad Elvis never became a good actor. He was adequate in a few of his better films. He never really made a decent picture after Viva Las Vegas. Most movies after Viva are laughable at best. He basically had no range as an actor & played the same role, only the locations changed. He was no Sinatra. Frank had the acting chops & made the classic From Here To Eternity, garnering him the Oscar as best supporting actor.
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 1, 2011report abuse
I think you misunderstand my statement. What I meant is that Elvis'main drive in his life was his musical work. ('I missed the contact' as he stated himself) And he kept on going as it was the only thing that gave him some happiness. So please do understand my proper intention. He was just a normal human being with many flaws. So in the way you interpreted it Elvis did not lived and died for us (nor did Jesus in my opinion).
Tony C (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 31, 2011report abuse
Well said, Harvey, he neither lived nor died for us. Sometimes people go a bit over the top when describing Elvis' life.
Harvey Alexander (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 31, 2011report abuse
"He lived and died for us"? I think you'll find he didn't. That was Jesus. But away from that, this is an excellent book. I got my copy yesterday and there are so many photos I'd never seen before. Sure, it's sad to see him in all those lame popcorn films, but somehow that makes the 'comeback' so much better. By the time he got to do the '68 TV Special he was the real Elvis again and looked great. A fantastic book that every serious fan should buy.
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 30, 2011report abuse
Andy_2, I recently heard an interview with a 'Dylan' expert. He himself said that Dylan made a lot of worthless stuff, but the emphasys should be laid on the quality he made. Lately I am so fed up with Elvis fans focussing on the wrong things. Elvis' career is incomparable. Yes he made easy stuff (some call crap) but look at the greater picture. Your analysis is mine too! And let's face it, the final sentence of Lex' review: It’s amazing how much time that man took for his fans! Andnot that alone. He also did all he could in all fields for his fans. He lived and died for us.
Andy_2 (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 30, 2011report abuse
Natha, agree with you here and i'm getting a bit fed up seeing the comment "the beatles were doing this and bob dylan was doing this" etc. It's nonsense as Elvis had made it quite clear after getting out of the Army that becoming a good actor was the most important thing to him. His focus had shifted from the charts so to compare these albums with the movie soundtracks is plain daft. Would Elvis have gone in to the studio to cut a non movie album and sung Queenie? No not a chance. Look at what he was doing in 66 and 67 as recently put out on the Elvis sings Guitar man FTD. This was more like the real Elvis and in my opinion blows away anything the beatles or dylan did. Think the beatles never sang any crap, well take a good look as there's plenty to choose from. Book looks good though.
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 30, 2011report abuse
As a youth I did not like much of the Beatles and not at all Dylon, The Stones. I had just discovered Elvis. So there were so many great songs to get to know, I did not really notice 'Queenie Wahini". And a short while later I did not care as I liked the musical style of movies more than heavy stuff anyway. So to me, it doesn;t S'say it all'.

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