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In The Movies

March 03, 2020 | Book

G2 Entertainment re-issued the 176-page book Elvis In The Movies by Timothy Knight. 

Although he starred in 31 films and was ranked a top-10 box office draw for six consecutive years, Elvis Presley has never gotten his full due from film critics and historians, who often dismiss him as a singer, moonlighting on the silver screen, rather than a bona fide movie star. Yet the Tupelo, Mississippi, native known as "The King" enjoyed far greater success on-screen than any rock and roll star who followed his lead to Hollywood. 

Perhaps if he had ignored the Svengali-esque counsel of his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, and continued starring in dramatic, commercially risky films, instead of formulaic musical comedies, Presley might have become as electrifying an actor as he was a performer. 

But for most of his 13-year film career, Presley starred in light-hearted escapist fare that left many critics cold. That said, the best of these musical comedies -- Blue Hawaii(1961), Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962) and Viva Las Vegas (1964) -- are infectiously entertaining popcorn films, brimming with catchy songs and exuberant energy. 

Only the most hardened curmudgeon can resist Presley's sizzling duet with Ann- Margret in Viva Las Vegas. Or his easygoing rapport with Shelley Fabares in Clambake (1967), one of three films he made with the actress he called his favorite leading lady.