King Creole

By Blogcritics/ David BowlingJul 2, 2008
King Creole
The world, as millions of Elvis fans knew it, came to an end in late 1957. Elvis Presley received his draft notice ordering him to report for service on December 20th. The draft board would agree to postpone his induction until March 24, 1958 so he could finish the movie, King Creole. Elvis would serve in the army for two years and be honorably discharged on March 2, 1960.
There is no doubt that Elvis made a number of uninspiring movies during his lifetime but there were several films that ranged from good to excellent. King Creole remains one of his better films and is still entertaining a half century later. It was also Elvis’ favorite film. Elvis trivia question: What was the only Presley film nominated for a Golden Globe award as best picture of the year in the musical or comedy category?

King Creole was directed by the legendary Michael Curtiz. He won the Oscar for best director for the film Casablanca. He also directed such films as White Christmas, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Captain Blood, and Yankee Doodle Dandy. This proved that with capable and creative direction, Elvis could make good movies.

The film, King Creole, also produced another interesting story. Elvis’ female co-star was Delores Hart who also starred in the film, Loving You. She would leave acting in the 1960’s and enter a cloistered convent as a nun. Today she is a Mother Superior but remains a voting member of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and gets to vote for the best picture Oscar each year.

Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker, continued to produce many of the songs for Elvis’ films from his own writing factory. He hired writers to churn out songs which would hurt the overall quality of the films. Parker maintained an iron hand over Elvis Presley’s career and would reject any ideas, no matter how good, that would threaten that control.

The soundtrack album to King Creole was above average but not a superior effort. It is also one of those soundtrack albums that require the listener to be familiar with the film. Many of the songs come off better when they can be placed in context. There are three superior songs contained on this album. The title song “King Creole,” and “Trouble” were both written by Leiber-Stoller and not Parker’s lackeys. Both are rockers and “Trouble” would remain an Elvis concert staple for years. “Hard Headed Woman” remains a classic Elvis song and would be a number one single release.

“Steadfast, Loyal and True” was another Leiber-Stoller creation and “New Orleans” has a nice bluesy feel to it. However, such songs as “Lover Doll,” “Crawfish,” “Young Dreams,” and “Dixieland Rock” may fit within the context of the film, but taken on their own they are the first in a long line of filler songs that would grace Elvis’ soundtrack albums.

King Creole has some good and some not so good. While I recommend the movie this soundtrack is not an Elvis Presley classic. When I want to play some Elvis on the old stereo system King Creole does not come to mind.


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sugartummy (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 19, 2013report abuse
Only the ballads disappoint. All the rockers shine, especially Hard Headed Woman, Trouble & New Orleans.
oldrooty (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 4, 2008report abuse
I must disagree with this review. This is probably the best film and film soundtrack he ever made. This is classic Elvis. I love the opening scenes of the film when he sings Crawfish with Kitty White. Crawfish, a soundtrack filler? You'll find plenty of those as Elvis progressed into the sixties. There weren't many mixed race duets in America in the 50's and although they dubbed out Kitty's voice on the original soundtrack, this was revolutionary. I think this was a good bluesy song. Maybe some people prefer to listen to the Song of the Shrimp on their old stereo system but this was not the essence of Elvis.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 3, 2008report abuse
Aaron P - Let me rephrase what I said. Yes he did sing like that again on such LPs as From ELvis In Memphis and the TV Special. What I meant was he never 'sounded' quite like that again. Maybe it was due to his voice changing & getting lower or whatever but the youthful edge he had in that rough high register on such songs as Hard Headed Woman, King Creole & others was never duplicated after the 50's. Just listen to Jailhouse Rock 1957 & then again in 1968. Its a whole different voice. Thats what I meant. Of course Elvis sang with feeling after the 50's, I didnt mean that he didnt.
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 3, 2008report abuse
Again a superb album, full of RnR. I bought the single of Hard Headed Woman in the early sixties and it is hard to describe the sensation of hearing it! Those were the days of raw RnR. Though I also remember seeing the movie I was a bit disappointed not to see him perform this great song. The movie is definitely one of my favorites, one to watch regularly.This young Elvis was about to change gradually in the music master of the late sixties and the seventies. Both were outstanding periods, but I have to admit my personal preference is the fifties and King Creole surely fits into that.
Jesse Garon Presley (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 3, 2008report abuse
Great Album indeed..but Elvis made more Great Albums after this..what about From Elvis In Memphis? TTWII? 68 comeback? shall i go on? don't ever say he didn't sing like that again, he proved after ""King Creole" he could still sing like that...
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 3, 2008report abuse
Dixieland meets Rock N Roll. Now this was when Elvis was willing to really experiment. Elvis' first true soundtrack LP and the best one he ever made. Im still amazed at his voice on New Orleans and Trouble. To me, he never sang quite like that again. Maybe thats what Lennon meant. Anyway, a true classic.
dressingroomrehearsa (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 2, 2008report abuse
this was the very first elvis presley movie I ever saw as thirteen years old youngster the year he passed away. Having owned a collection of those recording session outtakes, I consider it as a gem of a soundtrack. I like thos dixie styled alternate version of the title track, and every snippet of outtakes that ever will appear. I forgot the bootleg's name as its 25 years ago, but I gave it many come and get us a fine three cd set for the fiftieth birthday of its original release by christmas! also read the novel the movie based on.

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