The "Outta Leftfield" Weblog

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Elvis just too cool in 'Blue Hawaii'

Every once in a while I enjoy being reminded just how cool Elvis was. And in the film “Blue Hawaii,” Elvis is cooler than the other side of the pillow.
It’s always been one of my favorite movies, so seeing it again recently was a treat. In fact, while watching the movie and enjoying the music, I got online and ordered the soundtrack, which arrived in the mail a few days later.
Elvis, whose character is named Chadwick Gates, was only 26 years old when the film was made in 1961. One thing I didn’t know was that Angela Lansbury, who played his mother, Sarah Lee Gates, was only 36 years old at the time of filming. She later said the role was the worst of her career, but really, the comedy interaction between her and Fred Gates (understatedly portrayed by the brilliant actor Roland Winters, who I quite enjoyed in the role of Charlie Chan in several films) is hilarious.
Despite the wonderful Hawaiian scenery and, of course, the pretty girls that were a staple of many Elvis films, I always go back to the music in this movie.
Critics over the years have described these Elvis movies as having dull plots and mediocre songs. But I really like the CD and have been playing it in my car since I got it. I particularly like “Rock-A-Hula Baby” and “Moonlight Swim.” Of course, the Elvis hit, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” would become Elvis’ closing song for many of the concerts in the 1970s.
The album spent 20 weeks in 1961 as No. 1 on the Top Pop Albums chart, was Elvis’ biggest selling album during his lifetime and has been certified as triple platinum. The CD I have is a remastered version of the original with eight bonus tracks and was re-released in 1997.
The couple of hours I invested in watching the movie and the $10 I forked over for the CD was time and money well spent.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

No new "Outta Leftfield" blog entry this week??? It's a travesty!

May 6, 2010 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Mike Morsch said...

Sorry. Knee surgery on Monday. Advance scouting report reveals the unconfirmed rumor that the pre-surgery shaving of said knee costs $369. I'd shave it myself for that kind of money.

May 8, 2010 at 8:53 AM  

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Location: Fort Washington, Pennsylvania

Mike Morsch has been executive editor of Montgomery Newspapers since 2003. His award-winning humor column "Outta Leftfield" has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, the Suburban Newspapers of America and the Philadelphia Press Association.

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