Sunday, November 15, 2009

Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley Makes His Movie Debut

On November 15, 1956, Elvis Presley made his movie debut in Love Me Tender. Elvis starred as Clint Reno, a man who stays home from the Civil War to take care of his mother. When his brothers return from the war after fighting for the confederacy, they discover that Clint has married one of their girlfriends. This creates some awkwardness as we all might imagine. Added to this awkwardness is the fact that Clint’s brothers rob a train on their way home from the war, and so they become fugitives from the law. How does Elvis deal with this? Well, from the looks of the trailer below, with singing and hip shaking. Enjoy this trailer which shows Elvis’ first foray into film.

Elvis would go on to act in 31 total films. Some have criticized his movies as being a distraction from his music career, which made it easier for him to be marginalized in 1960’s. However, I think it’s important to note that he made it acceptable for other artists after him to branch out into film as another avenue in which to promote their music. Elvis made Love Me Tender in 1956 which helped promote his single of the same name and others songs from the film. Similarly, the Beatles made A Hard Day’s Night in 1964, which helped promote their album of the same name. What’s interesting is that the Beatles made a film in which they starred as themselves parodying their own fame. Elvis entered the film world by trying to disappear into a B grade period film – while maintaining his signature hairdo and wiggle. I’ve never seen this movie but now I would be curious to watch it just to see how it all works (or if it works at all).

[Image via streamingoldies]

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