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DVD Review: GI Blues

DVD Review: GI Blues


After Elvis Presley got out of the army in 1960, he was instantly ushered into this Paramount movie about an Oklahoma singer who (surprise) gets out of the army and wants to open a club. Making a potentially lucrative bet that he can seduce a cabaret singer (Juliet Prowse), Elvis instead falls in love. Refurbished from his rockabilly roots into a slicker model for early-’60s pop, the Elvis of this movie is the one who made almost 30 more just like it. The songs include the title track, plus “It’s Not Good Enough for You,” “Tonight Is So Right for Love,” and “Wooden Heart.” Directed by Norman Taurog, a studio veteran who made his first film in 1928 and worked numerous times with Presley as well as Jerry Lewis. –Tom Keogh

This is the 1960 Elvis classic. This musical was filmed while Elvis was in the Army. It was filmed on location in West Germany and the Army even appointed an advisor. This was also Elvis’ first musical comedy

I will say this, the role was no stretch for the man. A singing GI in West Germany that could charm the ladies is what he was. Like most of this man’s movies, there was not a lot of struggle for him. Tom Parker just wanted him to do movies for the quick buck. This was sad, because Elvis had enough talent to go farther.

The story is simple. Elvis’ unit relieves a fellow tank unit in Frankfurt, Germany. There is a dancer, played by Juliet Prowse, there that is a real beauty but an iceberg to all the men. Elvis ends up having to romance her for a bet, as no GI has gotten to spend the night with her, yet. That’s it, no surprises, no great literary challenge, just a simple plot with Elvis songs and beautiful women.

The script was nominated for Best Written American Musical by the Writer’s Guild, but did not win. Edmund Beloin and Henry Garson were well respected writers and didn’t embarrass themselves.

Juliet Prowse was engaged to Frank Sinatra during the filming, so there was probably none of the normal flirting that Elvis was known for.

The one thing you can say for this movie was that it has a strong soundtrack. Elvis was toned down from his more risqué songs, but he delivers. That is one thing to never worry about from any of his movies. It is just sad, though, that Parker kept this man back from his true potential.

Review by Paul Shannon

Grade: A

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