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FUN IN ACAPULCO(director: Richard Thorpe; screenwriter: Allan Weiss; cinematographer: Daniel L. Fapp; editor: Stanley E. Johnson; music: Joseph J. Lilley; cast: Elvis Presley (Mike Windgren), Ursula Andress (Marguerita Dauphin), Elsa Cárdenas (Dolores Gomez), Paul Lukas (Maximillian Dauphin), Larry Domasin (Raoul Almeido), Alejandro Rey (Moreno), Robert Carricart (Jose Garcia), Teri Hope (Janie Harkins), Marco López (Bullfighter); Runtime: 97; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Hal B. Wallis; Paramount; 1963)
“The good news is that it’s no worse than Elvis’ usual underachieving musicals and the songs he sings though not great are at least bearable.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Another Elvis fluff pic (so what else is new!). The good news is that it’s no worse than Elvis’ usual underachieving musicals and the songs he sings though not great are at least bearable. The only memorable song was “Bossa Nova Baby.” The serviceable other songs include: the title song, “El Toro,” “The Bullfighter Was a Lady,” “Vino, Dinero y Amor,” “(There’s) No Room To Rhumba (In a Sports Car),” “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here,” “You Can’t Say No in Acapulco,” “Marguerita” and “Guadalajara.”

Director Richard Thorpe (“Night Must Fall”/”Jailhouse Rock”/Ivanhoe”) keeps the trite but pleasant story moving along. Allan Weiss writes the absurd mediocre screenplay in the formulaic Elvis way, which might satisfy the hardcore Elvis fans but leave others without much wiggle room to groove with the King.

Mike Windgren (Elvis Presley) arrives in Acapulco as a sailor on an American yacht and quickly gets fired over a misunderstanding involving the owner’s spiteful underage daughter Janie (Teri Hope). The ex-trapeze catcher is suffering from vertigo and trying get back his nerve after a fatal mishap at the circus, where he dropped his brother. Mexican shoeshine boy Raoul (Larry Domasin), a mere child, likes Mike’s singing and becomes his manager (speaking about any semblance of reality, this takes the cake!), quickly getting him a gig to fill-in for headliner Moreno (Alejandro Rey) at the plush Hilton Hotel and also as Moreno’s siesta-time fill-in lifeguard position at the hotel.

Mike becomes romantically involved with famous lady bullfighter Dolores (Elsa Cárdenas) and European transplant Maggie (Ursula Andress), the hotel’s assistant social director and the daughter of the hotel’s chef (Paul Lukas). Moreno, who is smitten with Maggie, becomes jealous of Mike, and the men get into a brawl when Moreno calls him a chicken. During the brawl Moreno injures his arm, which prompts Mike to take his place for a cliff dive at La Quebrada. Mike makes the dangerous dive and thereby conquers his fear of heights, and thereby makes plans with Maggie and Raoul to return to his family circus act in the States.

If this is having fun in Acapulco, I’ll stick to Hawaii.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”