GI BLUES(director: Norman Taurog; screenwriter: Edmund Beloin/Henry Garson; cinematographer: Loyal Griggs; editor: Warren Low; music: Joseph J. Lilley; cast: Elvis Presley (Tulsa McLean), Juliet Prowse (Lili), Robert Ivers (Cookie), James Douglas (Rick), Leticia Roman (Tina), Sigrid Maier (Marla), Arch Johnson (Sgt. McGraw), Mickey Knox (Jeeter), John Hudson (Capt. Hobart), Ken Becker (Mac), Jeremy Slate (Turk), Beach Dickerson (Warren), Trent Dolan (Mickey), Carl Crow (Walt), Fred Essler (Papa Mueller), Ron Starr (Harvey), Erika Peters (Trudy), Ludwig Stossel (Owner, puppet show); Runtime: 104; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Hal B. Wallis; Paramount; 1960)
“First film released after Elvis was discharged from his military duty.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
First film released after Elvis was discharged from his military duty. It’s also the first of nine bland films Norman Taurog (“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”/”Little Nellie Kelly”/”Pardners”) directed for Elvis, all box office hits. This one follows what would be the same formulaic routine of all the King’s future romantic/comedy-musicals with Paramount, where he woos the ladies, gets into a little trouble and strums his guitar, shakes his pelvis and sings.
Elvis’ ten songs include: “Doing What I Do Best,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Tonight Is So Right for Love,” “Wooden Heart,” and the title song.
Tulsa MacLean (Presley) is a tank gunner for the Spearhead Division stationed in West Germany. The ladies man and his cool Army buddies Rick (James Douglas) and Cookie (Robert Ivers) started a band called The Three Blazes and they can’t wait for their upcoming discharge from the peacetime Army to open a nightclub back home in Oklahoma.
The slight storyline has the lover boy tank-gunner wooing the Frankfurt cabaret dancer ice queen, Lili (Juliet Prowse), for strictly business reasons (if he dates her for the night, he wins enough cash for his dream nightclub from a wolfish playboy who didn’t score). In this trifle the King melts the ice queen’s heart, but then has to deal with the perturbed lady who learns of his mean-spirited scheme.
Writers Edmund Beloin and Henry Garson are the Shakespeare’s who dreamed up this storyline. Elvis drops his noted bad boy swivel to play the role of the clean-cut all-American soldier, who likes the girlies, has ambition and is a good citizen. His handlers turn him into a family-safe product that is a money-making machine.
REVIEWED ON 9/10/2009 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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