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GIRL HAPPY(director: Boris Sagal; screenwriters: Harvey Bullock/R.S. Allen; cinematographer: Philip H. Lathrop; editor: Rita Roland; music: George Stoll; cast: Elvis Presley (Rusty Wells), Shelley Fabares (Valerie Frank), Harold J. Stone (Big Frank), Gary Crosby (Andy), Joby Baker (Wilbur), Nita Talbot (Sunny Daze), Mary Ann Mobley (Deena Shepherd), Jackie Coogan (Sgt. Benson), Chris Noel (Betsy), Jimmy Hawkins (Doc), Fabrizio Mioni (Romano), Peter Brooks (Brentwood Von Durgenfeld); Runtime: 96; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: Joe Pasternak; MGM; 1965)
“Typical innocuous Elvis vehicle that might be brainless but at least is pleasant.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Typical innocuous Elvis vehicle that might be brainless but at least is pleasant. Director Boris Sagal (“Made in Paris”/”Masada”/”Mosquito Squadron”) keeps it snappy, well-crafted and forgettable, as he loads it up with songs, beautiful scenery and hot looking coeds in bikinis. Harvey Bullock and R.S. Allen turn in the standard-issue Elvis script.

Fort Lauderdale during college’s spring break serves as background for the popular film shot on the MGM back lot with no on-location shooting in Florida.

Rusty Wells (Elvis Presley) is the lead singer of a four-piece rock group, consisting of Andy (Gary Crosby), Wilbur (Joby Baker) and Doc (Jimmy Hawkins). The boys finish their gig in snowy Chicago for mob boss Big Frank (Harold J. Stone) and are first ordered to be held over for four more weeks against their will, but then asked by the boss to act as undercover chaperones for the concerned single parent’s cute coed daughter Valerie (Shelley Fabares). She’s on her spring break with two other girlfriends in Fort Lauderdale, and dad doesn’t want one of the college boys getting too intimate with his precious daughter.

At the vacation spot’s motel, the boys have their hands full keeping Valerie out of trouble. So Rusty volunteers to take over sole responsibility. When Valerie learns her over protective dad send Rusty there to spy on her, she goes on a wild drinking spree and lands in the slammer.

The only memorable song is the title number. Other songs include: “Cross My Heart and Hope To Die,” “Do Not Disturb,” “Spring Fever,” “Wolf Call,” “Do the Clam,” “Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce,” “Puppet on a String,” “I’ve Got to Find My Baby” and “The Meanest Girl in Town.”


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”