Here’s John Coyote singing one of my favorite Elvis songs – “Don’t”.
Let’s begin today’s post with a trivia question: In which film did Elvis Presley wear a beard?
Yes… I said a BEARD. Do you know the answer? Not to worry – I didn’t know which one it was either.
On this day in 1968, Elvis began filming the movie CHARRO! It was a bust – Elvis had a beard and only one of his songs was used in the film. It was an all-around bummer.
Of course to die-hard Elvis fans (like me), anything he did was quite alright. Beard, no beard – whatever. He had music in his voice and I could listen to him sing forever. His presence on the big screen was mesmerizing.
Although 1968 seems like a very long time ago, sometimes it seems like yesterday. I used to hear my grandparents talk about how when they were young those were simpler, more innocent days. I didn’t know what they meant at the time they were telling me that, but now – well, I would say that 1968 was a simpler, more innocent time than 2016.
In 1968 I was 9 years old. It was a pre-computer age and our telephones were all landlines. There were not many “R” rated movies showing at the theater, and we had another Elvis movie to look forward to.
Elvis played Jess Wade, a man falsely accused of having stolen a cannon from the Mexican revolutionary forces. He tries to find the real culprits, a gang of criminals.
There were no F bombs and no scenes that were uncomfortable to watch in mixed company. I miss simplicity and innocence in films. No, this wasn’t his best movie, but I’d still rather watch it than some of the junk that they try to pass off as entertainment these days.
By 1968, Elvis had made 28 movies – and they were all starting to run together and the plots were beginning to seem very familiar. It seemed to be a matter of what environment they decided to put Elvis in. By the time movie number 29 was being filmed, they apparently thought the only thing they could do to change the routine of the plot was have Elvis grow a five-day shadow.
Real fans didn’t mind the familiarity of the plot – but even we were predicting with a fair degree of accuracy the twists and turns of the movies once there were so many of them. I head Elvis say in an interview that he wished he had spent less time working on movies and more time working on new music. He was a great talent to be sure and could obviously do either one – and whether you think anything he did was cheesy or not, I think it’s great that he left these gifts for us to enjoy. 🙂