Wednesday, April 05, 2017

An Elvis Movie You Can Skip

There was a certain sameness to Elvis Presley's movies. A prime example is "Double Trouble," which premiered on this day in 1967.

Now, you know when you watch an Elvis movie that you aren't going to be watching something that was nominated for an Oscar for anything — even the music, which was the reason for it all.

But the movies and the music didn't always fall as short of the mark as they did with "Double Trouble."

There was a symbiotic relationship between Elvis' records and movies. Elvis movies existed primarily to promote Elvis' latest records — and, since just about anything with Elvis' name on it was guaranteed to make money, there doesn't seem to have been much thought given to many of the albums he made or the films that were made to promote them.

One could say many things about Elvis Presley, but one thing you could say about him that would encounter virtually no dissent would be the assertion that Elvis did not record concept or theme albums.

The main concern seems to have been to grind it out as quickly as possible and move on to the next one. In many years, Elvis made two, three, even four movies.

Plot? What plot? Plots were flimsy at best. Sometimes they were (ostensibly) dramatic stories, and sometimes they were (again, ostensibly) comedies. "Double Trouble" was a comedy. Ostensibly.

He had an attractive co–star (Annette Day). His co–stars were always attractive, though. The story was set in Europe, but Elvis' movies were set all over the world. They say it's good to be King.

There were better Elvis movies. Most of them, in fact.

Elvis made more than 30 movies, three of them in 1967, which was probably his weakest year on the big screen.

"Double Trouble" was arguably the weakest of the three. The soundtrack album the movie spawned was clearly the weakest of the three that hit music stores that year.

Nevertheless, the movie was the No. 58 moneymaker at the box office, and Presley's album reached No. 47 on the Billboard charts despite the absence of any true hits.

As I say, anything with Elvis' name on it made money.

But ...

If you see "Double Trouble" listed in your TV listings, do yourself a favor.

Don't watch it.