“Who’s fighting sex? It’s a healthy American commodity. It sells Coke, cream, steam engines, shampoo, real estate, and toothpaste. It can sell singers, too.”
A traveling music producer (Lizabeth Scott) and her ex-husband (Wendell Corey) nurture the talents of a delivery boy (Elvis Presley) whose singing is a huge hit with local teens. Scott does everything she can to promote Presley, but his loyalties are torn between fame and romance with a young singer (Dolores Hart).
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Aspiring Stars
- Elvis Presley Films
- Lizabeth Scott Films
- Wendell Corey Films
Elvis Presley’s second feature film — after his debut in the western Love Me Tender (1956) — was much better suited to his talents and persona, essentially telling a variation on his own rise to fame and manipulation by an ambitious producer. The most interesting character is Scott’s husky-voiced, middle-aged promoter, who is still clearly enamored with her singing ex-husband (Corey) but equally determined to take advantage of Presley’s explosive popularity; she’s a relatively complex figure and we’re kept guessing what moves she’ll make next. Hart, in her debut film, is sweet and sympathetic as Presley’s friend and would-be lover, and Presley is in top crooning form. The storyline itself isn’t original enough to merit much attention, but it’s a pleasant enough diversion.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Lizabeth Scott as Glenda
- A fun, early glimpse at Elvis’s meteoric fandom
- Nice incorporation of numerous foot-tapping tunes
No, though it’s worth a look if you enjoy Presley’s early on-screen presence.