Kid Galahad (1962)

Kid Galahad (1962)

“Make sure this pigeon don’t get away.”

A debt-ridden promoter (Gig Young) convinces an Army veteran (Elvis Presley) to work with a trainer (Charles Bronson) and box a few rounds so he can save up for his dream of working as a mechanic. When Presley falls in love with Young’s sister (Joan Blackman), Young expresses his dismay, angering his long-suffering girlfriend (Lola Albright) — but soon the demands of gangsters requesting payment dominate Young’s concerns. Will Presley be set up for a beating?

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Boxing
  • Charles Bronson Films
  • Elvis Presley Films
  • Gangsters
  • Gig Young Films
  • Musicals
  • Phil Karlson Films
  • Veterans

Elvis Presley’s tenth feature film (he made a total of 31 between 1956-1969) was this musical remake of Michael Curtiz’s 1937 film starring Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, and Bette Davis. While he does sing a few (fairly unmemorable) tunes, Elvis’s musical gifts are a sidebar to his k.o. talents here, and perhaps his fans were excited to see him shirtless in a ring.

But overall, there’s not much to keep one engaged, given that Elvis’s Walter Gulick is a straight-arrow, small-town veteran and would-be mechanic who simply wants to marry his girl (Blackman is pretty, but also pretty bland).

Young’s despicable promoter and his put-upon female companion (Albright) are the most complex characters in the screenplay:

… but there’s not much enjoyment in watching them work out their neuroses and challenges; and Bronson’s role is too small to count for much.

Will Elvis emerge triumphant by the end? Well, this isn’t Love Me Tender (1956)

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Some nice location shooting in Idyllwild, California (with cinematography by Burnett Guffey)

Must See?
No; this one is only must-see for Presley fans.


One thought on “Kid Galahad (1962)

  1. Not must-see…and it isn’t ‘Raging Bull’ either…but Presley fans will enjoy it, and it’s of mild interest for fans of director Phil Karlson.

    It’s a bit hard to imagine the director of ‘Kansas City Confidential’ and ’99 River Street’ (etc.) taking on an Elvis flick but, considering the content, one can see why Karlson came on board. It doesn’t do much for his noir leanings but it does give the flick a dose of lean toughness.

    Otherwise, this is standard Presley. Though of a lighter shade, Blackman has a touch of Presley’s porcelain looks (now echoing Priscilla). Acting honors go to Albright who, though a bit wasted, manages more subtext than the script deserves.

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