Girls! Girls! Girls!

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GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS!  is a dumb Elvis movie that can’t be discussed in any meaningful way other than to make mention of factoids left in its 1962 wake. It was the 11th of his 31 acting vehicles, with stateside earnings of $6,200,000 placing spot #31 for the year.  It was the third of nine directed by Norman Taurog, none of them worth much. Allan Weiss contributed the second of his six Elvian scripts, all formulaic, though he received help here from the slumming Edward Anhalt, who would win an Oscar for Becket, not that you would see how from this foolishness. Presley, 27, looking pretty good but for the Brylcreem oil slick in his hair, sings 12 tunes, by far the best of which, the great “Return To Sender” became a #2 chart hit (love that song!).

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As for the rest, a number like “Song Of The Shrimp” doesn’t leap to mind when great music is discussed (it’s actually kind of a charming calypso-knockoff–forget that the story is set in Hawaii), but then there is the head-scratcher “We’re Coming In Loaded”, and the feminist-lulling title tune (you had to be there). Co-star Stella Stevens wasn’t enamored of the picture, later telling Roger Ebert “Elvis is a nice guy; you can talk to him. One day I said, Elvis honey, why do you do this crap? He pondered and said, ‘Don’t knock success, Stella.’ Which is true. The odds against getting anywhere in the movies are so great that if you realized beforehand, you’d stay home.” Stevens later wrote a novel, “Razzle Dazzle”, based on Presley’s rise to fame.

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That brings us to the ‘plot’, which has Elvis as a fishing charter boat captain, Stevens as the girl (!) with an attitude  who’ll wait forever, Laurel Goodwin as the rich girl (!) who’ll buy our hero off she has to. Jeremy Slate gets jealous, Elvis gets confused, and you shut it off and put on a CD (or better,a record) of “Return To Sender”. 106 minutes, with Guy Lee, Benson Fong, Robert Strauss, Beulah Quo, Frank Puglia, Nestor Paiva and Red West. The “introduced” Miss Goodwin eventually evacuated show biz for nursing.

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