MY FAVORITE ELVIS MOVIES, RANKED
It was thirty-nine years ago that the King made his final exit, leaving behind a legacy of music and film that few have been able to touch. Since I was inspired by @Diplomatic_diva to share my fifteen favorite songs yesterday, I've decided to share my favorites from his film career today.
- •A link to my list from yesterday because it wouldn't fit in the description above.
- •Honorable Mention: Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite (1973)While the '68 Comeback Special will always be my fave, this is still a concert that's worth seeing. I also kind of feel like his jumpsuit should have gotten top billing because it is spectacular.
- •Honorable Mention: Elvis (a.k.a. The '68 Comeback Special)I realize that this isn't technically a movie but it is footage of Elvis doing what he did best. (Be sure to keep an eye out for Darlene Love, who provided background vocals for the special.)
- •Elvis on Tour (1972)A behind-the-scenes documentary that shows he still had a swoon-worthy voice and charisma to burn even as his career started its downward spiral. (Fun fact: some of the film's montages were put together by a then unknown Martin Scorsese, who employed the same editing technique for this project that he used for the film of Woodstock.)
- •Elvis: That's the Way It Is (1970)A great film that documents the King's return to the stage after years of focusing on his film career.
- •This is Elvis (1981)After Elvis's death in 1977, Col. Tim Parker granted filmmakers Matthew Leo and Andrew Solt access to previously unseen home movies. The two ended up taking those movies and combining them with concert footage to create a warts-and-all account of one music's greatest legends long before the idea for shows like Behind the Music had even been conceived.
- •Blue Hawaii (1961)In addition to returning him to the romantic lead in filmusicals that made him a success, it also turned out to be the biggest film of his career. (It also doesn't hurt that it features QUEEN Angela Lansbury as his disapproving mother.)
- •Live a Little, Love a Little (1968)Best known for introducing the song "A Little Less Conversation", it went against Elvis's (mostly) squeaky clean film image by showing him sharing a bed with a woman and having a psychedelic freak-out.
- •Change of Habit (1969)Is it the greatest film he ever made? Erm, no. But it is his last and features Mary Tyler Moore as a young nun who must decide whether to take her final vows or follow her heart's desire. (Also be sure to watch out for a pre-The Mary Tyler Moore Show Ed Asner.
- •Jailhouse Rock (1957)It really is a great film but I also have to admit that a good chunk of my love for it is rooted in the fact that it was just so gosh darn scandalous back when it was originally released. I mean not only did it have a convict as its hero and use the word "hell" as a profanity, but it also has a scene of Elvis Presley sharing a bed with Judy Tyler.
- •King Creole (1958)Elvis stars as nightclub singer who's trying to escape the clutches of a crime boss (played by Walter Matthau) in the Big Easy. What makes it great, though, is that it's easily Elvis's grittiest performance and features his rawest rock tunes in songs like "Trouble" and "Hard-Headed Woman". (It also features a pre-The Addams Family Carolyn Jones.)
- •Viva Las Vegas (1964)Not only does this feature one of my favorite duets of all time ("The Lady Loves Me"), it's also the first time Elvis had a leading lady who could compete with his showmanship, hip shaking, and sex appeal.