on August 3, 2002
Originally titled "Beach Boy", this musical comedy became the most successful film of Elvis Presley's career. Elvis stars as Chad Gates, whose wealthy family owns a successful pineapple plantaion in Hawaii. In the opening scenes Chad has just returned from the Army. His parents are eager for him to pursue the family business. Chad chooses instead to work as a guide in the tourist agency where his girlfriend Maile (Joan Blackman), is also employed. His new vocation not only allows him to use his knowledge of the islands' most beautiful sites but also affords him enough time to cavort on the beach with his native Hawaiian buddies. Tension mounts as Sara Lee (Angela Lansbury), Chad's blue-blooded mother, objects to his job, his girlfriend, and his beach-loving friends. Chad eventually proves successful in his new vocation and finally wins the approval of his family by marrying Maile and making plans to open his own tourist agency.
Though a very good muscial comedy and hugely successful at the box office, Blue Hawaii sealed Elvis's fate in terms of his film career. Though Flaming Star and Wild In The Country had not lost money at the box-office and were better films, they did not generate the profit as this film had done. The Colonel used the box-office grosses of Blue Hawaii to convince Elvis that his fans preferred him in musical comedies.
It's interesting to note that Juliet Prowse had originally been slated to play the part of Maile Duval but was replaced with the lesser known Joan Blackman due to ludicrous demands made to Fox Studios to accept the part.
on August 12, 2002
As bad as a lot of the movies Elvis made were (and let's be honest, they were AWFULLY bad), it should be noted that a number of the better ones could be compared stylistically to the James Bond movies that were made during the same time peiod.
Think about it...you have a charismatic lead character who usually finds himself with some kind of problem (albeit of varying degrees) in some exotic locale surrounded by beautiful women and with only his charm and wit to get him through the situation (although James Bond had Q's gadgets, Elvis had his golden tonsils and any guitar that happened to be in the frame at the time he needed accompaniment to sing a song that could be sung by no one else...for whatever reason needed to advance the plot).
Even though "G.I. Blues" established the prototype by which a seemingly endless run of Elvis/Hal Wallis movies would be copied after his release from his military obligation, "Blue Hawaii" seems to have been one of the defining moments in Elvis' life (his subsequest return there to make additional movies AS WELL AS the "Aloha" concert broadcast worldwide in 1973 seem to confirm that the Sandwich Islands always had a special place in The King's rather ample heart...and you can't convince me that the number of Elvis songs included in the "Lilo & Stitch" soundtrack would've been there without that same connection); although this movie does have occasionally painful spots as afar as the acting is concerned, I actually believe that Elvis' own performance is rather inspired. And his supporting cast seems to be enjoying their roles, as well.
Of course, the film itself is just gorgeous to watch...well-photographed, and the collection of songs is particularly strong (the "Blue Hawaii" soundtrack was the biggest-selling pop music album during the entire DECADE of the 1960's, after all...and that beats anything that John, Paul, George & Ringo put out, as well), so overall this really is about as good as a total package as you could hope for.
The cultural status of this film also stands the test of time...it is probably the first movie that comes to mind when "Elvis" and "movies" are mentioned in the same sentence; all I needed to accept this idea was seeing the result of the collabration between the two greatest post-Elvis icons of the entertainment industry during the 20th Century (Saturday Night Live and Wayne Gretzky) in a parody of "Blue Hawaii" called "Rock-Hula-Hockey" (or something like that)...truly a defining experience that crosses all boundaries!
on January 8, 2001
Viewing this 1961 movie from the perspective of 2001 is a nostalgic treat. It recalls the days when the hottest venue in town was the local movie theater showing Beach Party movies, Vincent Price/Edgar Allan Poe flicks, John Wayne Westerns, and Elvis' latest musical romp.
"Blue Hawaii" is the prototype of Elvis' subsequent movies. It helped change his movie persona from the James Dean wannabe of the pre-army movies into the familiar pop rock star of the mid-'60s. A very slender Elvis returns home from the army and settles in to enjoy life in the sun and spend time with his girl, Maile (Joan Blackman). His stuffy parents disapprove of his beach bum life, disapprove of his friends, and want him to put his nose to the family grindstone in his father's business. This conflict sets in motion the lightweight plot with its obligatory singing, dancing, and romantic complications. As in many of Elvis' pictures, the story merely serves as a framework for the 14 or so musical numbers. Among the best are "Rock-A-Hula Baby," "Beach Boy Blues," and the classic "Can't Help Falling in Love." The scenery is wonderful, the music is fun, and the comedy provokes both groans and chuckles. Angela Lansbury is hilarious as Elvis' southern belle mother. Her air-headed character is an amusing satire of Tennessee Williams. Howard McNear (you know, Floyd the barber on "Andy Griffith") is funny as a befuddled owner of a tourist service. Joan Blackman and a bevy of nubile beauties look good in sixties swimwear. Great color photography and solid Hall Wallis production values add to the enjoyment. Kick back and enjoy the fun. ;-)
on December 15, 2000
Great location, great music, poor script - but who really cares when Elvis is on screen doing his thing and singing some of the best songs to ever come out of one film.
Elvis returns to the islands from the army determined not to enter into his rich father's pineapple business, preferring to try and make a go of a tour guide business with his Hawaiian girlfriend. His snobbish mother; Landsbury in a great over the top acting part complete with Southern drawl,("Have you got some sugar for your mother?") is horrified but she and his father eventually agree to let him try.
After various plot twists involving a tourist group made entirely up of young girls, he eventually makes a go of things and marries the girl.
Favourite songs have to be, Can't Help Falling In Love, which he sings to his girlfriend's grandmother for her birthday and Almost Always True. Other songs are, Rock A Hula Baby, Hawaiian Wedding Song, Blue Hawaii, Aloha Oe, No More, Moonlight Swim, Ku-u-i-po, Ito Eats, Slicin' Sand, Hawaiian Sunset, Beachboy Blues and Island of Love.
Nice piece of romantic, musical escapism.
on July 30, 2000
What is a self-proclaimed intellectual doing watching (and loving) Elvis films? I make no claims about Norman Taurog as a director, nor about the credibility of the script, nor about the authenticity of the Hawaiian music. I DO claim, however, that Elvis is the The King. The songs, the music, and the singing are fantastic. Everything else is strung onto Elvis like strings of popcorn around a Christmas tree.
Not all Elvis films are this good. What makes this one better are the glossy production values; and the letterbox print definitely helps. Angela Lansbury puts in a highly amusing performance as Elvis's ditzy Southern Belle mama (after all, Hawaii is the southernmost state, no?). The whole story hinges around Elvis's return from the military and his desire to return to his cozy beach bum existence, while mater and pater want him to join the family pineapple firm.
The King, of course, is subject to no law. He goes into the tour guide business, marshalling a well-preserved teacher and her four teenage charges around the islands. His Franco-Hawaiian girlfriend is jealous that there's more than tourism going on behind closed doors.
At the end, everything comes together. Elvis gets hitched AND finds a way to work in tourism and for the pineapple firm at the same time. All is at peace in the world, and the music wells up. Finis.
on June 3, 1999
Tour Hawaii with Elvis Presley!!! That's a pretty good description of this musical, the success of which marked the end of the singer's attempts at being a serious actor. For what it is--a travelogue with music and a slight plot--it isn't bad at all. But "King Creole," "Flaming Star," and even "Follow That Dream" demonstrated that Elvis could indeed act when given half the chance. That's all "Blue Hawaii" is, though: half a chance. The songs aren't exactly rock and roll, but most provide pleasant listening, and, of course, this is the movie that introduced the lovely "Can't Help Falling in Love," the song with which he would end all of his concerts in the 70s. Angela Lansbury is on hand as Elvis' mother, even though she was only a few years older than him (just as she was only a few years older than Laurence Harvey when she played his mother in "The Manchurian Candidate" the next year, a movie in which Elvis might just as well have been cast considering his apparent manipulation at the hands of Colonel Parker), and, of course, there are plenty of luscious babes about for those who don't consider Angela a turn on. "Blue Hawaii" is a real mixed bag. It is, perhaps, the very definition of "fluff," and as fluff it is attractive, but it would ultimately lead to dozens of execrable imitations that would make Presley's movie career one of the most lamentable in history. The writing was on the wall and, more importantly, in the grosses.
on May 28, 2003
Elvis was the age of 26 at the time of filming. This is his 8th film. Paramount Pictures presents Blue Hawaii. Everyone enjoys this film. Breath-taking locations and beautiful music. Elvis plays "Chad". He has been overseas for two years in the army and flys in to come back home to Hawaii. Waiting for him is "Maile" played by Joan Blackman. Elvis decides to head for the beach where he has a shack. Out for a swim, he meets the Hawaiian guys in their canoe that he was friends with and played music together. Later, he comes home to see his parents. Angelea Lansbury plays his mom. Lansbury was the age of 35 during filming. Howard McNear plays "Mr. Chapman". You'll remeber him as "Floyd, The Barber" on the Andy Griffith Show (1960-1967). Tiki Hanelot played "Ping-Pong". No special features or bonus on this DVD. Just the theatrical trailer. Film shown in squeezy Widescreen.
on August 12, 2001
Blue Hawaii has Elvis Presley on the island for the first time. And has returned home after a two years stay in the army. Chad Gates (Elvis Presley) has come home from the army. And while he was away he keep kept getting a letter from his mother and father every week reminding him of his home and his future in his father's pine apple business. And Chad doesn't want to hear "He's the boss's song be nice to him."
So he decides to get his girlfreind to to drive him to the beach. And for 5 days he stays there. While his father named Fred Gates finds out that Chad is home he pays Chad's girlfriend a visit at her job.
He has heard that Chad has been back but his mother Sara Lee doesn't know this. So his girl firend goes to the beach and Chad tells her "Oh Yes, I can, the G.I. Bill Of Rights Say I get my old job back this is my old job."
But does go home any way.
on July 13, 2002
I'm not a big Elvis fan but i've always loved this movie more than all of his others. I never thought of him as a great actor but he does (did) have wonderful stage presentation and is also wonderful to look at. God, he just ozzed sex.But the main reason why i bought this was for "The Hawaiian Wedding Song." I've always thought of it as a beautiful song of ultimate love and combined with that whole wedding scene and hearing the music in 5.1 just gives me goose bumps all over. That song alone is worth the whole movie.The other songs, costumes, beautiful Hawaii itself and the other actors all speak for themselves and i just LOVE Angela Lansbury as the mother. She is just a hoot and plays the part to a "tee."It's just a great movie and if you like old fashion romance, nice music, a sexy Elvis, beautiful secenery you'll really enjoy this movie. Good job!
on November 8, 2002
If I had to summon up the content of this whole movie in one word, it would be: "exotic". Why I say that is because of the scenery, the palm trees, the Waikiki beach, the beach boys and girls, the Hawaiian music, the ukeleles, the luau, EVERYTHING! Elvis is a returning G.I. who does not want to go into his family's pineapple business. Instead, he works for a tourist guide service, and his first customers are a pack of gorgeous-looking girls and a beautiful chaperoning schoolteacher (Nancy Walters). Beautiful Hawaiian wedding scene at the end when Elvis marries Joan Blackman. Angela Lansbury is perfect for Elvis' mother in this picture. She enjoyed working with Elvis. "Blue Hawaii" is quintessential and Elvis' top picture and
his best '60s musical next to "Viva Las Vegas", and "G.I. Blues".