King Creole Film Details
Overview: A troubled youth’s singing sets New Orleans rockin’. With a sweet girl to love him and nightclubbers cheering, it seems he will shake off his past and head for the top. But will a mobster and his man-trap moll snare him in a life of
Tagline: Back on screen for the first time in a year!
Review: That Elvis Presley’s film career gradually petered out after years of making trivial,hackneyed,fluffy and empty-headed movies is to be regretted,yet in several early films (JAILHOUSE ROCK,FLAMING STAR),he showed he could give a perfectly decent acting performance alongside good scripts,directors and actors.It is arguable that KING CREOLE was his best overall film,and perhaps his most effective big screen performance. Disillusioned youth Danny Fisher (Presley) lives in New Orleans’ French Quarter with his recently widowed father (Dean Jagger) and sister (Jan Shepard).His pharmacist father is finding it tough to cope without his wife and cannot find regular work,while Danny flunks his college studies to work in a nightclub owned by sleazy crook Maxie Fields (Walter Matthau), and begins to take romantic interest in a boozy if pitiable tramp,Ronnie,used by Fields as a mistress (Carolyn Jones).He toys with joining a gang of hoodlums led by Shark (Vic Morrow),and attracts the attentions of a sweet-natured shopgirl,Nellie (Dolores Hart).With his talent for singing,Danny decides not to work in Fields’ venues,but of his rival Charlie LeGrand instead,the King Creole,where he is a great success.Fields resents Danny’s behaviour and is determined fair ways or foul to force Danny to work for him,but Danny will make his own decisions who he works and falls in love with. Elvis Presley had some good scripts offered in his earlier film career like the above fore-mentioned,and KING CREOLE was possibly the best of them.He not only had a good script and story but a top-class producer (Hal B.Wallis),legendary director (Michael Curtiz),fine actors (Matthau,Jones,Jagger,Morrow,Paul Stewart),accomplished cameraman (Russell Harlan),good production and musical numbers too.Presley is very good as the mean,moody but sympathetic youth veering from delinquency to hard work,recalling the ambiance of a younger Marlon Brando or James Dean.He is well supported by Ms Jones,making her somewhat trashy character into a three-dimensional,tragic near-heroine,Matthau as the crooked nightclub operator,Jagger as his vulnerable father,Morrow as a streetwise thug,and Hart,Shepard and Stewart doing efficiently in minor but interesting roles.Wallis and Curtiz of course worked together on one the all-time greats CASABLANCA (1942),and although KING CREOLE is nowhere in that class,a certain moody,smoky atmosphere like the Bogart/Bergman classic is successfully evoked by Harlan’s shadowy,noir-like lighting and angles in scenes set in the French Quarter and clubs,and is immeasurably helped by some high quality songs such as the haunting opener ‘Crawfish’ (where Elvis sings in a duet),’Trouble’,’Dixieland Rock’,’Hard Headed Woman’ and of course the peerless title track.Occasionally,there are one or two uncomfortable dramatic moments that Presley struggles with,and the film is somewhat overlong,but KING CREOLE is generally a fine crime drama with musical and noirish elements well handled by the master of versatility Curtiz. Pre-1961,The King made a number of fine films like this,but under the influence of Colonel Tom Parker,he was forced into garishly coloured and obviously contrived entertainments which utilised the same banal plots,dull and repetitive scripts,uninspiring actors and ageing or mediocre directors which caused Presley to call a halt on his film career by the end of the 60’s.Had he managed to work with the kind of script,story and crew he collaborated with on KING CREOLE,who knows how better his tarnished reputation on movies would’ve been;as it is,we can be grateful that KING CREOLE shows us how good Elvis was with such top technical and artistic backing,and how better he may have become as a screen actor.
Country: United States
Duration: 116 min
Genre: Crime, Drama, Musical
Also known as: Кинг Креол,Danny Fisher,Danny,King Creole,Regele Creol,King Creole – hård ungdom,闇に響く声,Bagarres au King Creole,La via del male,Melodía siniestra,Mein Leben ist der Rhythmus,Gangsterlerin pençesinde,Bagarres au King Créole,Balada Sangrenta,Kitara kainalossa,Król Kreol,Ο Βασιλιάς του Ροκ,A Stone for Danny Fisher,Kralj Kreol,El barrio contra mí,Sing, You Sinners,O vasilefs tou rock