King Creole Review

Image for King Creole

Juvenile delinquent Elvis (you guessed it) flunks high school and quits his job. As a busboy in a nightclub, he gets a chance to perform and, well, once his talents are unleashed, there's no stopping those who want o push him onwards and upwards.


Made before he went into the army, this is probably Elvis' best movie - although Jailhouse Rock has better music and Flaming Star has a better story and acting - in that it features several qualities notably rare in the Presley filmography: a major director (Michael Curtiz, who made Casablanca and The Adventures Of Robin Hood), a top-flight supporting cast, a good script (based on Harold Robbins' novel A Stone For Danny Fisher, in which the hero was a boxer not a singer), an interesting and realistic setting (the New Orleans underworld), and a pretty fair LP's worth of songs (King Creole, Crawfish, New Orleans).

Elvis plays a James Dean-type role, a mixed-up kid angry with his weak sister Dad (Dean dagger) who falls in with a bunch of hoodlums - led by the superbly sneering Vic Morrow - and winds up in big trouble with brutal gangster Walter Matthau.

Made before the scripts started going downhill, this is the jewel in the King's crown.