60 years ago saw the release of Elvis Presley’s first feature film, ‘Love Me Tender’. While not a critical darling, the movie launched Elvis into the second major phase of his entertainment career. Having successfully conquered the radio waves, Elvis also became a bankable box office commodity.
And we can see why. Presley wasn’t exactly Laurence Olivier or Spencer Tracy in terms of acting chops, he does okay, relatable as the younger Reno brother left behind. But what makes Elvis so watchable is his charisma; the energy and passion he pours into the role. It’s not hard to understand he was fulfilling his dream by starring in this movie. It doesn’t hurt that he’s easy on the eyes too.
‘Love Me Tender’ began a string of films eventually known as Elvis movies. Thin plots, hit-and-miss acting and production values, but always featuring Elvis and peppered with musical numbers. ‘Love Me Tender’ set the pattern, providing a stage for Elvis to perform “Let Me”, “Poor Boy”, “We’re Gonna Move”, and the title track. No one watched these movies expecting Oscar nominations.
But what makes Elvis so watchable is his charisma; the energy and passion he pours into the role.
But who cares? They're such great fun, and ‘Love Me Tender’ no exception. Most women of my mum’s generation have a very soft spot for the Elvis movies. Regular fodder for the midday movies, I think my mum has seen these movies more than I could count. They’re a bit silly, a bit rubbish at times, but an excellent source of easy entertainment from the King.