DVD - King Creole
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Format: Regio 2
Subtitles: Nl, Fr, It, E, G, T
Before his handlers persuaded him to settle for the safety of a screen franchise, the young Elvis Presley had weightier ambitions as an actor. The 1958 King Creole, his fourth feature outing, hints at the underlying seriousness of his goals.
Presley plays Danny Fisher, a New Orleans teenager struggling to graduate from high school while working in a sleazy French Quarter club to support his family. He's also characterised as a troubled youth with a dangerous temper and feelings of shame and resentment toward his meek, unemployed father (Dean Jagger). When Danny's gift for singing provides him with a potential career break (and the requisite excuse for Elvis's production numbers), his involvement with a ruthless gangster (Walter Matthau) and his sultry, alcoholic moll (Carolyn Jones) threatens both his future and his family.
King Creole boasts an impressive production pedigree (including producer Hal Wallis and director Michael Curtiz, the team behind Casablanca) and the supporting cast helps elicit one of Presley's most emotional performances. Jones in particular overrides the inherent cliché s of her role: her self-loathing and sexuality are both palpable. Presley--still a few years away from the more sanitised image that would be integral to those franchise features--is young enough to be a credible teen, but more crucially he makes his rage and yearning largely convincing.
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