HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
   
 
Newest Articles
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
   
 
  Wild in the Country Elvis's Choice
Year: 1961
Director: Philip Dunne
Stars: Elvis Presley, Hope Lange, Tuesday Weld, Millie Perkins, Rafer Johnson, John Ireland, Gary Lockwood, William Mims, Raymond Greenleaf, Christina Crawford, Robin Raymond, Pat Buttram, Alan Napier, Jason Robards Sr, Red West
Genre: Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Glenn Tyler (Elvis Presley) has knocked down his brother in a fight in the barn, looked on by their approving father - or at least he's approving until the wrong son loses. As a punishment for knocking his sibling unconscious, Glenn is placed on parole, and after a meeting where his father complains that the boy would rather read books than toil in the cotton fields his social worker, Irene Sperry (Hope Lange), arranges to see him regularly. In the meantime, he goes to live with his uncle (William Mims) who stays with his teen single mother daughter Noreen (Tuesday Weld)...

The author of this oddity was Clifford Odets, who had been proclaimed as one of the finest playwrights of his generation back in the thirties, so you may have thought that scripting a Elvis vehicle would be seen as a step down, or quite a few steps down. Certainly the public made it clear they didn't wish to see the King of Rock 'n' Roll in this kind of serious drama when they could watch him in fluffy-headed musicals, so Wild in the Country ended up as pretty much the last try he took at proper acting save for the occasional movie, and singing to dogs or Elsa Lanchester was soon to follow for the rest of his big screen career.

But let's not forget Odets had only four years earlier scripted the classic Sweet Smell of Success, so he wasn't exactly a spent force even if he did die two short years later, but the main reason for taking this job was not because he was a big fan of the star, but because he needed the cash. So what you end up with is the most peculiarly literary Elvis flick, which strained towards grand themes and torrid emotions, but was sabotaged by its lethargic approach and an inconsistency of style. Was this supposed to be a Rebel Without a Cause type melodrama, finding poetry in the struggle for identity and freedom in the young, or was it a romance between the boy and the older woman?

Or something else? A musical, maybe? Though to be fair, when Presley does sing it's as if the filmmakers were a bit embarrassed about it and only allow him to croon the decidedly non-wild theme song and about thirty seconds of a small handful of other tunes; something for the soundtrack album that must have been in his contract, and in effect, standing out like a sore thumb. Never mind that, here the King was juggling three affairs with three stars of the day, first with childhood sweetheart Betty Lee (Millie Perkins, fresh from portraying Anne Frank), slinky bad girl Noreen (Weld put in the best performance in the movie)... and Irene too.

Yes, Glenn falls for his psychiatrist and although she resists her feelings at first, she ends up falling for him as well, but it brings up all sorts of issues as you can imagine. There is, however, one of the best love scenes Presley ever had to play, very sensitively handled as this character who tends to fly off the handle is tamed and, er, taken in hand by his new, and possibly first, lover. It's frustrating that while there were very decent individual scenes, they were stranded in a lot of mushy angst, and the plot point that we have to believe that Glenn is in fact a soon to be discovered giant of literature (was Odets trying to stay engaged with the material?), although from what we hear of his efforts he sounds as if he aimed to be a children's author. What this needed was a more convincing performance from its lead, but here he seems hesitant, far from the more confident work he had been putting in during his other serious movies. Interesting, then, but not a success. Music by Kenyon Hopkins.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2868 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: