HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
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
PG: Psycho Goreman
Maeve
Sound of Metal
Things of Life, The
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
   
 
Newest Articles
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
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
   
 
  Frankie and Johnny Oh lordy how they could love!
Year: 1966
Director: Frederick de Cordova
Stars: Elvis Presley, Donna Douglas, Harry Morgan, Sue Ann Langdon, Nancy Kovack, Audrey Christie, Robert Strauss, Anthony Eisley, Joyce Jameson
Genre: Musical, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Johnny (Elvis Presley) is a luckless gambler who sings as part of a musical duo along with his fetchingly feisty girlfriend Frankie (Donna Douglas) on a riverboat sailing down the Mississippi. Hoping to score enough cash to take Frankie to Broadway someday, Johnny spends his last cash on a fraudulent fortune-teller who predicts a beautiful red-head will end his streak of bad luck at the roulette wheel. So Johnny and his songwriting pal Cully (Harry Morgan) latch onto sexy, flame-haired showgirl Nellie Bly (Nancy Kovack), whose presence does somehow change their fortunes, although her heart belongs to riverboat boss Clint Braden (Anthony Eisley, future star of Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1969)!). While Johnny has no real romantic interest in Nellie, his rather unorthodox get-rich-quick scheme enrages Frankie.

It is 1966. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones are rewriting the musical rules and here is the King of Rock and Roll camping it up singing showtunes in sequinned shirts. One suspects more than a few fans were aghast at the sight. Having said that, Frankie and Johnny, which is not to be confused with the Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer love story of the same name, actually offers a decent array of snappy songs, including the charmingly staged title number which, in a borderline post-modern conceit, mirrors the offstage drama, such as it is. While the film offers nothing to compare with, say, Jailhouse Rock, the likes of “What Every Woman Lives For”, “Hard Luck” and “Down by the Riverside” are endearing fluff along with a rousing rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In”, which finds our boy Elvis leading his comely co-stars in full marching band regalia.

Even so, the combination of pleasant tunes, gorgeous gals, lush colours and handsome production values cannot disguise the fact this sports a very, very flimsy plot that goes nowhere. Produced by Edward Small, the man behind It! The Terror from Outer Space (1958), Jack the Giant Killer (1962) and The Christine Jorgenson Story (1970) (how’s that for a filmography?), Frankie and Johnny seemingly attempts to evoke memories of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Showboat, twice adapted for the screen, with its riverboat milieu. Interestingly, if not altogether successfully, the film is driven by its strong female characters. Not just gutsy Donna Douglas but a ravishing and redoubtable Nancy Kovack, Audrey Christie as Cully’s formidable wife Peg, and a spirited Sue Ann Langdon as jilted showgirl Peg who rather poignantly describes herself as a “girl with a past and no future.” These ladies call the shots and handle most of the gags, including an amusing sequence with the principal trio all costumed like Marie Antoinette, while the menfolk are drawn as feckless, floundering fools.

Which is rather disheartening for an Elvis film. Almost a guest star in his own movie, the King is clearly on autopilot, allowing leading lady Donna Douglas to steal the show. Douglas, who found sitcom immortality as adorable Ellie-May in The Beverly Hillbillies, joins the ranks of Ann-Margret and Carolyn Jones as a worthy foil to Elvis. She also looks terrific showing her shapely legs in some eye-popping costumes. In spite of its failings, including a half-hearted detour into suspense territory during the last ten minutes, Frankie and Johnny remains an amiable affair whose pleasures include the rare sight of future M*A*S*H star Harry Morgan singing and Elvis once again proving himself the only straight man who could pull of such kitsch outfits.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2377 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: