Quick Film Guide: G.I. Blues (Norman Taurog, 1960)

G.I. Blues
Directed by Norman Taurog

Elvis Presley had always expressed a desire to become a prominent movie star. G.I. Blues was the first film he made after his discharge from the Army, and the first film starring Elvis to be shot in color. Here, he played an American Army private stationed in Germany, whose friends bet he cannot score with a sexy entertainer. Some of its pre-production shots were actually filmed in Germany.

G.I. Blues was a very successful film, despite the mixed reactions from the critics. It served as the blueprint for all subsequent Elvis romantic comedy musicals, which became somewhat of a specific subgenre. These films were usually defined by their wafer-thin plots, were shot in exotic locales and featured beautiful women as well as lots of songs. Most were also directed by Norman Taurog.

The blueprint was important because audiences never quite accepted him as a serious movie star, unlike they had with Frank Sinatra. The two serious films he made after G.I. Blues for 20th Century Fox – Flaming Star and Wild in the Country – were widely unsuccessful. As a result, they were followed by Blue Hawaii.

Click here to buy my book of thoughts on film, Eye of the Beholder, on Amazon!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: