Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
My AV System
- Preamp, Processor or Receiver
- Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
- Other Amp
- Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
- Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
- Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
- Front Speakers
- Cheap Thrills Mains
- Center Channel Speaker
- Cheap Thrills Center
- Surround Speakers
- Volt 10 Surrounds
- Surround Back Speakers
- Volt 10 Reach Surrounds
- Rear Height Speakers
- Volt 6 Overheads
- 2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
- Video Display Device
- JVC RS-46 Projector
- Draper Cineperm M1300 119 inch Static Screen
Paramount Pictures has decided to go back and create a new premium line of releases called “Paramount Presents”, which is bringing us remasters and pimped out editions of older films for a modern day. The first three that we get to enjoy here today were released at the end of April, with several more on the way (including some actually coming to 4K UHD, such ash Days of Thunder). This week it’s going to be King Creole, Fatal Attraction, and one of my favorite Hitchcock films, To Catch A Thief.
Singers moving to film is nothing new in the entertainment industry, and good old Elvis himself made the attempt back in the 50s with some moderately well received fluff pieces (the most popular of those early works being Jailhouse Rock) before he actually got cast in a GOOD film. I know I may attract the ire of some Elivs fans, but Elvis movies were generally garbage. They were nothing but a vehicle for his singing and most of them were the cheesiest thing you will ever see. While King Creole still uses a musical twist to the story (you can’t have an Elvis movie without him gyrating his hips and singing), it has the distinction of being a good movie in it’s own right, devoid of Elvis’s singing. The movie is fairly deep for the time, a bit dark (for a PG 1958 film), and was a completely serious coming of age/stardom movie complete with love, betrayal, and hint of violence to season things up.
Jimmy Fisher is all set to graduate high school and make his father (played by Dean Jagger, most notable for playing the Major General in White Christmas) proud, only to get held back ANOTHER year thanks to him getting into a fist fight with another student. Bitter and angry at the breaks, Jimmy falls in with the wrong crowd, ultimately robbing a 5 and dime store in an attempt to make a quick buck. Before long his singing talents catch the eye of Mr. Charlie LeGrand (Paul Stewart), the owner of the King Creole night club. Against the will of his father, Jimmy begins a career on stage, singing for the nearly broke club owner and revitalizing it’s popularity due to his unique vocals.
As I said above, King Creole is a genuinely good movie and one that Elvis himself has remarked that he thinks of as his best film work to date. And luckily it was also due to having a good director who stretched and pushed his star. Michael Curtiz supposedly asked Elvis to tone everything down a large amount, ranging from his stage persona to the interactions with other characters in the movie. It’s a much less kitschy character and as such Jimmy thrives as Elvis dials it back. He’s a tortured character who’s just trying to do what’s right, even though he’s disgusted with the lot that life has thrown him. He’s not a noble character, but rather a flawed hero who is much more human than Hollywood liked to put out at the time. He’s put opposite some great talent, including the infamous Walter Mathau and Carolyn Jones, who both act as a foil and mirror for the character.
Rated PG by the MPAA
This is the 2nd of the first 3 Paramount Presents line and I honestly have to say that his was a treat. I had forgotten about King Creole until I saw the announcement and realized that this was the first title in a long time where Paramount dug into their back catalog and put a movie out that WASN’T released on Blu-ray already. Luckily the video score is WAY better than the butchery that was To Catch A Thief, and almost as good as Fatal Attraction. I really do hope that we see Paramount dig deeper into their massive back catalog and pull out some more gems like these. Highly recommended.
Starring: Elvis Presley, Carolyn Jones, Walter Matthau, Dolores Hart, Dean Jagger, Vic Morrow, Paul Stewart
Directed by: Michael Curtiz
Written by: Herbert Baker, Michael V. Gazzo, Harold Robbins (Novel)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English DVS 2.0, French , Spanish, German, Italian DD Mono 2.0
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Runtime: 116 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: April 21st, 2020
Recommendation: Highly Recommended.