HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Last Moment of Clarity
Fukushima 50
Dreams on Fire
Sing as We Go!
Burnt Orange Heresy, The
Craft Legacy, The
Eye of the Storm
Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands
Where No Vultures Fly
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
   
 
Newest Articles
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
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
   
 
  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 2683 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
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: