It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.
This week’s musical:
Spinout (1966) – Musical #580
Elvis Presley, Shelley Fabares, Diane McBain, Deborah Walley, Dodie Marshall, Jack Mullaney, Warren Berlinger, Jimmy Hawkins, Carl Betz, Cecil Kellaway, Una Merkel
Mike McCoy (Presley) is a carefree musician living a nomadic life with his band (Walley, Mullaney, Hawkins). Cynthia Foxhugh (Fabares) is a spoiled rich girl with her sights set on Mike. She uses her rich father (Betz) to try and get Mike. Her father also wants him to race his car. Cynthia isn’t the only one after Mike: Diana St. Clair is researching him for her book “The Perfect American Male,” and decides she needs to marry Mike. And tomboy band member Les (Walley) also likes Mike.
-Una Merkel’s last film
-Originally written with Sonny and Cher in mind, according to the book Elvis Presley: Silver Screen Icon by Steve Templeton
-Working title was “Never Say Yes,” according to Elvis Presley: Silver Screen Icon by Steve Templeton
-Second film pairing of Shelley Fabares and Elvis Presley
-Produced by Joe Pasternak
-Carl Betz plays Shelley Fabares’s father. He also played her father on “The Donna Reed Show.”
-“Spinout” performed by Elvis Presley
-“Stop Look and Listen” performed by Elvis Presley
-“Am I Ready” performed by Elvis Presley
-“Beach Shack” performed by Elvis Presley
“Spinout” is midway through Elvis Presley’s acting career, but judging by his performance, he was done with it before it ended.
Co-starring Shelley Fabares, Diane McBain and Deborah Walley, each of the actresses seem wasted – especially Fabares who was the focus of other Elvis films like “Girl Happy.”
All the songs have that Elvis flair and sound, but sound similar and blend together. Most disappointing is that Elvis seems to be phoning in each of his songs and doesn’t have the usual enthusiasm of selling a song as he did in earlier films. However, I do enjoy the numbers that have large groups of people dancing around Elvis. I love to watch their dance moves and look at their colorful costumes.
Elvis’s costumes are also a very odd jacket, vest, shirt and ascot combination.
While this isn’t a great film, it is colorful and mindless entertainment that is a fun way to pass 90 minutes.
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I hate to but I have to disagree. “Spinout” is actually one of his more enjoyable films. It boasts one of the better casts of any of the movies. Shelley was the only girl to make 3 films with King. This is due to how much he liked her, how good of an actress she was and their obvious chemistry. Jimmy Hawkins has a certain charm and Deborah Walley (“Gidget”, as you know) can be irritating but is alright. Diane McBain is stunning and Carl Betz is cool as the dad. The guy that keeps fainting (“you’re fired!”) is pretty lame, though, as is Jack Mullaney. There is some pretty hurting parts – Fainting Man in the road race, Elvis’ wardrobe (you’re right) and Elvis kisses all the brides on their wedding day?! It’s also one of his best soundtracks with the title track coming in at #4 on my recent list of his best movie songs. (https://wordsbywellsy.wordpress.com/2018/01/07/this-is-the-story-the-best-recordings-of-elvis-presley-part-4/) Great cast, great music, great colours (as you say)…I dunno. This is one of the better ones. It’s funny – this is the one I picked to watch tonight!