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17 de maio de 2010

Elvis 75th Birthday Collection

Love him tender? This collection has a few films that fit the bill. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and MGM Home Entertainment announced the "Elvis 75th Birthday Collection," arriving on DVD on June 1, "just in time for Father's Day."

Well, I'm not sure that Elvis ranks high on a lot of dads' lists, but this seven-movie set is bargain-priced and it gives newcomers to Elvis a good idea of The King's films and the way he was marketed.

Like historical/period films and the chip-on-his-shoulder Elvis? Included in this set is "Love Me Tender" (1956), set immediately after the Civil War; "Flaming Star" (1960), one of Elvis' better-acted films, in which he plays a half-breed torn between cultures; and "Frankie and Johnny" (1966), taken from the song and set on a Mississippi riverboat in the late 19th century.

Like the sensitive, naive Elvis? "Wild in the Country" (1961) features The King as an introverted country boy whose writing talent is encouraged, and "Follow That Dream" (1962) has him bashful around women in a film in which he plays the oldest son of a stubborn Florida homesteader who fights City Hall.

Prefer the cool Elvis? Then "Kid Galahad" (1962) and "Clambake" are more your style, with Elvis playing a boxer and the son of a Texas oilman who pretends to be a pauper to see if he can still get the girl.

All seven titles are included in the set. The collection also showcases some of Elvis´ most exuberant musicals, including the beach blanket romp "Clambake." Featuring appearances from stars such as Academy Award-nominated Tuesday Weld (Best Supporting Actress, "Looking For Mr. Goodbar"), Barbara Eden ("I Dream Of Jeannie"), Charles Bronson ("The Great Escape"), Shelley Fabares ("Coach"), and Donna Douglas ("The Beverly Hillbillies"), the seven films in the Elvis 75th Birthday Collection celebrate the consummate performer that was Elvis Presley. He was a better actor than many gave him credit for, and did his best despite being pigeon-holed in roles that took him farther from the serious drama he craved. This collection spans the years and gives a pretty good cross-section of The King's acting talents, which range from almost laughable to surprisingly good.

To Elvis fans, and fans of Elvis movies (I confess, I'm one of them), they're all worth watching. Most are light entertainment, and people who went to the movies knew that when they bought their tickets. But they were well-done light entertainment, however formula the movies became.

Blu-ray and DVD news
By James Plath
First published May 16, 2010

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