FIRST OF THREE ELVIS MOVIES FILMED IN HAWAII
"BLUE HAWAII" was the second of Elvis's movies directed by Norman Taurog; "G.I. BLUES" was the first.
The majority of the post-Army scripts followed a blue-print recipe which included huge fight scenes where Elvis and others land in jail.
"BLUE HAWAII" was Elvis’s first of three movies filmed in Hawaii and with its slapstick humor, the script literally didn't take Elvis's talent for being a more serious actor into account.
Many may disagree with this critique until they try to watch "BLUE HAWAII" without the songs.
One of the saving factors of "BLUE HAWAII" is that there are several beautiful songs which include "BLUE HAWAII", "ALOHA-OE", "CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE", "KU-U-I-PO", and the "HAWAIIAN WEDDING SONG". However, the beauty of those songs were almost canceled out by not only the script but music clunkers such as "ALMOST ALWAYS TRUE" (sung to the tune of DOWN BY THE STATION) and "ITO EATS," showing Hollywood just didn't comprehend Elvis.
The movie was filmed in the beautiful surroundings of Hawaii's Kaua'i Island.
Elvis with co-star Joan Blackman.
With a budget of $2,000,000, "BLUE HAWAII" grossed $10,440,453 (equivalent to $91,257,267 in 2021) in the United States. It is shocking how it was the biggest box office success of Elvis's entire Hollywood film career. Unfortunately, it was also a death sentence for Elvis. "BLUE HAWAII" was the second film with a mindless plot Elvis was contracted to do, contracts which were signed before the scripts were written and before the songs were composed. Going forward, most of the films would follow this same formula.
Instead of using the profits from "BLUE HAWAII" to cast Elvis in better roles, Hal Wallis took the money to produce "BECKET," starring Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole. "BECKET" was a much better film, but for other actors.
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Elvis Presley as Chad Gates
Joan Blackman as Maile Duval
Angela Lansbury as Sarah Lee Gates
Nancy Walters as Abigail Prentice
Roland Winters as Fred Gates
John Archer as Jack Kelman
Howard McNear as Mr. Chapman
Steve Brodie as Tucker Garvey
Christian Kay as Beverly Martin
Iris Adrian as Enid Garvey
Hilo Hattie as Waihila
Jenny Maxwell as Ellie Corbett
Pamela Austin as Selena (Sandy) Emerson
Darlene Tompkins as Patsy Simon
Lani Kai as Carl Tanami
Jose De Vega as Ernie Gordon
Frank Atienza as Ito O'Hara
Tiki Hanalei as Ping Pong
Frank Atienza as Ito O'Hara
Scene still with Joan Blackman.
"BLUE HAWAII" also made a mockery out of the well-seasoned actress, Angela Lansbury. Lansbury was cast in the bigoted role of Chad's mother, Sarah Lee Gates.
Unlike so many of Elvis's later female co-stars who were poor acting bores, Joan Blackman was a pretty decent actress. Fortunately, her role in "BLUE HAWAII" as Maile Duval didn't contain so much of the script's pathetic humor. Blackman did come back as Elvis's love interest in a later and better-scripted film, "KID GALAHAD."
Scene still with Angela Lansbury in the role of Sarah Lee Gates.
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Chad Gates (played by Elvis Presley) arrives back home to Hawaii after being discharged from the U.S. Army.
Chad's parents want him to go into the family's pineapple company. He is determined to make it on his own, so he goes into the tour guide business with his longtime girlfriend, Maile Duval (played by Joan Blackman).
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