Movie Review: King Creole (1958)
King Creole (1958)
Director: Michael Curtiz
Cast: Elvis Presley, Carolyn Jones, Walter Matthau
Synopsis: A young man working as a nightclub singer comes to the attention of a crime boss.
Considering he spent the last thirty-odd years of his career in comedy roles, it’s strange to see Walter Matthau (The Indian Fighter, Fail-Safe) as bad guy Maxie Fields, the New Orleans racketeer who feels compelled to own everyone around him. He’s pretty good though, a mix of avuncular good humour and steel-willed calculation. Elvis Presley (G.I. Blues, Girl Happy) is a singer with home problems. He’s torn between good girl Nellie (Dolores Hart) and damaged good-time girl Ronnie (Carolyn Jones – The Seven Year Itch, Invasion of the Body Snatchers), tormented by his father’s lack of backbone and led astray by Vic Morrow and his pals. Presley was a singer who made films rather than an actor who sang, and the proof of that is right up there on the screen. Nevertheless, he possessed so much presence and charisma that he dominates nearly all of his scenes. It’s Carolyn Jones who steals the show, though, with a nuanced performance as bad girl Ronnie.
(Reviewed 30th September 2011)