ELVIS PRESLEY – LOVING YOU (1957)
LOVING YOU – “Let’s have a party – (Part 9)”
On Monday, January 14, between recordings (actually after recording at Radio Recorders had ended and the Paramount Sound Stage sessions had begun), Elvis arrived at Paramount Studios to be supervised by Hal Wallis and chief makeup artist Wally Westmore, take part in the first wardrobe fittings.
In the world of film or theater, such things as costume fittings or make-up trials are not uncommon, but in the case of “Loving You” I decided to write about them for one reason.
This reason was a short conversation that the aforementioned Wally Westmore had with Presley.
As the story goes, it was on that day that the make-up manager was supposed to suggest to the singer … change the color of his hair, claiming that since the film will be shot on a color film, Elvis will look much better on the screen with black hair.
Apparently, Elvis, who not only aspired to be a serious actor such as James Dean, but also wanted to become like his movie idols on the screen – Marlon Brando or Tony Curtis – liked the idea very much and agreed without hesitation for a change. Sam and the rest often explained later that dark hair would better emphasize the features of his face on the screen.
Almost exactly one week later, on Tuesday, January 22, 1957 , production on Presley‘s second film entered its next phase. Shooting began at Paramount studios.
However, before finally arriving on set, in the Paramount sound hall adjacent to the studio, Elvis spent three hours* 2 tackling the film version of the title ballad, once again, unsuccessfully trying to get its satisfactory effect. ” Usually Elvis controlled his own recording sessions and had no problem getting the vocals right ,” recalled Ben Weisman, who had met Presley only a few days earlier (most likely on January 17, when Elvis was also working on “Loving You“). “ However, once in a while such problems would arise. Just like during the ‘Loving You’ session.
I remember singing it over and over again. Freddy Bienstock watched from the control room. And Elvis just couldn’t get a good enough effect to please even himself. He must have made thirty-two attempts before accepting one of them .
Under the watchful eye of sound engineer Phil Kahgan and Paramount Pictures producer Walter Scharf, the recording session culminated in the recording of fourteen rehearsals of the so-called farm version 2.
After the recordings were finished, Elvis moved to the set.
” Elvis was relaxed and enthusiastic when we started shooting ,” recalled Scotty Moore. He still carefully watched the work of other actors and absorbed all the advice given to him by more experienced colleagues in the industry, but in front of the camera he felt much more confident and at ease than a few months earlier when shooting his first film. This in turn translated into better results during filming.
The rest of the cast also appeared on set with Elvis. Among them, the female lead actors, Lizabeth Scott, and Dolores Hart, making her debut on the big screen.
The first of them, born in September 1922, Lizabeth Scott (actually Emma Matzo because that was her real name), was already known to viewers from participation in such productions as “The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers” from 1946, in which she appeared alongside the debuting Kirk Douglas, and a year later “Dead Reckoning” with Humphrey Bogart.
The period of its greatest popularity was in the 1940s and the first half of the 1950s. Later, the actress – a star of mainly gangster cinema (so-called noir films), slowly began to withdraw from the profession. Glenda Markle‘s role in “Loving You” was one of her last. ” I woke up one morning and decided I didn’t want to make another film ,” the actress explained shortly after returning from the Cannes Film Festival in April 1954.
Hal B. Wallis came up with the idea of casting the thirty-five-year-old star in Presley‘s film as he was leaving the cinema. As Bernard F. Dick writes in the book “Hal Wallis. Producer Of The Star,” ” Lisabeth Scott’s performance as Glenda, a press agent capable of both manipulation and compassion, was as much a revelation to him as Elvis before .”
According to the author, although the actress received only a supporting role, it was as important as the role of Presley. “ Looking posh and elegant, Lizabeth embodied a character that could easily have been unsympathetic but made her a publicist any novice would welcome with open arms .”
Sussan Jessup’s performer, Dolores Hart (actually Dolores Hicks and now Dolores Hart’s Mother), was still a student when she was offered a role alongside the controversial rock ‘n’ roll singer. ” I was halfway through acting class at Marymount when I got a call from Paramount ,” she recalled years later in an interview with David Adams. “ Producer’s assistant Hal Wallis called and wanted me to come to the meeting. My teacher didn’t want me to answer this call because she believed it was just a scam. But I did pick up .”
Then the interlocutor explained to the future actress that together with Hal Wallis, who spotted her during the performance of “Joan Of Lorraine” at Loyola University, they would like to meet her that same day in the afternoon. ” We’re making a movie with Mr. Presley and we want you to start shooting next week ,” Hart continued her story. “ And I didn’t even know who Elvis Presley was, and worse, the next week there were final tests at school. So I asked: Does it necessarily have to be in a week? Yes it must, I heard in reply .
Encouraged by the teaching staff – ” kids in drama school dream of such an opportunity as you just got “, Dolores Hart agreed to participate in the production. After successfully passing screen trials on January 16, 1957, she joined the cast.
She was only nineteen at the time.
It is worth adding here that Dolores Hart was the daughter of actor Bert Hicks (known, among others, for his role in the movie “Forever Amber“) and her uncle was the famous singer and great musical idol of Elvis, Mario Lanza.
1 Some sources indicate that shooting began the day before, January 21, 1957. On that day, however, Elvis was attending an all-day recording session at Paramount Sound Stage
2 The session took place from 8:00 to 11:00
Information provided by EP Promised Land (Poland), Mariusz Ogieglo
Elvis Radio 24h
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