– let’s have a party –
(part 11)

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Elvis Presley in Loving You 1957

In “Loving You”, as in many later Hollywood productions with the participation of Elvis, there had to be a scene in which the main character gets into a fight. For various reasons. Most often, standing up knightly in defense of beautiful women. But it also happened that the characters created by Presley also fought with people from the underworld (as in “King Creole”), petty drunks in nightclubs or other “dark star types”. Of course, always coming out of the situation victorious (only occasionally getting behind bars).

In “Loving You”, a fight took place at the local club Buckhorn Tavern and the person who provoked it was a certain Wayne, an auto accessories salesman, who first forced Riversa to sing “Mean Women Blues” (to make his girlfriend happy) and then refused to pay for the performance .

The role of this villain was perfectly played by the American actor and Pasada Playhouse alumnus, Kenneth Becker. (First Picture).

Besides, it is worth adding here that after this memorable scene, Presley and Becker fought with each other on the screen three more times – in “GI Blues”, “Girls! girls! girls!” and in “Roustabout”.

The supervision of this scene, shot on February 11, 1957, as well as many other fight scenes, was exercised by former boxer and stuntman, Joe Gray, who had previously worked with, among others, with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin (he was his understudy in all his films until 1971).

In addition, Eddie Baker and Timothy Butler could also be seen in the film.

The filming took almost two months. For this time, as during the filming of “Love Me Tender”, Elvis stayed at the Knicekerbocker Hotel, which was only a few streets away from the filming set. For safety reasons, the singer covered this distance every day in the company of his closest associates by car.

However, he moved around the set itself … on a bicycle received shortly after the start of filming from Hal Wallis, Hal Kanter and people from Paramount Pictures.

To many people today, and perhaps then, the sight of Presley, then at the peak of popularity, rushing between the halls of Paramount in such a vehicle must have seemed at least unusual and surprising. In fact, however, he was nothing extraordinary.

Analyzing archival photographs and the history of the film studio itself, it is easy to see that the bicycle was then a popular means of transport used to move around the studio complex not only by the actors but also by other employees.

The unwritten tradition of the label was that the biggest stars were given specially personalized bicycles of the American brand Schwinn Racer with their own name or nickname written on a decorative, taking various shapes – from ordinary rectangular plates to, for example, musical instruments, a small plate attached to the upper frame.

And just such a bike was given to Elvis. Except instead of his name, “Hound Dog”* 1 was written on the frame of the guitar , in honor of his last big hit, which just a year ago had simultaneously topped the pop, country and rhythm’n’blues charts.

Previously, similar two-wheeled vehicles were given to, among others, James Dean (the frame read “Jim Dean”) during the filming of “Rebel Without a Cause”, screenwriter Barney Dean (the bicycle read “clever author/writer”*2)  and James Stewart on the set of Rear Window. The latter drove him around the set of Grace Kelly.

Elvis took, among others, Lizabeth Scott for rides between the film halls.

Interestingly, most of these trips were meticulously documented by studio photographers, and it was whispered in the backstage that the photos were supposed to prove that “there is chemistry ” between the main stars of a given film.

Elvis Presley with the Hound Dog bicycle, signing autographs for his fans. 1957

Most of the scenes for “Loving You” were filmed at Paramount Pictures. “ It was all new to me ,” guitarist Scotty Moore recalled his time on the set. “ So it was a learning experience for me. What we didn’t like the most though, ie Bill, D.J and I, was the waiting that making a movie requires. Sometimes you could wait all day and then do what they asked of you in thirty minutes .”

The musician admitted that he was more interested in the sound side of the whole project than working on the set. “ I used to go to the control room and watch them (sound engineers, author’s note) do their job with all these buttons and knobs. It was amazing to hear how different it all sounded in the control room .

Elvis, on the other hand, used the breaks between the photos to talk to the other members of the cast and to meet the fans who flocked to the parking lot next to the film studio every day, hoping that they would be able to exchange at least a few words with their idol, take a commemorative photo with him or receive a gift from him. autograph.

Elvis didn’t say no to anyone.

1 ) Due to the mentioned inscription, in some sources this bike is described as a “hound dog bike”

2 ) The original caption was “clever writer” which can be translated as a clever author or a clever author/screenwriter

Information provided by EP Promised Land (Poland) Marius Ogieglo http://www.elvispromisedland.pl/

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