KING CREOLE – Elvis’s best movie role – (Part 5)

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– Elvis’s best movie role –
(Part 5)

By Mariusz Ogieg?o

Danny Fisher, portrayed by Presley, was an extremely complex character. Emotionally torn between three women – his sister who does everything to reconcile him with his father, Nellie – a charming saleswoman whom he meets during his first store robbery, and Ronnie, Maxie Fields’ sexy but completely lost girlfriend.

The latter was brilliantly played by Carolyn Jones (actually Carolyn Sue Jones), who only a year earlier had received an Oscar nomination for best supporting role in the drama “The Bachelorette” by Delbert Mann. ” The role is brilliant and I can sing ,” the actress said about her participation in Presley’s film, at the same time repelling the attacks of critics who condemned her performance alongside the controversial singer. “ Plus, think about the audience that Presley’s film will attract. This is Elvis’ last movie before he goes into the army and that’s enough .

However, Jones gained the greatest recognition from viewers for her role as Morticia Adams in the series “The Adams Family” broadcast by ABC in 1964-1966.

The complete opposite of on-screen Ronnie was Nellie, a modest and nice employee of the store where one day Danny shows up with members of a local gang to commit regular thefts. However, the girl, charmed by the young singer, does not turn him in to the police and their meeting soon turns into a heated affair.

This role was played by the increasingly popular Dolores Hart, whom most viewers, especially Presley fans, still remembered from her previous performance alongside Elvis – in the film “Loving You”, which turned out to be a real springboard for a career for the novice actress at that time.

Although only a few months have passed since the premiere of Presley’s second film, Hart has managed to star in two Hollywood productions during that time – the dramas “Wild Is The Wind” directed by Georg Cukor and “Lonelyhearts” by Vincent J. Donehue.

The slogan promoting “King Creole” read: ” Danny had many women in his life, but only two of them really mattered to him – Nelly, who didn’t know much about love, and Ronnie, who knew too much about love .”

But there was also a third one that was clearly omitted in the above advertising slogan. Of course, we are talking about Mimi Fisher, the main character’s sister, who, guarding the family hearth, became a link between her rebellious brother and his father, who did not understand and did not accept his behavior.

Her character was played by Jan Shepard (actually Josephine Angela Sorbello), who appeared in Presley’s film thanks to the previously mentioned Dolores Hart. ” I played a play with Dolores Hart, who is my goddaughter ,” recalled the actress in an interview with Joe Krein from “ She was then under contract with Hal Wallis. One day she came up to me after work and said, ‘Jan, there’s a role in this movie I’m going to do with Elvis Presley that you would be perfect for. You could play his sister.’ ‘Sure, great,’ I replied and just let it go. But then Dolores called and said Hal Wallis wanted to see me. ‘I talked to him about you.’ So I went. When I arrived, Hal asked me to take the test. So they gave me the script and when I arrived at the studio it turned out that four other girls were also waiting for the test. I thought I would be the only one. I was shocked and almost left. But my friend Peter Baldwin, who was playing Elvis at the time, said, ‘Stay, stay. Those other girls aren’t any better than you.’ So, I was the last one to be tested. Then I went home and prayed to get the role. And I got it! “.

Previously, before joining the cast of Presley’s new film, Shepard mainly played minor roles in television series such as “Fireside Theater”, “Waterfront”, “Schlitz Playhouse”, “The Adventures Of Kid Carson” and “Private Secretary”. She also had a cameo in the war drama “Saber Jet” by Loius King.

She successfully continued her film and television career until the mid-1970s. It is also worth adding here that in 1965, she joined Elvis again. This time on the set of the comedy “Paradise, Hawaiian Style”.

Even if the remaining female roles were not as important from the point of view of the plot as those described above, it does not mean that they were not remembered by the viewers.

The best example of this may be the scene with the participation of the extremely talented French-Italian actress Liliane Montevecchi, whose dance and vocal performances in the scene with the song “Banana” not only made the male part of the audience dizzy, but also aroused the indignation of members of the Production Code Bureau, who demanded its shortening. ” Elvis Presley was a young kid back then ,” said the film’s Forty Nina in a 1991 television interview. “ He came to the set very early and then played the piano and sang for everyone. Before we started filming. It was adorable. He also always gave me a small teddy bear or some other stuffed animal. He really was a very nice person .”

Beginning her international career with performances in Parisian theaters, * Montevecchi also remembered that Elvis was very interested in European pop music at that time. ” He wanted to learn something about French rock’n’roll ,” she said. ” And since we were talking about Johnny Holliday earlier, he also wanted to know everything about him. So I brought him some of his recordings so he could compare French rock with the one he knew .

Other female roles in Elvis’ fourth film were given to, among others, Lilyana Chauvin (a French actress who in later years appeared alongside such stars as John Wayne, Tom Hanks, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Leonardo Di Caprio), Barbara Gayle, Reita Green , Dorothy Hack, Helene Hatch (played Mrs. Pearson) and Jackie Jospeh, whose popularity came from her appearances in such productions as “Gremlins Rumble” from 1984 or “Little Soldiers” from 1998.

In one of the first scenes of “King Creole”, Kitty White (actually Kitty Jean Bilbrew), an American jazz singer, also appeared on the screen, singing a duet with Presley of the song “Crawfish”.

  • Liliane Montevecchi made her debut in a theater near the Champs Elysées in Paris in the ballet by David Lichine. She was also a dancer at the Casino De Paris and in 1949 she danced in Monaco at the coronation of Prince Rainier III.

Information provided by EP Promised Land Poland, Mariusz Ogieg?o

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