Share your Love for Elvis Presley on Social Networks:

GI Blues – See the new Elvis!- (Part 2)

By Mariusz Ogieglo

Frankfort Special

The production of the film with the working title “Cafe Europa” (or “Christmas In Berlin”, as this was also the title used) began immediately – just a few days after the meeting at Goethestrasse 14 described above.

The film crew that arrived in Germany together with Wallis went to Fridberg on August 17 to take the first outdoor photos near the local Ray Barracks military base (the same one where Presley’s unit was stationed).

By the way, it is worth mentioning that all work on the film carried out in Germany, including the filming of military facilities, was carried out in close cooperation with the American Army and the Department of Defense (about which the audience was informed already during the opening credits).

At this stage of production, Elvis, who had declared from the beginning of his military service that he only wanted to conscientiously fulfill his duty to his homeland and did not want any special treatment*, was replaced by Private Tom W. Creel from the Third Motorized Division of the US Army. ” When Hal Wallis came to Bad Nauheim to film ‘GIBlues,’ he immediately started looking for a soldier who would resemble Elvis, ” Creel said in his book “The Private Life of Elvis.” “ About fifty boys were brought in from various nearby units and after a few days it turned out that I was the lucky one they chose. Imagine, some people told me I didn’t look like Elvis at all, but from a distance you couldn’t tell the difference .”


In addition to Tom Creel, one hundred other soldiers were also involved in the filming, who, like Presley, belonged to the Third Motorized Division of the US Army. On the film set, they mainly played the role of extras and were paid ten dollars for each shooting day (according to Peter Haining, Hal Wallis wanted them to earn extra money this way). ” I had to march, crawl on my stomach, jump into tanks and then jump out of them. Basically, I had to do things that (like Elvis) I was used to anyway ,” recalled Presley’s understudy.

The filmmakers worked in Germany for several weeks, visiting places such as Lower Franconia, Frankfurt am Main, Weisbaden, famous for its thermal springs, and the picturesque town of Idstein, with a population of almost twenty-four thousand inhabitants.

However, Elvis never appeared at any of these locations. ” We didn’t see Elvis during the filming ,” Creel remembered. ” Although, I think he came once to see one of the battle scenes from afar .”

Presley’s European fans visited the set much more often, and while watching the actors’ work from a distance, they often confused their idol with his replacement, Tom Creel. ” Playing a big star like Elvis was a strange and exciting feeling ,” the singer’s stunt double explained to the author of The Private Life of Elvis. ” I even got asked for an autograph a few times and it was really hard to resist the temptation not to write ‘Elvis Presley’ – while everyone else around me was thoroughly amused by the mistakes .”

Most of Presley’s next film was shot using the very high-quality Vistavision method that Paramount Pictures had developed just five years earlier (in 1954).

Hal Wallis entrusted Norman Taurog with directing the comedy (although, in September 1959, he allowed Michael Curtiz, with whom Presley had worked on his earlier film, “King Creole”), to be involved in the project. Born in 1899, an experienced American director, who was awarded an Oscar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1931 for the film “Skippy”. ” Working with Elvis was one of the most interesting periods in my career ,” Taurog confessed in the book “The Private Life of Elvis”. “ He was the greatest talent I have ever met. I’m happy to have the distinction of being as close to Elvis as any other director. We were really good friends .”

“GIBlues” was the first of nine films on which Taurog worked with Presley. ” In the 1960s, being young was a very big advantage, as was belonging to some mysterious society ,” said the director. ” Elvis was a symbol. He was a leader. A whole generation of teenagers followed him and proved what I always said about him – that he was the real Peter Pan .

The authors of the script – Henry Garson and Edmund Beloin, an American radio, television and film scriptwriter who gained popularity with such productions as “Don’t Give Up The Ship” with Jerry Lewis in the main role, “All In A Night’s Work” with Dean Martin and Schirley McClean or “Paris Holiday”.

After filming locations in Germany, the film crew returned to Hollywood, where at the end of April 1960 the next stage of work on the production began. This time, however, with the participation of Elvis.

  • Elvis News even claimed that Presley was banned from working on film sets during his military service

Article written and provided by Mariusz Ogieglo, EP Promised Land

If you want to visit more articles about the life of Elvis Presley, enter the following Elvis Radio 24h link: Thanks TCB

We remind you that you can also listen to Elvis Radio 24 hours on your mobile phone by downloading our free applications for Android in the Play Store, and for iPhone in your Apple Store Thank you very much!!…

Share your Love for Elvis Presley on Social Networks: