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Even though this Special received outstanding ratings, it did not change things immediately for Elvis.

Contrary to popular belief, Presley did not immediately abandon movies and began the next phase of his career in Las Vegas. Just the opposite: things continued as usual, with the Elvis movie machine still running.

In fact, at the time Elvis was filming the television special in June 1968, his film “Speedway,” co-starring Nancy Sinatra, earned box office profits that rivaled many of his previous films. “Speedway” ranks No. 14 in box office earnings of all 31 Elvis Presley films.

Therefore, the perception that all of Presley’s films at that point in his career were box office failures is a myth.

Four months after the Elvis special aired, in April 1969, Presley was finishing his 31st film, “Change of Habit,” although he had no idea that this would be his last fiction film.

While Elvis was excited to return to performing live as a result of his television special, he did not like that the show was known as his “comeback.” According to Presley’s friend and Memphis DJ George Klein, Elvis privately expressed that he hadn’t gone anywhere, so why would people think he needed a comeback?

Aside from popular myths, Presley’s film career was not a failure. Every year from 1960 to 1966, Presley was among the top ten stars at the box office.

Elvis ranked as the 6th biggest box office star of the 1960s!

During his career, Elvis’ feature films grossed approximately US185 million at the box office in the United States and Canada, an average of around $6 million per film at the time.

In January 1966, Hedda Hopper expressed:
…Elvis is the only star in the business who doesn’t need a star cast and an expense of
“US 10 million.

…I wouldn’t be honest with you if I said I wasn’t ashamed of some of the movies and the songs I had to sing in them,” Elvis admitted in a 1969 interview. “…I’d like to say they were good, but I can’t. I’ve been extremely unhappy with that side of my career for some time.
But how can you find twelve good songs for each movie when you make three movies a year? I knew a lot of them were bad songs and they used to bother me a lot. But I had to do them. “They stuck to the script.


What the 1968 Special did do for Elvis personally was give him the courage to believe he could fight for his artistic freedom.

After hearing the song W. Earl Brown wrote “If I Can Dream“, Elvis told producer/director Steve Binder: “…I’m never going to sing another song I don’t believe in. I’m never going to make another movie.” that I don’t believe in.

Elvis still had high hopes for a career as a dramatic actor, although the general public did not support him at the box office in these types of roles.

When asked about his films in 1969, Elvis responded: “…I really enjoyed making “Charro.” It was the best movie I’ve made since “Flaming Star.” The story was good and so was the cast. I’d like to do more. films like this in the future”.

Source: ELVIS: Behind The Legend: Startling Truths About The King of Rock and Roll’s Life, Loves, Films and Music.

Information provided by Carlos R. Ares (Elvis Shop Argentina) https://www.facebook.com/elvis.line.7

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