When Chad Gates arrives back in Hawaii after serving in the Army for two years he defies his parents wishes to work within the family business and instead looks to find his own calling in life. Settling for work as a tour guide at his girlfriend Maile’s agency.
I have pretty much grown up watching this film considering it is a favourite of my Mam’s. Therefore I have actually seen it many times over the years, with one of my all time favourites Angela Lansbury in it and one of the few things I have seen Elvis Presley in, therefore this is my big Elvis experience to be brutally honest. In terms of his performance and the songs he gets to sing I don’t really see it as a bad thing either.
Chad comes across as a very big womaniser and on his reunion with his girlfriend singing ‘Almost Always True’ not really the nicest of songs. Something I had never actually thought too much about until watching the film again. The film also has in one of his most famous songs, ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ and the way is placed in the film is a pretty nice moment with a grandmother. When he takes on the job of being a tour guide, he is tasked with a school teacher and four teenage girls, with his extreme good looks that was never going to be the best idea in the world. Some scenes now may just seem a little bit shocking, yes I am talking about that spanking scene! Very uncomfortable viewing, but I guess that shows how somethings have changed?
Angela Lansbury taking on the role of Sarah Lee Gates and adding such fantastic comedic value. The overbearing mother who wants nothing more than to forget how old Chad actually is, trying to control him. Roland Winters delivers some fantastic one liners towards Lansbury in his role as Fred Gates, all working so very well together. Joan Blackman as Male is given a pretty strong female role which I found very impressive for a film from the 60s.
Throughout the film we are given a lovely treat to see some beautiful shots of Hawaii and that is certainly a plus to this one. Filmed on the island and the sea is certainly put to use in many different scenes. Being able to show off the beautiful state and reassuring that it was actually filmed in Hawaii, something that doesn’t always happen now with films being shot on location.
The romance and love story is nicely placed throughout as well without being too overbearing. The songs as well creating some lovely moments which balance it out into a pretty nice musical film which would easily make this the perfect Sunday afternoon viewing. I am very curious to how people feel about this film as checking reviews it was not very well received critically. If fans of Elvis love or hate this one, or if you aren’t a fan how you feel as well.