A big hunk o' celluloid: Daly's 5 favorite Elvis movies
Strangest thing: My wee daughters, ages 2 and 6, absolutely love Elvis movies. Part of this is because they think Daddy looks like the King. (Swollen Jumpsuit Presley, presumably.) But there's something else going on, too, a cartoonish reality skip that sucks them in like a Crayola flourish. His flicks have all the dimensions and grace of a Scooby-Doo caper. Of course, Shaggy couldn't seduce Ann-Margret by singing The Lady Loves Me. Herewith, the ideal quintuple-bill for Elvis Night at the Daly Manse:
1. Blue Hawaii (1961): The first third of this beach-bum fantasy is 100 percent sans plot (no, no, like more than usual!) — instead, the gorgeous framing of CinemaScope catches Elvis as he splashes with Joan Blackman, has a homoerotic slapfest with his surfing buddies and goofs around on the underrated cut Almost Always True.
2. Clambake (1967): This definitely would have been Mark Twain's favorite Elvis flick — well, this or Harum Scarum. The King plays the heir of an oil baron who does the ol' prince-and-pauper switcheroo with a Florida waterskiing instructor. Commence the wild bikini hunt!
3. King Creole (1958): With Elvis as a nightclub singer and pudding-faced Walter Matthau as a baddie, this made for one of the King's better movies. (Love that opening salute to New Orleans.) With the inclusion of Hard Headed Woman, Trouble and the title track, it also made for one his best soundtracks. Commence debate!
, 4. Jailhouse Rock (1957): You can't beat that iconic treatment of the title song, still a visual treat for young and old. As for the site of a shirtless Elvis getting lashed — cover your eyes, kids!
, 5. Viva Las Vegas (1964): Elvis was in hot pursuit of co-star Ann-Margret both on- and offscreen, and the sizzle showed. It also helped that the redheaded hellkitten could sing, dance and basically set our souls on fire.