American musical, bw, 1958, dir: Michael Curtiz, Language: English, Subtitles: Hungarian, 116’
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Screenplay by Herbert Baker, Michael V. Gazzo
Director of photography: Russell Harlan
Music by Walter Scharf
Cast: Elvis Presley, Carolyn Jones, Walter Matthau, Dolores Hart
Genre: musical, drama
This is Elvis’s best movie. There again, you don’t need to be a star-struck Elvis or Mihály Kertész fan to dare to say that it is not ‘the best’, but perhaps his only really good film, in which the singer truly revealed his acting skills in their best light. Kertész was the only filmmaker capable of making The King believe that what he did was authentic, that his portrayal of the tough guy whose heart is in the right place was believable. The kid from the suburbs struggling with impending school exams and facing up to the powerful bar owner says of himself that he is not a hooligan, just a tough guy (by the way, he also happens to be quite a singer). The film includes unforgettable scenes such as where Elvis gets into a fistfight and when at the end of a song with big band accompaniment he just shrugs his shoulders. The artistry of Kertész is evident right at the beginning in the New Orleans street scene with the crawfish seller girl, not forgetting the vivid acting of Elvis.
Opening speech by Thierry Frémaux, Director, Lumière Institute and Cannes International Film Festival
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