IT HAPPENED AT THE WORLD’S FAIR
ELVIS – OUT OF TUNEThe Elvis Presley faithfuls will possibly have themselves a ball with his latest musical romp, “It Happened At The World’s Fair” (Empire “U”).
But the recent film formula – consisting mainly of skimpy story boosted by mild romancing, a spot of comedy, a couple of scraps and ten or so songs of varying impact is beginning to wear perilously thin.
In this comedy, he and his buddy, Gary Lockwood, play a pair of lighthearted freelance pilots. Their passion for girls and gambling leave them constantly broke.
Hitch-hiking to the World’s Fair at Seattle in search of work they meet a Chinese farmer and his little niece, a precocious young Oriental lass named Vicky Tiu, whose charms quickly cloy.
Elvis is landed with taking the child to the Fair and then has temporarily to adopt her when her uncle disappears. He also gets involved with a nurse who works at the fair.
It needs far stronger plotting and characterisation to give these meagre happenings much body, though Presley laces them together as successful as possible by plunging for his guitar at the drop of a song cue. But only one or two of the ten ditties are whistleworthy.
Joan O’Brien as the nurse is cute enough to take my temperature any day, even if she doesn’t noticeably raise it.
Elvis goes through his paces with no sign of strain, but the comedy work of his chum, Gary Lockwood, is the livelier contribution.
Dick Richards UK Review 1963