SAME AGAIN FROM ELVISELVIS PRESLEY’S new musical “Frankie And Johnny,” now showing at London’s New Victoria, follows that same pattern as most of his previous films. A host of blonde beauties vying for Mr. P’s favours ... the nasty villain who turns straight ... the funny man ... and the usual predictable plot.
Although the whole thing is fairly enjoyable, the sameness of the Presley productions is becoming a bore.
The story of “Frankie And Johnny” is more or less summed up in the words of the song. Elvis is, of course, Johnny, the inveterate gambler in love with Frankie, played by delightful Donna Douglas.
To their credit, the songs are far more varied than in many of his recent movies. The oldies “When The Saints Go Marching In” and, of course, “Frankie And Johnny,” are good, and his music-hall type version of “Look Out Broadway” (backed by a tinkling piano) is one of the best moments.
Another highlight is the ballad “Please Don’t Stop Loving Me,” now available as a single. Best of the rockers is “Chesay.”
To sum up: not a bad film; better than some of Elvis’s earlier catastrophes. But isn’t it about time he had a part he could really get his teeth into? Some former Presley fans must agree with me, because they were noticeably absent when I went along for this review. The cinema was half empty.
Norrie Drummond, NME, May 1966