PRESLEY with a beat – that’s what you get in Elvis’ latest film “Follow That Dream” which is premiered at the London Pavilion tomorrow (Friday), and goes on release on July 30.
He sings five songs in the film, and only one, “Angel,” is a ballad. The other four are “What A Wonderful Life,” “I’m Not The Marrying Kind,” “Sound Advice” and “Follow That Dream,” and RCA are to release three of the beat numbers and “Angel” on an EP.
And in addition to concentrating on beat songs, Elvis tries his very capable hand at comedy – he plays the part of a naive, honest country bumpkin and he produces the right deadpan expression and slow-drawling speech for the role.
He plays Toby Kwimper, a hulking, simple-minded country boy invalided out of the army. He and his father (Arthur O’Connell) look after no less than four orphans.
One is a pretty teenager called Holly (Anne Helm), who acts as mother to a baby in arms and young boy twins, and who is who is obviously going to Elvis in the end.
Pop Kwimper has an incurable prejudice against work, and the family lives off the various government allowances he receives on their behalf.
Part of the plot hinges on the Kwimper’s duel with bureaucracy in the person of highways supervisor Arthur King (Alan Hewitt) and welfare superintendent Alicia Claypoole (Joanna Moore), who turns vindictive after an unsuccessful attempt to seduce Elvis (how’s that for welfare!).
The film climax in court when the Kwimper’s fight to retain custody of the four orphans is effective, giving Elvis an opportunity to do some competent and convincing acting with more than one expression.
Disc, 9 June 1962