Sharon F. (bookworm01) from STATESBORO, GA Reviewed on 11/16/2009...
This is one of my favorite Elvis movies! I liked the tour guide in Hawaii angle. The scenery was beautiful! Angela Lansbury was perfect as the spoiled rich Southern lady also.
Guilty As Charged: I Love This Film
James Paris | Los Angeles, CA USA | 07/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What is a self-proclaimed intellectual doing watching (and loving) Elvis films? I make no claims about Norman Taurog as a director, nor about the credibility of the script, nor about the authenticity of the Hawaiian music. I DO claim, however, that Elvis is the The King. The songs, the music, and the singing are fantastic. Everything else is strung onto Elvis like strings of popcorn around a Christmas tree. Not all Elvis films are this good. What makes this one better are the glossy production values; and the letterbox print definitely helps. Angela Lansbury puts in a highly amusing performance as Elvis's ditzy Southern Belle mama (after all, Hawaii is the southernmost state, no?). The whole story hinges around Elvis's return from the military and his desire to return to his cozy beach bum existence, while mater and pater want him to join the family pineapple firm. The King, of course, is subject to no law. He goes into the tour guide business, marshalling a well-preserved teacher and her four teenage charges around the islands. His Franco-Hawaiian girlfriend is jealous that there's more than tourism going on behind closed doors. At the end, everything comes together. Elvis gets hitched AND finds a way to work in tourism and for the pineapple firm at the same time. All is at peace in the world, and the music wells up. Finis."
Elvis in Hawaii.
Robert S. Clay Jr. | St. Louis, MO., USA | 01/08/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Viewing this 1961 movie from the perspective of 2001 is a nostalgic treat. It recalls the days when the hottest venue in town was the local movie theater showing Beach Party movies, Vincent Price/Edgar Allan Poe flicks, John Wayne Westerns, and Elvis' latest musical romp."Blue Hawaii" is the prototype of Elvis' subsequent movies. It helped change his movie persona from the James Dean wannabe of the pre-army movies into the familiar pop rock star of the mid-'60s. A very slender Elvis returns home from the army and settles in to enjoy life in the sun and spend time with his girl, Maile (Joan Blackman). His stuffy parents disapprove of his beach bum life, disapprove of his friends, and want him to put his nose to the family grindstone in his father's business. This conflict sets in motion the lightweight plot with its obligatory singing, dancing, and romantic complications. As in many of Elvis' pictures, the story merely serves as a framework for the 14 or so musical numbers. Among the best are "Rock-A-Hula Baby," "Beach Boy Blues," and the classic "Can't Help Falling in Love." The scenery is wonderful, the music is fun, and the comedy provokes both groans and chuckles. Angela Lansbury is hilarious as Elvis' southern belle mother. Her air-headed character is an amusing satire of Tennessee Williams. Howard McNear (you know, Floyd the barber on "Andy Griffith") is funny as a befuddled owner of a tourist service. Joan Blackman and a bevy of nubile beauties look good in sixties swimwear. Great color photography and solid Hall Wallis production values add to the enjoyment. Kick back and enjoy the fun. ;-)"
Light Hearted Musical
K. Anderson | UK | 12/15/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Great location, great music, poor script - but who really cares when Elvis is on screen doing his thing and singing some of the best songs to ever come out of one film.Elvis returns to the islands from the army determined not to enter into his rich father's pineapple business, preferring to try and make a go of a tour guide business with his Hawaiian girlfriend. His snobbish mother; Landsbury in a great over the top acting part complete with Southern drawl,("Have you got some sugar for your mother?") is horrified but she and his father eventually agree to let him try.After various plot twists involving a tourist group made entirely up of young girls, he eventually makes a go of things and marries the girl.Favourite songs have to be, Can't Help Falling In Love, which he sings to his girlfriend's grandmother for her birthday and Almost Always True. Other songs are, Rock A Hula Baby, Hawaiian Wedding Song, Blue Hawaii, Aloha Oe, No More, Moonlight Swim, Ku-u-i-po, Ito Eats, Slicin' Sand, Hawaiian Sunset, Beachboy Blues and Island of Love.Nice piece of romantic, musical escapism."
OUTSTANDING ELVIS DVD
William Miller | Florissant, MO | 05/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Paramount had done a terrific job on the Elvis "Blue Hawaii" DVD. At last we get get to see the beautiful letterbox image in all of it's Panavision glory. The color is dark and rich. And they have done wonders with the sound by turning a mono movie into a partially stereo movie. The music tracks have been redone to make it almost sound like true stereo. The Hawaii location photography has never looked better and this movie also serves as a great commerical for the Hawaii Department of Tourism.This movie is the prototype of most of the Elvis movies that were to follow. Some Elvis fans do not like these formula type of Elvis movies, preferring the earlier ones where he was more rock 'n' roll and raw. But Blue Hawaii is very entertaining and it features probably the best bunch of Elvis songs in any of his movies. A great supporting cast helps a lot especially Angela Lansbury as Elvis' wacky mother. (Trivia fans take note: When this movie was filmed, Elvis was 26 years old and Lansbury was 36 years old.)I strongly recommend this DVD to all Elvis fans. And if you are not an Elvis fan, buy this DVD and you might become one quickly."
THE Elvis movie.
Brent A. Anthonisen | Alpharetta, GA, USA | 08/12/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As bad as a lot of the movies Elvis made were (and let's be honest, they were AWFULLY bad), it should be noted that a number of the better ones could be compared stylistically to the James Bond movies that were made during the same time peiod.
Think about it...you have a charismatic lead character who usually finds himself with some kind of problem (albeit of varying degrees) in some exotic locale surrounded by beautiful women and with only his charm and wit to get him through the situation (although James Bond had Q's gadgets, Elvis had his golden tonsils and any guitar that happened to be in the frame at the time he needed accompaniment to sing a song that could be sung by no one else...for whatever reason needed to advance the plot).
Even though "G.I. Blues" established the prototype by which a seemingly endless run of Elvis/Hal Wallis movies would be copied after his release from his military obligation, "Blue Hawaii" seems to have been one of the defining moments in Elvis' life (his subsequest return there to make additional movies AS WELL AS the "Aloha" concert broadcast worldwide in 1973 seem to confirm that the Sandwich Islands always had a special place in The King's rather ample heart...and you can't convince me that the number of Elvis songs included in the "Lilo & Stitch" soundtrack would've been there without that same connection); although this movie does have occasionally painful spots as afar as the acting is concerned, I actually believe that Elvis' own performance is rather inspired. And his supporting cast seems to be enjoying their roles, as well.
Of course, the film itself is just gorgeous to watch...well-photographed, and the collection of songs is particularly strong (the "Blue Hawaii" soundtrack was the biggest-selling pop music album during the entire DECADE of the 1960's, after all...and that beats anything that John, Paul, George & Ringo put out, as well), so overall this really is about as good as a total package as you could hope for.
The cultural status of this film also stands the test of time...it is probably the first movie that comes to mind when "Elvis" and "movies" are mentioned in the same sentence; all I needed to accept this idea was seeing the result of the collabration between the two greatest post-Elvis icons of the entertainment industry during the 20th Century (Saturday Night Live and Wayne Gretzky) in a parody of "Blue Hawaii" called "Rock-Hula-Hockey" (or something like that)...truly a defining experience that crosses all boundaries!"