Here's the alpha point of Elvis Presley's film career, the introduction of the raw-boned Mississippi boy into Hollywood pictures. E.P. takes a supporting role, and his entrance is delayed for nearly 20 minutes: kid brother... more » to returning Civil War soldier Richard Egan, his character marries Egan's sweetheart Debra Paget when Egan is presumed dead. It's a chance for Elvis, his face still trembling with baby fat, to emote dramatically and finish tragically, both of which he does passably well. A serviceable Western, the film shamelessly shoehorns four Presley tunes into two sequences: E.P. crooning on mama's porch, and performing at a country fair (where starchy locals don't seem disturbed at the boy's gyrating hips and happy feet). All in all, a shrewd way to put a foot in Hollywood's doorway, and, of course, one of the last Presley movies to feel like a real film and not a vehicle for the King. --Robert Horton« less
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 09/12/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Love Me Tender" is the touching tale of brotherly love, and the after effects of war. It is also the film that introduces Elvis to us as an actor. Although not his best screen work(he gets better in later films), it's very much worth the view, just to be serenaded by him throughout the film, and his moving rendition of "Love Me Tender" will put a lump in your throat and have you humming it for days after.
Richard Egan, William Campbell, and James Drury are the three older Reno Brothers who have been off fighting in the Civil War for four years. They are fighting for the Confederates, and not knowing the war has ended, have robbed the Northern Army's payroll, with all intentions of turning it over to the cause of the South. When they find out the war is over, they earnestly figure it is the "spoils of war" and divvy it up with the other men in their group. They happily return home, and Vance(Egan) is especially anticipating reuniting with the girl he left behind, the beautiful Kathy(Debra Paget).
Things go downhill from there...Everyone thought Vance had been killed in the war, his younger brother Clint(Elvis), has married his girl, and the law is after the brothers for the payroll money they stole. Vance loves his younger brother and tries to live with this turn of events, but things go from bad to worse as he tries to make things right with everyone.
Elvis performs several musical numbers throughout the film, including "We're Gonna Move" and the toe tappin "Poor Boy". And as I said above, these performances, make this film well worth the view. They're pure Elvis.
From 1956, in Black and White, it's a musical Western, a story of a brother's love, action, romance and ELVIS!...Enjoy.....Laurie
LOVE ME TENDER
Mike Kurosky | Rosston, Texas United States | 07/30/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In this western drama set immediately after the Civil War (originally titled "The Reno Brothers"), Elvis appears in the secondary role of Clint Reno. This was the only time in his acting career that Elvis received second billing. Clint, the younger of the four Reno brothers, stayed behind to run the family farm during the war while his older brothers were off fighting for the Confederacy. Star Richard Egan plays Vance Reno, the elderst brother whom the family believes to have been killed in battle. Upon returning home, Vance is shocked to discover that Clint has married Vance's former sweetheart, Cathy, played by Debra Pagent (who appeared in The Ten Commandments). The love triangle, complicated by the greedy actions of some unscrupulous ex-Confederates, eventually pits brother against brother, resulting in Clint's death. The downbeat ending is tempered by the brother's reconciliation as Clint dies in Cathy's arms.Originally titled "The Reno Brothers", this western drama was re-titled after a number of articles announced that advanced sales for "Love Me Tender"--one of the songs recorded for the film--exceeded a million copies. It was the first time advanced sales for a single release had ever suprassed the million mark, and the producers capitalized on the publicity by changing the film's title. The enormous amount of press coverage also affected the film's conclusion. During production, fanzines leaked that Elvis's character was supposed to die near the end of the film. As originally shot, the final scene features Mother Reno solemnly ringing the dinner bell as her three remaining sons toil in the fields. Pain and loss are registered on the faces of Mother Reno and Cathy, who mourn the death of Clint. Elvis's legion of fans were disturbed by the news that their idol was to be killed off in his first film and caused such a commotion that Twentieth Century-Fox shot an alternative ending in which Clint is spared. For reasons known only to the producers the second ending was rejected. Instead a third version of the ending was used and Clint is killed as called for in the original script, but the final shot superimposed a ghostly close-up of Elvis as Clint crooning "Love Me Tender" as his family slowly walks away from his grave. Hence the fans were then left with a final image of Elvis doing what he was famous for--singing.The same promotion surrounding Love Me Tender that generated excitement among the fans also generated loathing among the critics. Many were brutal in their assessment of Elvis's performance, particulary Time Magazine, comparing Elvis's acting and screen presence to that of a sausage, a "Walt Disney Goldfish", a corpse, and a cricket--all in the same brief review.If Elvis cried over the mean-spirited reviews, then he cried all the way to the bank. The film recouped its production costs within three days of release, guaranteeing that Elvis's Hollywood future would be lucrative.Produced for Twentieth Century Fox by David Weisbart. Released November 15, 1956. B&W."
Not really an Elvis movie, but a good Civil War western
Peter Ingemi | Worcester County, Massachusetts United States | 10/15/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ok I'm no big fan of Elvis, I know his music, (an American can't help but know it.) Its good music, but I don't own a song of his. I don't claim to be a follower of his movies either, but this one is a western and I AM a follower of westerns and Civil War movies and this passes well. This movie brings it highs and lows. A trio of brothers fresh from a raid of a Union payroll find out that the war is over on their way to turn in the money to their General with the unit. Their commander Vance (the eldest brother) decides there is no Confederate Government to turn the cash in to. They split the dough and head home. The family gets a shock that they are alive when they were told they were dead, while he gets a shock which the girl we was to marry is wed to his younger brother (Elivs). The plot twists when the Union army decides that to come after the former raiders, causing splits among the raiders and increasing the tension between the brothers. The movie is more than passable (should likely be 3 3/4 stars vs 4's) and the acting is pretty good and the story moves along well. As far as Elvis goes, this movie proves he can act. Its a shame that we don't see him in later years in more conventional movies such as this one. This picture convinces me he could carry it off well. Sinatra was able to pull off movies that were seperate from his singing, (although he did a fair amount of "singing" movies.) its a shame Elvis never got that chance."
Here's a raw Presley appearing in his film debut
Barbara H. Holaday | Phoenix, AZ USA | 02/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For anyone who enjoys Elvis Presley's earlier films, Love Me Tender is a must buy. Presley was not even the top star of this film, but by now, the other actors are long forgotten, and Elvis Presley is a household name. This post Civil war bittersweet romance does not offer an overwhelming plot, but I enjoyed the rough edges in the characterization of the caring, but short-tempered, young Texas farmer that Presley portrays, The film does not contain a host of Elvis' songs as do his later musicals, but his sensitive rendition of "Love Me Tender" is unforgettable."
One of The Best Elvis Movies
Isaac Laughhunn | Victoria TX | 03/16/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Love Me Tender" is a WHOLE lot better than I thought it would be. It is a very well-done movie. It may not be the absolute, hands-down best Elvis movie, but it ranks highly on the list. It has a good cast, Richard Egan, Debra Paget, etc. The movie is set right after the Civil War, so the songs couldn't be "rock-n'roll", so the movie has country-type songs, and of course, "Love Me Tender". I also appreciate how he's singing these songs on the front porch with his guitar or singing at a benefit to raise money for building a schoolhouse(all very logical and natural settings to be singing in, as opposed to breaking out in song with an invisible orchestra behind you when you're riding horses or something.) It is well-acted, and has an interesting plot, enough to keep you interested. See this movie. It's worth the time."