Derek Winnert


This article was written on 15 Nov 2017, and is filled under Reviews.

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Frankie and Johnny ** (1966, Elvis Presley, Donna Douglas, Harry Morgan) – Classic Movie Review 6261

Director Frederick de Cordova’s 1965 romantic musical stars Elvis Presley as Johnny, a singing gambler on a Mississippi river showboat, who is tempted away from his lover Frankie (Donna Douglas) by the charms of sweet Nellie Blye (Nancy Kovack), in a plot based on the classic song as developed in a story by Nat Perrin.

Some satire or indication of tongue-in-cheek would have helped this bland material in the dull screenplay by Alex Gottlieb. Basically, it needs a big injection of fun and entertainment to be successful.

Presley is lumbered with a dozen songs that don’t suit him (‘When the Saints’, ‘Down by the Riverside’, ‘Look out for Broadway’, ‘Frankie and Johnny’ etc), and it looks like his commitment to the movie more or less stopped there.

Also in the cast are Harry Morgan, Sue Anne Langdon, Audrey Christie, Robert Strauss, Anthony Eisley, Jerome Cowan, Wilda Taylor, Larri Thomas, Joyce Jameson, Henry Corden, Dave Willock, Naomi Stevens and James Millhollin.

It is shot in Technicolor by Jacques Marquette, produced by Edward Small and scored by Fred Karger.

There are two other unconnected films with this same title.

Donna Douglas, the Beverly Hillbillies’ Elly May Clampett, died at 81 in January 2015.

© Derek Winnert 2017 Classic Movie Review 6261

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