50th Anniversary: Elvis Presley’s ‘Double Trouble’

Double the Elvis movies, double the fun! Just a few weeks after “Easy Come, Easy Go,” was released, Elvis Presley’s next movie, the musical comedy “Double Trouble,” followed. Like “Easy Come, Easy Go,” the “Double Trouble” movie doesn’t top many fans’ lists of favorite Elvis films, and it performed well – but not great – at the box office. Still, fans enjoy the laughs, the music and, of course, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, in this romp about a rock star who gets mixed up with an heiress, jewel thieves and detectives. “Double Trouble” is Elvis’ 24th film. He actually filmed it before he filmed his 23rd film, “Easy Come, Easy Go,” although “Easy Come, Easy Go” was released just before “Double Trouble.” Elvis filmed “Double Trouble” in July – August 1966, and it was released April 5, 1967. The original working title of the film was “You’re Killing Me,” but “Double Trouble” worked better. Norman Taurog directed these nine Elvis’ films, more than any other director: “Double Trouble” “G.I. Blues” “Blue Hawaii” “It Happened at the World’s Fair” “Spinout” “Tickle Me” “Speedway” “Live a Little, Love a Little” “Girls! Girls! Girls!” Other Norman-directed movies are “Skippy,” “Boys Town” and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” He also cast many of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Dean Martin, Donna Reed and more. Elvis’ “Double Trouble” co-star Annette Day made her film debut in this movie. She was working at an antique shop when she was discovered by a producer but “Double Trouble” was the only movie Day ever made. Stage, film and TV actor John Williams, who stars in “Double Trouble,” also starred in “Sabrina” (as the chauffeur) and Alfred Hitchcock’s “To Catch a Thief.” While the movie took place in Belgium and Britain, it wasn’t filmed there. Elvis made the movie entirely on the MGM lot in Culver City, California. While Elvis was filming this movie, he went to a Jackie Wilson concert and met the singer backstage. Elvis invited him to the set of “Double Trouble.” At the Jackie Wilson show, Elvis also met singer James Brown. Elvis was good friends with both Jackie and James for the rest of his life. Speaking of James Brown, you can check out a suit James sported on stage at our new exhibit, Icons: The Influence of Elvis Presley. The exhibit features artifacts from artists who were...
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Elvis Presley’s ‘Easy Come, Easy Go’ Turns 50

Romance, comedy and an underwater treasure – what more do you need? It’s the 50th anniversary of Elvis’ 23rd movie, “Easy Come, Easy Go.” The movie premiered in March 1967. While it didn’t make a huge impression at the box office, Elvis fans were happy with the colorful, adventurous plotline, Elvis tunes and, of course, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself. In “Easy Come, Easy Go,” Elvis stars as Ted, a former U.S. Navy frogman and singer. He discovers a treasure in a sunken ship and sets out to get it for himself. Standing in his way are Gil (Skip Ward) and Dina (Pat Priest), who aim to claim the treasure for themselves. The movie was filmed in September and October 1966. “Easy Come, Easy Go” was directed by John Rich, who also directed “Roustabout.” This musical comedy was the last movie he directed; he went on to gain fame as a comedy TV director. He directed shows like “All in the Family,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “The Brady Bunch,” “Gilligan’s Island” and many more. Speaking of folks Elvis worked with previously, Dodie Marshall played Jo in “Easy Come, Easy Go,” and she also starred in “Spinout.” Pat Priest starred as Marilyn Munster in “The Munsters,” and she’s the daughter of Ivy Baker Priest, the former Treasurer of the United States. Madame Neherina was played by Elsa Lanchester, who enjoyed an extensive career in film. She’s most famous for starring in the title role of “Bride of Frankenstein.” If you want to learn even more about Elvis’ movies, visit Graceland. Our new exhibit and entertainment complex, Elvis Presley’s Memphis, houses Presley Motors, which is home to many of Elvis’ cars – including vehicles used in movies, like the colorful “Mongrel T” seen in “Easy Come, Easy Go.” You can also see movie costumes, props and more at the Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum, the world’s largest Elvis museum, at the complex. Make your plans today to see all of this for...
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Elvis Presley’s Graceland

Sixty years ago this month, Elvis made one of his most important purchases: Graceland. In the spring of 1957, Elvis was filming his second movie, “Loving You,” and his home address was on Audubon Drive in Memphis, Tennessee. He’d had a slew of hits on the charts, and he’d appeared on many national television shows – including, most recently, his third and final “Ed Sullivan Show” appearance. Elvis had outgrown the nice home he enjoyed on Audubon. It was a good home, but his neighbors complained about the seemingly constant stream of fans and the family’s chickens, which lived in the yard (things that never bothered Elvis). Elvis considered buying every neighboring house, but instead, he and his parents decided to find a larger home out in the country. On Saturday, March 16, 1957, Elvis’ parents, Gladys and Vernon, took a tour of Graceland, which was a bit more secluded than the Audubon home. It sat high up on a hill off Highway 51, not far from the Mississippi-Tennessee State line. The Presleys fell in love with the home, which had been built in 1939 by the Toof family. Named Graceland after the owners’ aunt, Grace, the beautiful, two-story home was exactly what they were looking for in a home for their family. They called Elvis, who was filming in Hollywood, and told him the good news. Elvis arrived in Memphis on March 18, and the next day, he put a $1,000 down payment on the home. The purchase was finalized on March 25 for $102,500. Elvis paid $10,000 in cash, received $55,000 from the realty company for the Audubon Drive home and got a 25-year mortgage for the remainder. Elvis purchased the home as well as 13.8 acres of the surrounding farm land. The Presley family had Graceland renovated before moving in, so Vernon, Gladys and Elvis’ grandmother didn’t move in until May 16. Elvis was filming “Jailhouse Rock” by this time, so he didn’t spend the first night there until June 26. Before owning and living in Graceland, Elvis and his parents had lived in several homes and apartments. But with the purchase of Graceland, Elvis found his home. He lived there for the remainder of his life – another 20 years – and made it his own. He redecorated and expanded – Graceland was 10,266 square feet when he moved in, and it’s 17,552 square feet now –...
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The King’s Gold: Elvis Presley’s Gold Lamé Suit

Elvis wore some stunning stagewear during his career. Just think – you can easily name so many of his iconic outfits: the American Eagle jumpsuit from “Aloha from Hawaii,” the black leather suit from the ’68 Special, and, of course, his gold lamé suit. That gold lamé suit turns 60 years old this year, but it looks as brilliant as ever – and it has a new home at Graceland’s new entertainment complex, Elvis Presley’s Memphis. But more on that in a bit. Elvis’ manager, Col. Tom Parker, commissioned famed tailor Nudie Cohn, to create a sparkling suit for Elvis to wear on stage. Nudie’s suits are famous for their intricate embroidery and rhinestones, and his client list included Hank Williams, Porter Wagoner, John Lennon, John Wayne, Cher and many more. Elvis’ gold lamé suit included the jacket, pants, shoes, necktie and belt, and it cost $2,500. Elvis first wore the suit in late February or March 1957 for a photo shoot, and then wore it on stage for the first time in Chicago on March 28, 1957, and continued to wear the suit throughout 1957. Elvis often substituted black pants for the gold pants. He only wore the full gold suit for three performances: in Chicago on March 28, in St. Louis, Missouri, on March 29, and in Toronto, Canada, on April 2. The glittery gold suit was put into storage while Elvis served in the U.S. Army. After returning from service, he wore parts of it once more, at the benefit concert for the U.S.S. Arizona memorial, on March 25, 1961. At that show, he wore the jacket and necktie, but opted for dark pants. Elvis never wore the suit again. Besides wearing it on stage, the suit is also featured on album covers. If you’d like to see this eye-catching suit for yourself, you’re in luck. It’s on display at the new Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum, the world’s largest and most comprehensive Elvis museum, at our new entertainment complex, Elvis Presley’s Memphis. The museum also features many of Elvis’ most iconic stage wear – including that Black Leather suit, the American Eagle jumpsuit, and many, many more. Make plans today to see it for...
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