55 Years of “Girls! Girls! Girls!”

“The Swingin’-est ELVIS + Girls (Girls Girls) + Songs (Lots of Them) – Who Could Ask for Anything More?”

That’s what the poster says for Elvis’ 1962 hit musical, “Girls! Girls! Girls!” – and the movie certainly delivered on that promise.

Hawaii became a state in 1959, and Elvis was quick to celebrate the lovely state with “Blue Hawaii” in 1961 and “Girls! Girls Girls!” in 1962, followed by “Paradise, Hawaiian Style” in ’66.

Elvis preferred to travel to Hawaii for location shooting by boat, so the production schedule was pushed back to accommodate for his travel. A labor strike forced him to fly, however, and thousands of fans mobbed him when he arrived at the airport.

Scenes were filmed at the Bumble Bee Tuna plant near Waikiki Beach and the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor.

“Girls! Girls! Girls” was released nationally on November 21, 1962 –  making this year its 55th anniversary. A few of the working titles for this movie include “A Girl in Every Port,” “Welcome Aboard” and “Gumbo Ya-Ya.” Elvis stars in the film alongside Laurel Goodwin, Stella Stevens and Jeremy Slate.

Elvis stars as Ross Carpenter, a sailor and Hawaiian fishing guide. He wants to buy a boat, but his plans slow down when he becomes involved with both Robin (Stella Stevens), a young singer, and the sweet-natured Laurel (Laurel Goodwin). His romantic rival, Wesley (Jeremy Slate), owns the boat he wants – and he’s chasing Laurel, too.

Elvis brought his pet chimp, Scatter, with him to Hollywood, where he was photographed on the set with Elvis. Scatter wasn't very well behaved and often got into trouble.

Elvis brought his pet chimp, Scatter, with him to Hollywood, where he was photographed on the set with Elvis. Scatter wasn’t very well behaved and often got into trouble.

Jeremy Slate also had a role in “G.I. Blues.” Stella Stevens was, like Elvis, a Mississippi native. She got her start in modeling and acting after moving to Memphis to go to college. Laurel Goodwin shared her memories of working with Elvis at Elvis Week 2017.

Robert Strauss, who stars in “Girls! Girls! Girls!” as Sam, appears in another Elvis film, “Frankie and Johnny.” The three Ling children were played by siblings Ginny Tiu, Elizabeth Tiu and Alexander Tiu. Another sibling, Vicky Tiu, also starred with Elvis in “It Happened at the World’s Fair.”

As with many of his films, you can spot Elvis’ friends and band members in the background. Legendary drummer Hal Blaine, who played on many of Elvis’ hits, is in the film as – of course – a drummer in the lounge band. Elvis’ stand-in, Lance Le Gault, plays the bass in the band. And Allan Fortas can be spotted catching a fish, while Red West plays guitar on a fishing boat.

"Girls! Girls! Girls!" was Laurel Goodwin's acting debut.

“Girls! Girls! Girls!” was Laurel Goodwin’s acting debut.

 

Laurel shared her memories of working alongside the King of Rock 'n' Roll at Elvis Week 2017.

Laurel shared her memories of working alongside the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll at Elvis Week 2017.

One of Elvis’ least favorite tunes on the soundtrack was “Song of the Shrimp.” But it was Col. Tom Parker who found one of the most famous songs on the soundtrack – “Return to Sender” – which is still an Elvis fan favorite.

When he wasn’t on the set, Elvis could often be found practicing karate in his hotel room. He’d often break as many as 40 boards a night. Worried that Elvis would break his hand and production would stop, producer Hal Wallis asked Elvis to stop practicing until filming was complete.

Elvis preferred to travel to Hawaii for location shooting by boat, so the production schedule was pushed back to accommodate for his travel. A labor strike forced him to fly, however, and thousands of fans mobbed him when he arrived at the airport.

Elvis preferred to travel to Hawaii for location shooting by boat, so the production schedule was pushed back to accommodate for his travel. A labor strike forced him to fly, however, and thousands of fans mobbed him when he arrived at the airport.

We’re watching all of Elvis’ films in chronological order for our Elvis movie podcast, Starring Elvis Presley. Tune in to our episode about “Girls! Girls! Girls” below, and click here to listen to all of the Starring Elvis Presley episodes.

Immerse yourself in the legendary career of Elvis Presley at Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum at Elvis Presley’s Memphis at Graceland. The museum features movie costumes, scripts and props, in addition to Elvis’ stage wear, awards and more. Go to Graceland.com now to start planning your visit to Graceland!


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