Elvis Presley’s “Clambake” at 50

“You just said the magic word.”
“’Clambake’?”
“Yeah!”

Elvis Presley’s colorful, swinging 60s romp “Clambake” was released 50 years ago this year.

In the film, Elvis stars as Scott, the son of a millionaire who’s looking to make it on his own without his dad’s help. During a drive to Florida, Scott meets Tom (Will Hutchins), a waterskiing instructor, and the guys strike up a conversation. The guys decide to switch identities – Scott can find out if people will love him for who he is instead of his money, while Tom can live the high life as the son of a millionaire.

It’s not long before Scott is tangled up in a love triangle between the beautiful Dianne (Shelley Fabares) and James J. Jamison III (Bill Bixby). Dianne has eyes for Jamison and his money, but Scott wants her for himself.

As it often happens in Elvis movies, his character gets the girl in the end – after some songs, fights and, in this film, an exciting boat race.

Songs featured in "Clambake" include "The Girl I Never Loved," "Hey, Hey, Hey," "Who Needs Money?" and the title track.

Songs featured in “Clambake” include “The Girl I Never Loved,” “Hey, Hey, Hey,” “Who Needs Money?” and the title track.

“Clambake” was Elvis’ 25th movie. Elvis began shooting “Clambake” in March 1967, although filming was delayed for about a month after Elvis fell and suffered a mild concussion. “Clambake” premiered in October 1967, but it wasn’t released nationally until November 22, 1967.

The original title of the movie was “Too Big for Texas.”

"Clambake" features a boat race - and actual footage from the Orange Bowl International Power Boat Regatta was used for the film.

“Clambake” features a boat race – and actual footage from the Orange Bowl International Power Boat Regatta was used for the film.

 

Shortly after filming wrapped for "Clambake," Elvis and Priscilla tied the knot.

Shortly after filming wrapped for “Clambake,” Elvis and Priscilla tied the knot.

While a lot of the movie was filmed in and around Miami, Elvis’ scenes were filmed in Los Angeles. A double was used for the scenes in Miami. Actual footage from the Orange Bowl International Power Boat Regatta was used for the film’s boat race.

“Clambake” marks Shelley Fabares’ third and final Elvis film, having starred alongside Elvis in “Girl Happy” and “Spinout.” She also starred as Mary on “The Donna Reed Show.” Bill Bixby also starred in another Elvis film: “Speedway.” Bixby enjoyed roles on shows such as “My Favorite Martian” and “The Magician,” and he is best known for his role as Dr. David Banner on the CBS superhero show “The Incredible Hulk.” Another TV star appears in this movie: Flipper. Flipper the dolphin (whose real name was Susie), from the NBC show “Flipper,” has a cameo in “Clambake.”

One of the taglines for "Clambake" was "It's Elvis!..cooking up a storm!"

One of the taglines for “Clambake” was “It’s Elvis!..cooking up a storm!”

Tell us your favorite scenes and songs from “Clambake” in the comments!

While some rock ‘n’ roll stars have made movies, no one did it quite like Elvis. Explore his movie career – as well as his music career – in Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum at Graceland’s new exhibit and entertainment complex, Elvis Presley’s Memphis. You’ll see Elvis’ movie costumes, scripts, props and more movie memorabilia, as well as his jumpsuits, awards and more.


16 Comments

  1. Ruby Ramirez

    “Bosa Nova”
    Fun in Acapulo”

  2. Liked “The Girl I never Loved”, “You Don’t Know Me” and ” A House That Has Everything”. Favorite scene was when he changed how Dianne was dressed for her date with James and then sang “You Don’t Know Me”.

  3. Mary Ellen Rudsit

    I think you all forgot about another person that had a cameo in the film. When Elvis and Shelly were in the bar talking and one of the waiters walked behind him and he had a mustache which was so cute on him But you can clearly see that it was Lee Majors. He was doing The Big Valley at the time and I believe he brought his Mother and Father to meet Elvis. He wasn’t in the credits so nobody knew. Check it out.

  4. Janet Davies

    In this film Elvis didn’t seem as happy, as he did in his others, perhaps he was tired of making films by then, it has been said that he was fed up of the same story lines.
    For me one of the last best films was Change of Habit, in that he did what he loved Touch football, and for a change there was doubt if he got the girl.
    I did however enjoy this film

  5. Debbie Royal

    I love all of Elvis’s movies! And I love your blog and the site along with Graceland and the whole Memphis scene!

  6. Matt Swanson

    I want to say what I’ve said for years. Elvis made a lot of different films, of course mostly what people call “beach movies” but Hollywood entertainment movies and all of them had some great songs and great writers. Over the years Elvis’ specials, books,critics, even people that worked with him give a hard edge approach at times that I feel is not warranted. Also the stories and some scenes no matter how small say a lot, sometimes with Elvis just being a great Actor, a “natural” great actor! Take the story of Clambake, it’s about money and how people treat each with or without money. It’s about what men and women look for in a partner, a lot of times, money and how much of it you have or don’t have. When Bill Bixby character in the park after Scott Heywood (and Red West as the Ice Cream man) play with the kids and sing “confidence” Bill Bixby out with Shelly’s character (Diane Carter) hands Elvis $5 and says to pickup his cloths. Elvis’ character says nothing, stands there and stares him down. What does this say? It says you can’t buy me because you’re rich, you can’t control me and tell me what to do. A point I want to make about the music. This film features a song called “You Don’t Know Me”. Why don’t Elvis’ former employees and friends, critics ever talk about some of the great movie music…? and there’s a lot! “You Don’t Know Me” is a classic, written by Country Legends Eddy Arnold and Cindy Walker. It’s a classic song recorded by hundreds of artists in all areas of music over a half a century. it fits the scene and story of “Clambake” perfect! Elvis sings it with the feeling and pain the song always deserves.

  7. Joanne Rasmussen

    One of my favorite movies. Shelley & Elvis were so good together. I respect her for not doing a tell-all book on Elvis. I also like Bill Bixby. The earlier movies had Elvis getting a little dirt on him, but later on they didn’t. I do love Elvis on stage, movies or recordings.

  8. Melinda Petardi

    My favorite part is where Elvis takes Dianne’s clip out of her hair. He then takes a tissue out of her purse and tells her to blot! Oh my goodnes!!!!!!

  9. Theresa Gorman

    My favorite scene is when Tom brings in the girls to help Scott finished the boat and at the end when Elvis kissed all the girls, but purposely missed Tom’s girl. I always liked the playful side of Elvis in his movies. Clambake is my favorite, because of that. Blue Hawaii runs a very close 2nd.

  10. debbie vanmeter

    that is one of my favorites movies I love everything about the movie clambake.it was the best

  11. Wanda Bailey

    Clambake is one of my favorite movies. It is my daughter’s favorite. She always loved the part where he sings with the kids on the playground.

  12. Craig Shepard

    Great back stories from the one and only ELVIS!

  13. habelitz henri

    superbe film avec un Elvis comme dans la vie riche mais ne pence que au autres et ce fait passer comme tout le monde
    de jolie chanson

  14. I love The whole movie. It is a fantastic movie and a lot of fun. I loved seeing him dance. He was just great, but he always is.
    Sincerely,
    Carolyn

  15. Steve Repsher

    House that has everything and
    you dont know me,, a lot of people has sung, you dont know me,
    Ray Charles, Willie Nelson to name a few,, but it was Elvis song
    once he sang it..

  16. Archie Lee

    During the “Confidence” scene, there were footage of two black and white western films featuring the cavalry and Indians. I know one was taken from “Stagecoach”, what was the other film?

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