Following That Dream with Elvis Presley

Look out – here come the Kwimpers!

Did you know that “Here Come the Kwimpers” was almost the title of Elvis’ ninth movie, “Follow That Dream”? The movie premiered in April 1962, followed by a nationwide release on May 23 – so this year marks the movie’s 55th anniversary.

"Follow That Dream" reached No. 5 on Variety's Box Office list when it was released.

“Follow That Dream” reached No. 5 on Variety’s Box Office list when it was released.

In “Follow That Dream,” Elvis plays Toby, a member of the rag-tag Kwimper family. There’s his dad, Pop (Arthur O’Connell), and several kids they’ve taken in – the wise-beyond-her-years Holly (Anne Helm), the adorable twins, Eddy and Teddy (Gavin and Robin Koon, respectively), and the baby, Adriane. The Kwimpers find success when they start their own business on a roadside in Florida, but trouble arises when the mob sets up a gambling business next door and a social worker threatens to take away the youngest Kwimpers.

"Follow That Dream" is Elvis' ninth movie, following "Blue Hawaii" and before "Kid Galahad."

“Follow That Dream” is Elvis’ ninth movie, following “Blue Hawaii” and before “Kid Galahad.”

“Follow That Dream” is based on the 1957 novel “Pioneer, Go Home,” by Richard Powell. The original title of the film was the same as the novel, but composers couldn’t come up with a rhyme for “Pioneer” for the title song. The movie’s title was then changed to “What a Wonderful Life.” Producers also considered the “Here Come the Kwimpers” title, as well as “It’s a Beautiful Life,” but “Follow That Dream” won in the end.

Elvis and the crew filmed “Follow That Dream” from July 11-August 28, 1961. They filmed the movie in Florida and Hollywood.

The film was directed by Gordon Douglas, who also directed movies such as “Robin and the 7 Hoods,” and “Them!,” as well as the TV show “The Little Rascals.” Douglas is the only director who worked with both Elvis and Frank Sinatra, as Sinatra starred in “Robin and the 7 Hoods.”

"Follow That Dream" features five songs: "What a Wonderful Life," "Angel," "Sound Advice," "I'm Not the Marrying Kind" and the title track.

“Follow That Dream” features five songs: “What a Wonderful Life,” “Angel,” “Sound Advice,” “I’m Not the Marrying Kind” and the title track.

During filming, gambling was illegal in Florida. The gambling equipment needed for filming was brought in by a member of the Chamber of Commerce of a Florida city and a few anonymous gamblers.

If you’ve seen “Follow That Dream,” you’ve seen a few actors who also starred in other Elvis films. The judge was played by Roland Winters, who also played Elvis’ father in “Blue Hawaii.” Actor Howard McNear starred in “Follow That Dream” as the bank loan officer, George, and he also starred in “Blue Hawaii.”

The Kwimpers in "Follow That Dream." The twins, Eddy and Teddy, were played by Gavin and Robin Koon...

The Kwimpers in “Follow That Dream.” The twins, Eddy and Teddy, were played by Gavin and Robin Koon…

 

...and Gavin and Robin joined us in celebrating Elvis' birthday this year. The twins were interviewed by DJ Argo during Elvis' Birthday Celebration.

…and Gavin and Robin joined us in celebrating Elvis’ birthday this year. The twins were interviewed by DJ Argo during Elvis’ Birthday Celebration.

During the 2017 Elvis’ Birthday Celebration, twins Gavin and Robin Koon spoke to fans about their work with Elvis in the movie. Check out a part of their interview on the latest episode of our Starring Elvis Presley Podcast about “Follow That Dream” – click here to tune in.

Don’t forget – you can see artifacts from Elvis’ movie career in our all-new Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum at Elvis Presley’s Memphis in Graceland. Click here to learn more about the experience and to get your tickets.

What are your favorite scenes and songs from this comedy?


15 Comments

  1. Michael Leckie

    One of my favourite movies “Follow that Dream” absolute classic songs. Love the song “Angel”.

  2. Sandy Malone

    “Follow That Dream” is one of many of my favorite movies. I love all the songs especially the title song. I was lucky enough to have the original movie poster of the movie. I won it in the last auction on March 5th, 2017.

  3. stephen stathis

    FTD was Elvis’s most underrated movie: he nailed the part: was Toby intelligent or not? Elvis played in perfectly. Songs were very good too.

  4. Dr. Carl

    “Follow That Dream” is my favorite Elvis Presley movie!

  5. The baby’s name was Ariadne. Listen to the movie.

  6. Sandy Frith

    My favorite movie! The porch scene at the end and the song, Angel! But I think my favorite line is “Too much pressure.” Arthur O’Connell and his wisdom still make me laugh.

  7. Angel, yet another superb Elvis ballad. He blew this one out as per usual. Can you believe he left us 40 years ago?

  8. Laura Maiorana

    Loved the scene in the courtroom. Also, Angel and Follow That Dream are my favorites. I played Follow That Dream at my high school beauty contest, among 3 other Elvis songs from Blue Hawaii.

  9. Laura Maiorana

    Loved the courtroom scene(s). Favorite songs are Angel & Follow That Dream. Played this at my high school beauty contest

  10. Loved the film when first released and went to see it several times.

  11. judi Tabor

    Loved this movie. I laughed and laughed. Elvis is great with comedy. Ofcourse, he was GREAT with everything. Nobody like him, now or ever.

  12. Donna netter

    Angel is my favorite song in this movie. And love Elvis in his jeans.

  13. Edward klopper

    Follow That Dream and Angel

  14. Chirleni soares

    Uma curiosidade ! Elvis trocou sua camisa 22 vezes por causa do intenso calor , sabemos que não era fã de jeans , a cena no tribunal foi uma das mais sensíveis de Elvis .

  15. Patricia ogles martin

    I was in this movie. It was filmed 10 miles from my home. My twin sister and I shared the part. If you watch it you will see one of us had shoes on the other did not. It’s the part he was putting palm frongson the roof

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