Elvis Presley is 'Loving You'

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Welcome to the official blog of Elvis Presley’s Graceland! You can take Elvis-inspired quizzes, get first-looks on events here at Graceland and how-to guides on everything you need to know about Elvis and his home. Like Elvis, we come with a little southern charm

Elvis Presley is 'Loving You'

“A rock-and-sock story about the rock and roll kid!”

That’s one of the taglines for Elvis Presley’s second movie, the sort of, not really, maybe just a little bit autobiographical “Loving You.”

In the film, Elvis stars as Deke Rivers, a young delivery man and singer who is discovered by a musician, Tex (Wendell Corey) and a publicist, Glenda (Lizabeth Scott). The pair help launch Deke’s career, but a few complications arise as another young singer, Susan (Dolores Hart) falls for Deke, while Glenda leads Deke on with promises of a bright future.

There are similarities between Elvis’ life and the film’s plot: Like Deke, Elvis was a delivery man before launching his music career; Elvis and Deke's music both had parents and concerned citizens worried that they were bad influences on kids and teenagers; Elvis’ band members, Bill Black and Scotty Moore, served as his band members in the film; Deke often broke his guitar strings, like Elvis did; and Glenda employs many Col. Parker-esque tricks to get Deke more publicity and fans.

The movie isn’t an actual Elvis autobiography, though. Writer/director Hal Kanter visited with Elvis and his family in December 1956 to get a feel for the young superstar and what his life was like. He enjoyed Gladys’ fried chicken and joined Elvis on a sight-seeing tour of Memphis. He also traveled to Shreveport, Louisiana, to watch Elvis perform on the Louisiana Hayride. He incorporated a lot of elements from those performances into the script – including the twin girls clapping together one-handed, which actually happened during one of Elvis’ Hayride shows.

In another art-imitates-life moment, Elvis’ parents are in the audience in the final scene – and they often watched their son’s concerts.

"Loving You" is Elvis' second movie, but his first in color. Elvis began dying his natural blonde-brown hair black for this movie because he thought it would show up better on film, like Tony Curtis’ hair. Elvis dyed his hair for the rest of his life – except for his time in the Army.

Famous costume designer Edith Head worked on this movie, and many of Elvis’ movies. Head designed costumes for many movies and TV shows, including Audrey Hepburn in “Sabrina” and “Roman Holiday,” Elizabeth Taylor in “A Place in the Sun,” Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Boulevard,” Bette Davis in “All About Eve” and Ingrid Bergman in “Notorious.”

“Loving You” also sees Elvis’ first character on-screen kiss by actress Jana Lund, who plays a young fan who ambushes Deke in his dressing room. Dolores Hart received the first on-screen kiss initiated by an Elvis character at the end of the movie. Hart also starred with Elvis in "King Creole." Hart eventually left her acting career behind to become a nun.

It’s “Loving You”’s 60th anniversary – the movie premiered in Memphis on July 10, 1957, at the Strand Theater, and it was released nation-wide on July 30. In a very rock ‘n’ roll move, Elvis did not attend the premiere, but took his date Anita Wood and his parents to a private midnight screening.

Do you love Elvis movies? Keep learning! We have a new Elvis movie podcast, Starring Elvis Presley, where we’re covering every Elvis movie in chronological order. We’re up to “Viva Las Vegas” now, but you can check out all of the episodes here on Graceland.com.

Also, watch this episode of The Gates of Graceland featuring Elvis biographer Peter Guralnick, who discusses Elvis’ Hollywood career:


Don’t forget – we have Elvis movie artifacts galore in our new museum, Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum. See everything from scripts to costumes to props and more. Make your plans to see the museum when you visit Graceland.

Now it’s your turn – tell us your favorite songs and scenes from “Loving You.”

Posted by Elvis Presley's Graceland at 10:27 AM
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