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Elvis Presley’s great ambition was to become a respected Hollywood actor. Although he starred in many pictures, his dream was continually thwarted by the
machinations of his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. And to be fair, the Colonel wasn’t the only one to blame. In Elvis Films FAQ (published by Applause
Books), author Paul Simpson quotes the King: “It’s just that Hollywood’s image of me was wrong. I knew it and couldn’t do anything about it.”

Simpson gets it right: For the studios (as well as Parker), Elvis “was not a talent to be developed—like Brando or Dean—but a commodity to be exploited, like
Rin Tin Tin.” Many of his directors treated him like a piece of furniture, yet he excelled when working with a top director, like Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) on
King Creole. And as FAQ stresses, there were other peaks amidst Elvis dismal filmography, especially Don Siegel’s Flaming Star but also bits of Jailhouse
Rock, Viva Las Vegas and others.

Elvis FAQ provides informed commentary on all of Presley’s movies, from Love Me Tender (1956) through Change of Habit (1969) and the various concert
films and documentaries that followed. The author shares Elvis’ profound sadness at opportunities lost through misdirection.
Also published is a companion book, Mike Eder’s Elvis Music FAQ.
The King Got No Respect at the Movies
By David Luhrssen