'Inside G.I. Blues'
from Elvis Unlimited
Book review 2006
Published by Elvis Unlimited this Deluxe box-set of 'Inside G.I. Blues' follows in the footsteps of other Ger Rijff "Inside" books.
With text by Megan Murphy & Henryk Matraszek, and a stylish design by Kenneth Dokkeberg, the 116 page book is extremely appealing.
Not only that, but the box also includes a 45rpm single, DVD, plus memorabilia postcards.
The book, of course, is the key to the package and it is packed with a plethora of fabulous quality photographs, album covers, press clippings & memorabilia many of the rare & unknown to me (see images below). It also features facts about the movie, the soundtrack plus interviews and an extended section on the entire cast.
Some of the interviews reveal interesting new insights into Elvis' character. For instance Robert Allison Baker III 'The Puppeteer' on the making of G.I. Blues:
"On the third day Elvis came in to kind of run through this (puppet piece). He stepped up on to the stage and walked up to the puppets. We started working the little girl with him. He turned to the director and he said, "I can not perform with this puppet. It's alive! And it's freaking me out! I have got to take a little time out and get myself calm because I don't like the feeling I have". So he went back to his dressing room for over an hour.
Finally they told him, he had to come back so they could get the scene shot that day.... Finally by the end of the number, the director said, "Can I have the father puppet" And without Elvis knowing it, he put the puppet on his hand and he began hitting Elvis on the head with his stick. And Elvis at first got very angry - and then turned around and saw it was the director and he said it was OK.
Basically, Juliet (Prowse) was on the set during the whole thing. She was out in the audience with the children. We did everything and then a run-through after the audience left, for close-ups and angles. And that's when Elvis actually put one of the puppets on his hand and worked it. He found it kind of interesting. He seemed to work better with the puppets after that."
Of the pictures, I particularly enjoyed the soundtrack rehearsal images, and there are some great photos of Elvis & cast away from the film set.
Examining the look on Elvis' face throughout the book you can also observe plenty of his feelings and emotions of the time, including . . .
a) The professional worker
b) Lust, with Juliet Prowse
c) Sheer happiness at being home and out of the army
d) That anxious look of 'What am I doing in this lightweight musical?'
The layout & design is one of the very best and features high-gloss quality paper & print. The colour images really shine and with multiple photos on most pages, this is a book that you won't be flicking through as there is so much to absorb.
The fact that Ger Rijff was involved in research & supplying content should be enough recommendation for most Elvis fans.
(See more sample pages below)
|The Deluxe Box (right) also includes, 45rpm single, DVD & memorabilia.
Vinyl 45 rpm.
Running just over 2 minutes, the 45rpm is a fun bonus. This is a copy of one of the world's rarest Elvis promotional acetates, made by AWA in Sydney, Australia. A collectable one-sided single with 6 radio promo spots - including 2 with terrible fake English (or are they supposed to be Australian) accents!
Running 12 minutes the DVD contains two versions of the film trailer ("G. I hope you like it") plus 2 Press conference clips, and some great sixties TV footage of Elvis meeting the King & Queen of Thailand on set. I would like to have seen the rare alternate European version of 'Tonight Is All Right For Love' included, but unfortunately BMG has the music rights.
The trailer has a marvellous early sixties feel with Elvis coming alive from within a girl's framed photo, to plug the movie. Ger Rijff has interestingly noted (on FECC Message board) about this clip where Elvis promotes his own movie in front of a studio camera….
"As far as I know, nothing was ever written about this clip, in the Elvis press, for some 40 plus years, till it became available as audio only, a couple of years ago. Why would Paramount have made such a film clip and not mentioned it in their promotion campaign, back in 61? This 35 mm cinema promo trailer must be, without a doubt, the rarest film footage meant for screening, and not having been used, outside of that ONE surviving copy, found in Denmark! So until professionally film footage is found from 1955, this 1960 clip is the rarest Elvis film ever found!"
Verdict - With so many photos and a glossy design, this is a book that you can pore over & really enjoy. Just by looking at the images presented here anyone can tell that this is a high-class quality product which will certainly delight fans of G.I Blues and Elvis collectors alike. Combining this package with the movie, plus gathered audio outtakes, gives you all you could possibly want to explore about the film. Highly recommended.
EIN note - While 'Roustabout' is not my favourite film it was the last chance for Elvis to don a leather jacket and play a more suitable tough guy role. And with Barbara Stanwick in the cast plus an above average sixties soundtrack, the forthcoming Elvis Unlimited ‘Inside Roustabout’ is something to look forward to.
Review by Piers Beagley, copyright EIN - November 2006.
Images copyrighted by Elvis Unlimited, 2006.
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||Left: In the book there are several of these marvellous alternate shots from the photo session of Elvis & his co-stars.
Right: Just an example of the packed pages of memorabilia. In several countries the film was promoted as 'Cafe Europa' to emphasise the european connection.
For fans in Australia click here as EIN has only two copies left at our special low price- Now SOLD OUT.
For overseas fans click here to contact Elvis Unlimited.
Go here for EIN's interview with author Megan Murphy.
Go here for our spotlight on the books of Ger Rijff
Go here for review of the Ger Rijff / Chris Giles book 'Inside Loving You'