on a public beach has never been so much fun"
1962, Color, Running time: 1 hour 49 minutes)
on Richard Powell's best selling novel, 'Pioneer Go Home',
Follow That Dream was Elvis' ninth movie. With its summery
Florida locale, swaying palm trees and white sands, it
was good natured, well filmed and welcomed by theater
warm-hearted...guaranteed to have you rocking with laughter!"
and fast-paced" (Variety)
does very well as the naive, but well meaning, resourceful
and very practical, backwoods born and bred, Toby Kwimper.
He conveys a lot of hillbilly charm. In fact it is one of
the few roles where Elvis actually gets to act!
film plot is simple but well constructed under the able direction
of Gordon Douglas. Simply put, it is a fish out of water tale
of old values versus new values...a tension still apparent,
in fact increasingly apparent, today!
are numerous rib tickling scenes in what is a highly enjoyable,
funny, family movie based around the American tradition of
'respecting private property at all times'. As the major plot
device this is very clever and drives much of the film's humor.
appears for most of the film with his shirt unbuttoned. While
this will undubtedly please female viewers, it also exemplifies
the ongoing battle Elvis had to fight with his weight (as
early as 1962!)
That Dream is also a film that gives social workers a bad
name, and while there are several examples of sexism (eg.
"woman are natural nesters"), these were not politically incorrect
statements in 1962.
the film has great social merit as well. It is the movie that
tells teenage boys how to effectively deal with that "only
one thing on their mind" dilemma (even if Joanna Moore as
the temptress social worker has a Freudian take on it). However,
Toby's solution is probably very close to reality.
are only five (full) songs in Follow That Dream and most seem
to occur in the first half of the film:
A Wonderful Life
Not the Marrying Kind
are fine upbeat, early 60s pop. (Although I did find it somewhat
disconcerting listening to Elvis warbling a tune with guitar
in hand with an invisible band also present...or should that
be a "virtual" band?)
highlight of Follow That Dream are the cutting, classic lines
throughout the movie, for example:
the frustrations with bureaucracy) "You do nothing for a
single, solitary sole, and that's because you're pretending
you're doing something for everyone...the public"
again) "How can you get your hat on with your head so crooked?"
Cast: In 1962 production values for Elvis films were still
quite high and it shows in Follow That Dream. Apart from the
highly amusing script, there is a wonderful supporting cast
of colorful characters.
"well-built" Holly (Anne Helm) provides an effective love
interest for Toby (Elvis) who claims not to be the marrying
kind. Arthur O'Connell as (shades of Elvis) 'guitar toting,
hip swivelling' Pa is a hoot as the bedrock of the extended
family. He would later turn up in a not dissimilar role in
Kissin' Cousins. Joanna Moore is convincing, if unconvincing,
as the lusty (and sometimes wet) social worker, Alicia Claypoole.
young twins are played by Gavin and Robin Koon and they have
several scene stealing moments.
minor roles are very competently performed by actors familiar
to watchers of 1960s TV and films. Simon Oakland is Nick the
gangster boss, Herbert Rudley is suitably reserved and confident
as the bank manager (Mr. Endicott), while Howard McNear excels
in his oft reprised role as the stressed out, budding executive,
buffs should look out for F-Troop's Chief Wild Eagle (Frank
deKova) as a Detroit gangster) and My Favorite Martian's Detective
Brennan (Alan Hewitt) as the snarly bureaucrat. Red West appears
as a bank security guard.
recommend you also check out Elvis' hair color during the
opening credits and compare it to later in the film.
values: as I noted earlier, Follow That Dream exhibits
solid production values. There is significant use of exterior,
location shooting, set design is very good and the costuming
faultless. A good script, solid cast and nice balance between
narrative and songs also help to shape a professionally made
and highly enjoyable movie. Unfortunately the public wanted
more of Elvis singing (ala Blue Hawaii and Girls! Girls! Girls!),
and paradoxically this would be a contributing factor to the
decline of the Elvis film in subsequent years.
data: The US version we watched comes as a double sided
disc with the original theatrical widescreen or letterbox
format (2.35:1) and standard TV screen format. The audio is
powered by Dolby Difital but limited being only English (and
Spanish) mono. Still the audio is clear. There are English,
Spanish and French sub-titles.
picture is clear without outstanding. There is good color
saturation but the print would have benefited from digital
enhancement (it appears to be a basic video to DVD transfer)
and the night scenes come across as muted. There were no print
imperfections noticeable on my copy.
negative is that there is no 'scene selection' option.
only extra is the original theatrical trailer. The DVD case
is in full color with an "airbrushed" Elvis on the front cover.
"I'll be doggone. Follow That Dream is a ripping good yarn
for the old'uns and young'uns. Y'all come back now...you hear
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