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King Creole Blu-ray Review

King

Elvis gives one of his best performances in “King Creole.”

In 1958’s “King Creole,” Elvis stars as a teenager named Danny who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. After failing to graduate high school for the second year in a row, Danny seeks a new path in life via a singing career at a local club (the titular King Creole). He’s a hit there, but unfortunately, a local gangster (Maxie) wants his talent for his own business and will complicate his life in order to get what he wants. Danny also finds himself in a love triangle as he falls for a former singer (Ronnie) who is in deep with Maxie and a shopgirl (Nellie). There’s more going on than just this as there are subplots involving Danny’s father, Danny getting into some criminal activities, Danny’s sister, etc. 

“King Creole” is a musical drama that stands as one of the better Elvis films (if not the best). The New Orleans (Bourbon Street to be exact) set tale about family, crime, and dreams isn’t dopey like many of the musician’s starring vehicles and is no doubt aided by the fact that Michael Curtiz directs this polished feature. Yes, the director of “Casablanca” did an Elvis movie and his assured direction elevates it all.

The Herbert Baker and Michael V. Gazzo scripted story itself is very busy as it’s filled with storylines and well rounded characters. The plot comes across as a combination jazzy musical and a 50’s juvenile delinquent movie which is a curious combo to be sure. Surprisingly, it mixes well together despite a sluggish middle act.

Elvis wasn’t exactly one of the great screen actors, but this is easily one of his best performances. It helps that he has a rather complex character and is more reserved than usual. Naturally, the musical performances are nothing short of electrifying as well. Walter Matthau (who plays the baddie Maxie) is great as per usual as is Carolyn Jones who plays the tragic Ronnie.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The B&W film, which has been remastered from a 4K film transfer, is yet another beautiful print in this new Paramount Presents line. 

Audio Track: Dolby TrueHD 5.1. How does it sound? A nice crisp track that really comes alive whenever there’s a song.

Extras include song select option and a featurette titled “Filmmaker Focus: Kring Creole” which finds film critic and film historian Leonard Maltin discussing historical tidbits about “King Creole.”

April 25, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

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