I Saw A Film!

Elvis is an army tank gunner stationed in West Germany (like my brother was 25 years later), who has a singing combo in a little German pub, and falls for a dancing fraulein. The basic plot is that the boys make a bet that one or the other of the GIs can’t bed the leggy Juliet Prowse, and shenanigans ensue.

Elvis must sing a few clunky numbers, including a lullaby to a baby, that wins over Prowse (nothing better than daddy Elvis for her!) and a few other silly numbers that attempt to highlight a militaristic, marching band feel. This is the film to watch if you want to see Elvis interact with a Fraulein puppet. I have often felt producers went out of their way to agonizingly grind an already wholly safe-as-milk Elvis into a weak oversweet pablum meant to satisfy the pallets of absolutely zero fans of Elvis. No fan of the man needed to see him talking in squawking mocking child-voices, or sweating and running around like a headless chicken because a baby he is tasked to watch happens to be crying. Granted the ideas are meant to be comedy, but I still say–for whom? I can only imagine Silent Generation babushkas finally accepting that Elvis is OK because despite his public pelvis perturbations he is losing his shit over a baby crying.

As usual, good luck just falls in Elvis’s lap and when he offers to play for free at the German pub the pub owner actually springs money at the end, which allows the band to pay off some debt. Well isn’t that sweet? When he takes over the bedding of the blonde bombshell bet, you know she’s going to find out about it and presume he’s only been wooing her for the cash. And while this sort of macho army nonsense makes one think of later gags like Dogfight, the fellows in this scenario are all in awe over Prowse’s dancer character and she honestly could only be insulted if the fellow wasn’t interested in genuinely pursuing the relationship. It’s a world that feels so without malice, even from a bunch of girl-hungry G.I.s (they aren’t even really discussing sex), that a kid might wonder what it is that could cause the tension to be overcome by our hero. But the cloying shenanigans win the day and Prowse’s fraulein is entirely won over even after she suspects foul play.

free on prime! great if you love schmaltz.

2 thoughts on “G.I. Blues (1960)

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