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Friday, September 9, 2022

KING CREOLE. THE TRUE ESSENCE OF THE ACTOR. 1958.

 



King Creole was directed by Michael Curtiz and produced by Hal B. Wallis, for Paramount Pictures. The story was adapted from Harold Robbins' 1952 novel "A Stone for Danny Fisher." The screenwriters were Herbert Baker and Michael V. Gazzo. Hal B. Wallis purchased the rights to "A Stone for Danny Fisher" in February 1955 for $25,000.


 Harold Robbins was a bestselling author and his novels sold over 750,000,000 copies worldwide. Most of these novels, like "A Stone for Danny Fisher," were made into movies.





 It was Elvis's most critically acclaimed performance and is considered the best of all the movies he starred in, as well as his best dramatic and narrative film.


 



 King Creole was created from the talent of the greatest in Hollywood at the time. Producer Hal. B. Wallis chose as director of the movie one of his closest collaborators, Michael Curtiz, known for being the director of the film Casablanca. Curtiz was a very famous and respected director, and he had a masterful ability to work in a wide variety of film genres. During his 30-years career, he was a true expert and craftsman on the big screen. His control over the movie was masterful and he did an impeccable job in the film's subplots. His experience and his creativity are present throughout the film.




 Another great Hollywood veteran who was an important part of the team was the prestigious cinematographer Russell Harlan. Harlan shot the film in a dark, seedy, somber and versatile lighting style that perfectly captured the dramatic, seductive and seedy atmosphere of the film, set in the French Quarter of New Orleans, where the action takes place.

 During his career, he earned six Oscar nominations for Best Cinematography.




 Shot on location in New Orleans, Wallis and Curtiz, along with the talented black-and-white cinematographer Russell Harlan, made "King Creole" a great movie. Its rich black and white tones are a tribute to a very particular style of filmmaking that unfortunately is no longer common today.


 The fact of being under the command of Michael Curtiz, a director of great prestige, impressed Elvis very much. Curtiz did not take long to make the first requests of him with the aim of adapting his physical appearance as closely as possible to the character in the film. He asked him to shave his sideburns and lose weight, requirements that Elvis complied with without hesitation. Curtiz was soon very pleasantly surprised by Elvis's great willingness and interest, his enormous desire to learn and his concern and effort to make Danny Fisher a believable and truthful character. Elvis had a lot to say in the cinema, and Curtiz sensed it and knew how to take advantage of his acting qualities like no other. Both established an excellent relationship with each other, and always praised each other in his statements to the press: "He's a lovely boy and he's going to be a terrific actor," Curtiz declared.

 "Now I know what a good director he is," Elvis said after finishing filming.


 For his part , veteran actor Walter Matthau , who in King Creole played mobster Maxie Fields , stated that " Elvis was intelligent enough to understand what a character was and how to portray it , while remaining himself ... He never exaggerated his interpretation"





 Elvis carefully prepared the role of him by reading the original book by Harold Robbins, and during the filming of the movie he did an incredible job of carefully analyzing the script, along with his friend and partner, the actress Kitty Dolan. Kitty visited him several times in 1958, and she was with him during the filming of King Creole. Elvis's effort and enthusiasm for a good performance received its well-deserved reward, since its premiere on July 2, 1958, specialized critics, and also the general public, have considered his work in King Creole as one of the best performances of his career.




With all the above, and the impeccable interpretation of Elvis together with an excellent cast of actors: Walter Matthau, Dolores Hart, Carolyn Jones, Dean Jagger and Vic Morrow; and his magnificent Soundtrack, also considered the best Soundtrack of his career as an actor, make King Creole an unforgettable movie.


 



Information provided by ELVIS. El Chico De Tupelo

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