Gotta Find My Baby!

May 26, 2022

First Time Main Star: Loving You

LOVING YOU (US, 1957)

Title:
Loving You
Filmed:
January - March 1957
Released:
July 9, 1957
Running time:
101min
Production company:
Paramount Pictures
Budget:
US$ 1.000,000
Profit:
US$ 3,7 milhões
Main cast:
Elvis Presley
Lizabeth Scott
Dolores Hart
Soundtrack:
"(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear" (single)
[b/w "Loving You"]
(June 11, 1957)
Loving You (LP)
(June 20, 1957)
Loving You, Volume 1 (EP)
(June 20, 1957)
Loving You, Volume 2 (EP)
(June 20, 1957)
Just For You (EP)
(August 21, 1957)
Loving You Special Edition (CD)
(FTD - January 12, 2006)


After being a supporting actor in "Love Me Tender", Elvis and the Colonel worked hard for the next productions to bring Elvis as the main name in the credits and that's what happened in his second film.

"Loving You" is also the second of four films Presley would make before joining the Army and the first to feature Elvis in the role of a singer rising in his career, a plotline that would also be seen in "Jailhouse Rock" and "King Creole". This was a personal request from Elvis, who felt uncomfortable on "Love Me Tender" because he wasn't playing something that felt natural to him.

Director Hal Kanter then spent some time deliberating with Elvis in December 1956 until he had a good idea of how to modify one of his scripts to fit that singer's vision.

Elvis with Dolores Hart (L) and Lizabeth Scott (R)


Originally the film had three possible titles: "Lonesome Cowboy", "Something For the Girls" and "Running Wild".

The latter was even used by Ed Sullivan in one of Elvis' appearances on his show, but by the time filming began the title had already been changed to "Loving You" to fit the eponymous song composed by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. To Elvis' displeasure, the film had also been modified to contain songs that would serve as merchandising for both the film and themselves.

In one movie scene, the members of Elvis' initial band - DJ Fontana, Scotty Moore and Bill Black - can  be seen


This would be his first role in Technicolor and so Elvis thought he would look better with black hair, as his natural blonde could shine too brightly on screen (one of the complaints Elvis also made when having to play his blonde twin brother in "Kissin' Cousins", in 1963). Also, his idols like Tony Curtis and James Dean had black hair and Elvis followed their every step with admiration. After the first time, there were rare occasions when you'd see the King of Rock with his blond hair.

There were a number of special appearances in this production. The Jordanaires, Elvis' backing vocals on shows and records from that era, appear early in the film, where his character sings "Got a Lot O' Livin' to Do". In this same scene are Elvis' parents, Gladys and Vernon, making cameo appearances as audience members for the impromptu little show. A bit ahead we can see DJ Fontana, Scotty Moore and Bill Black, the members of the band that started with Elvis and accompanied him in his concerts.

In the same scene that The Jordanaires appear, Gladys and Vernon are in the crowd


"Loving You" premiered at the Strand Theater in Memphis on July 9, 1957. Elvis did not attend the premiere and chose to take his current girlfriend, Anita Wood, and her parents for a special midnight screening. This may have been because Elvis was still shaken by the death of Judy Tyler, his co-star in the upcoming film, "Jailhouse Rock", who died in a car accident on July 3, shortly after filming ended.

The film premiered nationally on July 30 and reached No. 7 on its first day, remaining in the top ten for four weeks. After his mother's death, Elvis vowed never to see the film again.

Original Strand Theater poster advertising sessions for "Loving You"

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SOUNDTRACK

On June 6, 1957, RCA made its first foray into the film's score by releasing the single "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear", a No. 1 hit that spent ten weeks on the charts, with the title song on the B side.



Released on June 20, 1957, this was one of Elvis' most successful soundtrack albums, spending ten weeks at number one on the charts and being certified Gold in 1968. It was followed by two EPs - "Loving You, Volume 1" and "Loving You, Volume 2" released in the same day, and a third one - "Just For You" - released on August 21.

Recorded in 12 sessions between January and February 1957, the album features the seven songs written for the film plus four songs that had already been released as singles, such as "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear". "Don't Leave Me Now", which is also on the record, was written for the film, but was left out when the script was rewritten and was fitted into "Jailhouse Rock".





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SUPPORTING CAST

LIZABETH SCOTT
Born Emma Matzo on September 29, 1921, Lizabeth has always been very talented in the performing arts, being well known for her film noir. Her career began in 1942 and spanned 30 years, although she only acted in 22 films.

In 1957, during the filming of "Loving You", a magazine carried rumors that she was bisexual and had a huge list of actresses with whom she was sexually involved. Elvis, who was afraid to live with people considered "queer", had a lot of problems to act with her. True or not, Lizabeth never married and had no children.

Now retired, the actress made her last appearance in the 1972 film "Pulp", with Michael Caine.

The actress passed away on January 31, 2015, at the age of 93, due to a massive heart attack.



WENDELL COREY

Born on March 20, 1914, Wendell began his career in the 1930s, reaching his first big break in 1942. By 1957, the actor was already well known for his roles, most notably in Alfred Hitchcock's production "Rear Window" (1954) .

His notoriety led him to be president of the Academy of Film, Arts and Sciences and the Actors Guild. Corey was congressman for 3 years and tried to get elected to Senator, but lost.

Wendell Corey died of cirrhosis caused by his alcoholism in 1968, aged 54.



JAMES GLEASON

Born on May 23, 1882, Gleason began his career in the theater and then reached the cinema in the silent film era. In addition to being an actor, James was also a screenwriter (his best-known work is "The Broadway Melody", 1934 version). "Loving You" was his penultimate film.

James Gleason died of natural causes in 1959, aged 76.



DOLORES HART

Dolores Hicks was born on October 20, 1938 and began her career in 1957 with "Loving You". Her film performance would only last 6 years, until 1963, but the actress worked with big names like Alfred Hitchcock and in successful series like "The Virginian".

In 1961, while filming "Saint Francis of Assisi" in Rome, Dolores met Pope John XXIII. That was the spiritual calling for the actress, who became a nun in 1963.

Today Dolores is Mother Superior and was nominated for an Oscar in 2012 for the documentary about her life, "God Is Bigger Than Elvis". She is 83 years old.







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