Gotta Find My Baby!

November 23, 2022

Private Presley: G. I. Blues

G.I. BLUES (US, 1960)

Original title: G. I. Blues
April / May 1960
November 23, 1960
Running time:
Production company:
Paramount Pictures
U$ 1.5 million
Box office:
US$ 4.5 million
Main cast:
Elvis Presley
Juliet Prowse
Robert Ivers
James Douglas
Jeremy Slate
"G.I. Blues" (LP)
(October 1, 1960)
"Blue Christmas" (single)
[b/w "Wooden Heart"]
(November 3, 1964)
"Puppet On a String" (single)
[b/w "Wooden Heart"]
(October 26, 1965)
"G.I. Blues / Café Europa, Volume 1" (CD/LP)
(FTD, 2012/2013)
"G. I. Blues/Café Europa, Volume 2" (CD/LP)
(FTD, 2013/2018)

G. I. Blues 
was Elvis' fifth film, the first after his return from army duties in Germany. In it, Tulsa McLean is a private who is torn between helping his friends and the love of a woman.

In 1960, two years had gone by without the release of an Elvis Presley film. Although his first three films were heavily criticized, audiences identified with the King of Rock in "King Creole" and encouraged him to try once more to get his film career off the ground. After brief contacts, Hal Wallis visited Elvis in Germany about eight months before his discharge and presented him with the script for G.I. Blues, which was immediately approved by Presley.

Some scenes were shot on location, but none of them used Elvis to avoid violating his mandatory military service. The US Army provided all the cars and tanks seen in the film, as well as the actual military maneuvers. Upon returning to the US in March 1960, Elvis revised the script and began filming in late April.

Elvis & Juliet Prowse in promotional still for the film

As might be expected, the critics hit the film hard on its release, as they expected a more mature Elvis and a film without romantic and musical clichés in the style of King Creole. Despite this, the film ended the year 1960 as the 14th highest-grossing film and entered 1961 with two Grammy nominations (Best Soundtrack Album and Best Male Vocal Performance in an Album) and one for Best Scripted Musical by the WGA.

The film was much talked about in the media after a premiere session in Mexico City, where a demonstration in front of movie theaters called on the government to ban Presley's films.

Although successful, G.I. Blues was the catalyst for the formulas that would unfold in most Elvis films during the 1960s. His next two films (Flaming Star and Wild in the Country) were serious dramas without many songs, but they were less successful than the formula presented by G.I. Blues and sealed the fate of the following productions.

Once Blue Hawaii proved even more profitable than G.I. Blues, the Colonel and Hal Wallis never let Elvis get serious again. For Wallis, it was a great way to promote himself and continue working with Paramount; For Parker, the soundtrack with exclusive rights to him was a great source of income.


Recorded in 3 sessions at RCA Studio C and Radio Recorders, the film's soundtrack was one of the most profitable of all Elvis released, having been certified Gold in 1963 and Platinum in 1992.

"Wooden Heart" was the only song to be released as a single, but only in the UK, where it spent six weeks at No 1. In the US, this single only appeared for the first time in 1964. In Europe, copyright caused the song "Tonight is So Right For Love" to be dropped from the record and replaced with "Tonight's All Right For Love".



Juliet was born on September 25, 1936 in India and raised in South America, having started dancing lessons at the tender age of 4. In 1959, at age 22, she was discovered by an agent while dancing at a club in Paris and was hired to play Claudine in Walter Lang's film Can-Can.

Although filmed later, her first screen appearance was in G.I. Blues. Her curriculum includes 10 films, 14 appearances in series and 14 plays.

Juliet Prowse found out that she had pancreatic cancer in 1994. The actress passed away on September 14, 1996, aged 59.


Ivers was born on December 11, 1934 and began his career in 1953, getting his big break in 1957 when he starred in a film opposite Jerry Lewis. His comedic streak was the main reason for his participation in G.I. Blues.

Robert passed away on February 13, 2003 at his home in Yakima, Washington. He was 68 years old.

In August 2003 he was voted Best Duo in an Elvis Presley Film by the Elvis Fans' Choice Award during Elvis Week in Memphis.


James was born on May 20, 1929 and did not have a great film career. In this medium, he made only two films between 1960 and 1962. His works focused much more on soap operas and series between 1964 and 1987.

The actor was one of the great friends of Dolores Hart, the star of two films with Elvis who became a nun. James periodically visited her at her convent before he fell ill.

The actor passed away on March 5, 2016 at the age of 86.


Born on February 17, 1926, Jeremy made only 14 feature films in his career, the first being G.I. Blues. From 1961 to 1987, the actor participated in several series such as "Mission: Impossible", "Perry Mason" and "Gunsmoke", and many soap operas.

In addition to being a great actor, Slate has also written screenplays for movies (the best known is Hell's Angels '69) and has composed for artists such as Glen Campbell and Tex Ritter.

After a long battle with cancer, the actor passed away during surgery to remove a tumor on November 19, 2006, at the age of 80.


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