Plot: What’s it about?
Ross Carpenter (Elvis Presley) works as a fishing guide and loves to be out at sea, whether for business or pleasure. Whenever tourists come around to do some fishing, which is all the time, Ross helps them pick out the right bait, drop anchor at the right location, then reel in the whoppers to tell the boys back home about. In other words, he lives just as he wants to and unless something changes, that should continue. But change arrives when his boss reveals he’s retiring to Arizona, which leaves Ross out in the cold as far as employment. His mood swings down a few notches, until he comes up with a plan to return to his old ways, if only he can come up with some serious cash and purchase a boat. Not just any boat will suffice though, as he wants to own the Westwind, which he and his late father built themselves. The price tag is steep at ten grand, but Ross goes to work on a tuna boat during the day and then sings in a nightclub afterhours, so he is willing to do whatever it takes to make his dream happen. At the same time, he finds himself torn between two women, one sweet and the other ambitious, but insensitive. Will Ross be able to get his old life back and find true love, or he is doomed to work the tuna boats forever?
Ever want to see Elvis as a singing fisherman? If so, then Girls! Girls! Girls! is just the cinematic event you’ve been wanting to witness. This one is pretty lame even by Elvis movie standards, with a name that implies madcap lunacy, but sadly, the title doesn’t reflect the actual content of the picture itself. I mean, a title like Girls! Girls! Girls! makes you think of wild times with hot chicks, not a tale of one man’s quest to own a boat, even if that one man is Elvis. The usual Elvis movie conventions are present however, such as rampant songs and silly dance numbers, but the juice just never seems to flow with Girls! Girls! Girls! I love those MGM beach movies with the songs and crazy kids, but its a stretch to lump this flick in with that kind of cinema, even though the case tries its hardest to make that seem to be the case. The songs are probably the highlight of this one, but even then, the quality isn’t up to the usual Elvis movie watermark. Yes, we have the classic Return to Sender, but beyond that and a few other solid hits, we’re treated to some b-sides and outtakes, or at least that seems to be the case. Unless you’re an Elvis movie junkie, Girls! Girls! Girls! is a rental at best, especially since Paramount has done little with this release.
Some might claim that Girls! Girls! Girls! was simply a vehicle to cash in on Elvis’ stardom and of course, those folks would be right. Then again, all of his pictures were the same way and while he showed flashes of acting talents, he was better behind the mic, as opposed to in front of a movie camera. But like many others who lacked thespian skills but had immense charisma and popularity, the audiences still lined up to see his movies, though not to the extent you might think. In Girls! Girls! Girls!, Elvis is able to show some decent flair and that’s kind of a surprise, given the weakness of the material. He makes a good show of it all however, singing his heart out and doing his best to shake his hips to the best of his abilities. He does carry the movie well though, making it at least tolerable when it should be downright miserable. Other Elvis movies include Clambake, King Creole, Jailhouse Rock, Blue Hawaii, and Roustabout. Also seen here are Stella Stevens (Chained Heat, The Poseidon Adventure), Jeremy Slate (The Sons of Katie Elder, G.I. Blues), and Robert Strauss (The Bridges at Toko-Ri, The Seven Year Itch).
Video: How does it look?
Girls! Girls! Girls! is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This is a solid overall transfer, but its not all that impressive, though it never slips enough to warrant much criticism, a middle of the road treatment. The print is in good condition, but suffers from some blemishes and looks a shade worn at times. The colors look bright though, with rich hues that brighten the visuals, while contrast is stable and provides adequate black levels. Not a memorable transfer, but one that covers the bases and as such, I won’t rail on it too much.
Audio: How does it sound?
This release contains the original mono recording as well as a remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track, a nice gesture from Paramount. The mono option has been restored and sounds good, but the 5.1 track offers a little more in terms of overall experience. Since this title is musical in nature, the surrounds kick into gear quite often, and the music sounds full and enveloping. The dialogue and minor effects sound excellent as well, no real complaints to lodge here. This disc also includes a French language track, as well as English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc contains no bonus materials.