We may be a day late, but it's never the wrong time to celebrate the birthday of the king of rock 'n' roll, Elvis Presley!
A lot of people take cheap shots at Elvis' movie career, and he was never very excited about the fact that no one took him seriously, but there is a ton of joy to be gleaned from these films, and I could not be happier that chunks of his on-screen ouevre are making it to Blu-ray every year. The latest trio of HD upgrades come from the Elvis friendly Twilight Time, who've previously released Big E's genuinely great western, Flaming Star, with a new upgrade of boxing musical Kid Galahad, and Kino Lorber Studio Classics with Dixie steamboat romance Frankie & Johnny and rear projection speed boat actioner Clambake.
Click through the gallery below for more detailed thoughts.
First up is the film that has the unique honor of introducing the greatest rock 'n' roll singer of all time to Hollywood's biggest badass, Kid Galahad.
In this film, Elvis plays the titular singing boxer managed by Gig Young and trained by none other than the legendary Charles Bronson. The film is a remake of a 1937 film starring Edward G Robinson, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, and directed by Michael Curtiz, and while Elvis and Chucky Bronson may lag a bit behind in terms of raw acting chops, they far outpace the original when it comes to uptempo dance numbers.
Kid Galahad doesn't try to reinvent the wheel and delivers a few passable boxing sequences buffered by several delightful musical numbers and Lola Albright as Galahad's love interest. Also worth noting is that the film offers up the big screen's first look at Ed Asner in a cupporting role. Kid Galahad isn't Gone with the Wind, but Elvis and Bronson make for a great sympathetic team and the film is a lot of fun.
Twilight Time presents Kid Galahad in a solid looking transfer that recreates the mid '60s experience of seeing the King on the big screen in a very effective manner. The audio presented is the original mono track and Elvis sounds great, what more could you want?
Apart from the theatrical trailer and Twilight Time's signature isolated music and effects track, the film also comes with an 8 page booklet featuring a fantastic essay by Julie Kirgo who is able to place the film inside of Big E's surprisingly robust filmography, as well as filling in the gaps around his numerous illustrious co-stars. It's a great read and definitely welcome given the lack of more in-depth video based extras.