Saturday, October 11, 2008

The quotable Elvis movie book

Sometimes I dream about writing a book about Elvis. After all, I've been a fan for over 30 years and like to think I've learned quite a lot about him during that time. Also, as a journalist, I'm used to interviewing people and doing research, so maybe a book project isn't as far fetched as it sounds.

But then again, so much has been written about Elvis that is seems there is nothing more to tell. However, one of the projects I've been fantasising about is a book about his time in Las Vegas, another an in depth look at the making of a certain movie or a certain recording session with the help of, for example, interviews with former musicians, co-stars and crew.

My third, and maybe most realistic project, is to compile a book with quotes from his movies. The idea comes from a little paperback I have, called The Quotable Star Wars. In it, Steve Sansweet, a journalist until he joined Lucasfilm as a promoter of Star Wars, has collected his favourite quotes from the first trilogy made in the 70's and 80's.

"The Star Wars Generation took great delight in the dialogue: the funny lines and the philosophical ones," Sansweet writes in the introduction. And, being a member of that generation, who isn't familiar with quotes like "Use the force, Luke" and "I'll never turn to the dark side!" to name just a few.

There's just one problem with my idea. Despite the fact that Elvis made 33 movies, it's hard to remember dialogue that stands out like in Star Wars. After all, who goes around muttering "You'll be surprised what you can do if you'll only try" (from Clambake) or "You'll scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" (from Paradise, Hawaiian Style).

Nevertheless, there are some quotes that comes to mind that might qualify:

  • "It ain't tactics, honey. It's just the beast in me." (Jailhouse Rock)
  • "Now you'll know what I'll do for an encore" (King Creole)
  • "You go to school. I'm going out to make a buck." (King Creole again)
  • "I don't care if you pilot a jet or a flying carpet." (Kissin' Cousins)
  • "You godda be kiddin'. On second thought, you wouldn't wear your head like that for laughs." (Elvis talking to the bald Lord of the assassins in Harum Scarum)
Hmm, maybe there are two problems with my idea, the second being that no one except the hard core fans will recognize the quotes. But what if I just aim the book at them? Then we're back at problem number one. Maybe you can help me out with some more quotes?


Anonymous said...

This one is my favourite from Viva Las Vegas:
Rusty Martin (Ann Margret): Can you help me please?
Lucky Jackson (Elvis): Can we help you? Yes ma'am.
Rusty Martin: Can you check my motor?, it whistles.
Lucky Jackson: I don't blame it!

Mike Edwards said...

your going to have a seizure carrying on like that- Mike Edwards, It Happened At The Worlds Fair

I'm not going to work for The Great Southern Hawaiian Fruit Company- Chad Gates, Blue Hawaii

Some of my favorite lines. I got so many though.