This easy-going rustic drama sees Elvis Presley cast as wide-eyed country boy Toby Kwimper in a film adapted by His Girl Friday screenwriter Charles Lederer from Richard Powell’s novel Pioneer, Go Home.
It’s a genuinely entertaining comedy with Elvis’s amiable hick innocently overcoming evil doers at every turn in his bid to find a settled home for his father and his adopted siblings.
This was not actually intended as a vehicle for Elvis – the real stars are Arthur O’Connell and a troublesome homestead – but it benefits from Presley’s gentle, laid-back performance as an unsophisticated young hillbilly.
Director Gordon Douglas seems at a loss over what to do during Elvis’s (too) few songs and directs him lying down and looking rather uncomfortable most of the time, especially during the obvious miming of the title number.
Still, there’s pleasure to be had from watching Presley resist the charms of Joanna Moore or flirt with cute Anne Helm.
Fans may care to note that Presley’s hair here is very close to its original colour before he permanently dyed it black.
H Arthur King
Frank De Kova