Annoyed when his oil-rich father, Duster Heyward (James Gregory) hands him an unearned vice presidency in the family company, heir to millions Scott Heyward (Elvis Presley) switches places with water-ski instructor Tom Wilson (Will Hutchins) and agrees to run his ski shop at a Miami Beach hotel to learn about everyday life.
Scott’s first student and romantic interest is beautiful Dianne Carter (Shelley Fabares) who admits rich playboy James Jamison III (Bill Bixby) is her target. Scott handles the competition, not by revealing his own wealth, but by rebuilding an experimental boat owned by Sam Burton (Gary Merrill) and racing it at the Orange Bowl Regatta to beat Jimmy, who has dominated the race for two years running.
Meanwhile, Tom Wilson is living like a millionaire in the hotel until Duster arrives on the scene to meet his “son”.
Scott’s diligence pays off with a racing victory and a romantic prize as well. Tom has his fill of the rich life, Duster sees Scott in a new light, and a good time is had by all with Elvis singing to spice up the proceedings.
Presley’s 25th film – a reworking of The Prince and the Pauper – looks like it cost next to nothing, and probably did. It features a perfunctory performance from the King, who actually has less screen time than his co-star Will Hutchins.
The colour is garish, the widescreen process is the cheapest Techniscope, the few decent actors (Gary Merrill, James Gregory) are clearly just going through the motions, the back projection looks phoney and the songs – with the exception of You Don’t Know Me – are below par.
Watch out for Oh, Boy!‘s ace producer Jack Good in a supporting role.
James Jamison III