Elvis Presley stars in this return to musical comedy after several appearances in dramatic roles.
Chad Gates (Elvis) comes home to Honolulu after a stint in the service, but shows little interest in working for his overbearing parents’ pineapple plantation.
Instead, Chad finds a job as a tour guide for his girlfriend’s travel agency and gives himself a chance to dance with, and sing to, a variety of Hawaii’s most beautiful women.
Though one of Elvis Presley’s biggest ever successes, this movie was directly responsible for turning him from the new James Dean into the king of pap.
Confronted with the huge box office grosses, Elvis’s controllers – venal manager Colonel Tom Parker and film producer Hal Wallis – decided that every movie their boy made from then on would be the same mix of girls, songs and exotic locations.
Thirty films later, they’d sacrificed both their audience and Presley’s screen credibility.
For all that, this is colourful, amiable fluff, with some nice near-jailbait, Angela Lansbury as Elvis’s mum, and such beautifully performed songs as Rock-A-Hula Baby, Hawaiian Wedding Song, Island of Love, and the immortal Can’t Help Falling in Love.
Sarah Lee Gates