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Girls! Girls! Girls!

Elvis Presley films are a phenomenon unto their own, like Pokemon or the majority of boy bands that pass through the public's consciousness. At one time or another they were successful, but their popularity out of context seems thoroughly incomprehensible. It's not that Elvis lacked talent on screen — in fact, the King had a relaxed manner, making his line readings interesting, and (as long as he was making them) he was never hard on the eyes. But the films themselves are so uninspired, nonsensical, and (perhaps worst of all) the music is so beneath Presley that one wonders if they had as much to do with his early demise as the pills did. Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962) at least has one song worth remembering, the classic "Return to Sender," yet everything else is laughably bad — including the title number and a later song in which Elvis (accompanied by fellow sailors, natch) croons about their fish haul. And it should be noted that, for a film entitled Girls! Girls! Girls!, one expects more girl trouble than two women (played by Stella Stevens and Laurel Goodwin) — and even then, it's never much of a contest. Actually, Elvis's character, Ross Carpenter, is more interested in his boat than the babes. The movie follows the singing, fighting sailor Carpenter as his old boss has to retire because of his wife's failing health. All Carpenter wants is the boat he lives on — which he built with his deceased father — but it gets sold to rich investor Wesley Johnson (Jeremy Slate), who delights in keeping Carpenter working for him to eventually purchase said schooner. All the while, the King romances Laurel Dodge (Goodwin), who has a secret that keeps him unsure of their future, while ex-flame Robin Gatner (Stevens) keeps a watchful eye to see if either fumble. Girls! isn't really bad enough to be fun-bad Elvis (no, for something like that see either Roustabout or Live a Little, Love a Little), but it does offer a bonus to the dedicated Presley fan; During the number "Don't Fight Tonight" (starting around 71:27 in the running time) something about the song or Goodwin gets Presley, um... excited, and his little sailor stays at half mast for the rest of the number. Otherwise, return to sender indeed. Paramount's DVD presents the film in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) with restored 2.0 mono and remixed DD 5.1 tracks. No extras. Keep-case.

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