King Creolei is amusingly childish ; yet in its extreme simplicity manages to cross no major red linesii. Unescapably it then comes off as a two hour cartooniii, making it the perfect Elvis vehicle quite naturally (and also his favourite cinematic self-exploitation, let it not be said the King never had any sense). The rich, nut-buttery rendition of 1950s New Orleans, physically trapped somewhere between its Rust Belt destiny and its glorious past rather drips, like molasses, right off the screen ; and the drop dead gorgeous Jonesiv rather reminds me of my own teenaged dolls back in the day, their punctilious needlework rather returned in dialogue along the lines of "So, this is where you live ?" "No. This is where I visit."
Indeed a budding harem stands before the man -- the presumed, the supposed, the "let's find out" man. Just two girls, but well spread out : the intellectual and the dedicated, the urban and the rural, a dollop of each. All they're awaiting is his magic wand, the touch of the axis mundi in his pants to bring, to stir their lives to life ; sadly... well, he's a boy, did I mention ? The tragedy of not one, ripe, ready to go, long awaiting woman but two ; and... the boy, yet a boy, still a boy... forever still a boy.
What can you do ?———
- 1958, by Michael Curtiz, with Elvis Presley, Carolyn Jones, Dolores Hart, Walter Matthau. [↩]
- Consider the point where the willing, the self-abandoningly, eagerly willing young filly asks the man -- the man in her eyes-- on the very threshold of life : is this how you learn the Torah ?
He runs away ; for he is a boy, not a man (nor can her confusion enact him into other-ness). Had he not ran away, had he stood as a man, and used her as a man -- as a man uses a whore -- he'd have had one, and she'd have had one. And therefore, later on, when the (alleged) man of the production confronts him, with "proposals" and whatnot nonsense, his manly way'd have been self-obvious before him : "Listen Maxine, I'll take her off your hands if she's too much for you ; as for the rest you can as well go dangle." and thereby readily preempt whatever nonsense in the vein of "oh, what were you talking about, let me see, ah yes, 'Max doesn't enter into it' or something" and, at the end, when the wanna-be gangster shoots his woman from under him (as I suppose he must) they could've ended up best of friends. Or enemies, meaningfully, not of the girlish but of the manly sort. The difference's altogether slight : the greatest enemies are actual men who broadly agree.
Yet in the fact that this story's about a boy not about a man no heinous crime's being committed. Not all stories can be about me, owning to their scarcity (yes, I notice I missed an n back there, but honestly... fix ? fix what ?) and so occasionally stories will necessarily have boys in them, like this one does. No he's not man enough to be a man ; but yeah he's plenty boy enough to be a boy, and after all that was the idea, wasn't it. [↩]
- Imagine this wonder, Matthau, of all people, cast as the heavy. Matthau, Walter Matthau, of Buddy Buddy and The Guide For Married Men, Matthau of Park Plaza and The Odd Couple. That Matthau, the consummate Goosy Boy, he's the evil gangster that "owns everything" in that sad Southern town.
- The original Morticia Adams, and, in being there earliest, necessarily the model for Aaron Spelling's later gaggles of "actress" girlies (incestuously enough, principally figuring his own daughter). [↩]