Friday, 24 February 2017

Film Friday: GI Blues 1960

Today on film Friday I bring you 1960's GI Blues.

Elvis Presley stars as Tulsa McLean, a soldier stationed in Germany, who pulls strings to stage a big show for his fellow GI's. He also bets his buddies that he can date "ice princess" entertainer Lili.

U.S. Army Specialist 5 (SP5) Tulsa McLean (Elvis Presley) is a tank crewman with a singing career. Serving with the 3rd Armored "Spearhead" Division in West Germany, McLean dreams of running his own nightclub when he leaves the army, but such dreams don't come cheap.

 Tulsa and his buddies have formed a band and perform in various German "Gasthauses", night clubs, and on an Armed Forces stage. In one bar, he even discovers the record "Blue Suede Shoes" sung by someone named Elvis Presley on a jukebox.

To raise money, Tulsa places a bet with his friend Dynamite (Edson Stroll) that he can spend the night with a club dancer named Lili (Juliet Prowse), who is rumored to be hard to get since she turned down one other G.I. operator, Turk (Jeremy Slate). Dynamite and Turk have vied for women before when the two were stationed in Hawaii.

Tulsa uses his Southern charm and calls Lili "ma'am." She at first sees Tulsa as another Occupation Duty GI ...
The songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote two song for the movie, "Dog Face" and "Tulsa's Blues", but later withdrew the songs when they didn't like the royalty payments contract that Elvis' manager Col. Tom Parker insisted that they sign.

While Tulsa is singing "Doin' the Best I Can", one soldier puts a coin in the jukebox and choose from the list "Blue Suede Shoes - Elvis Presley".

Princess of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, King of Thailand and other royalties visited on the studio and met  Elvis.

The boat Elvis boards ("Bonn"), is now in Karlshamn, southern Sweden, and is used as a discotheque.

Did you know ... The 3rd Armored Division was Elvis's regiment when he was in the army and in this movie.


  1. Is that the one with 'Wooden Heart' on the soundtrack? I loved that song as a tot - I think my mother played it a lot when we were indeed living on a military base in Germany.

  2. I showed your post to Jos, who was a big Elvis fan back in the day. He said to tell you that he saw the film when it first came out in his hometown of Boom (which you know how to pronounce ;-). Great stuff! xxx


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