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Follow That Dream

 

 

Shooting began July 11, 1961 and completed August 28, 1961

Premiered April 11, 1962 in Ocala, FL

Opened nationally May 23, 1962

Character:  Toby Kwimper

Producer: David Weisbart

Director: Gordon Douglas

 

Plot:

As Toby Kwimper, a Li'l Abner type, Elvis portrays a member of a bumbling rural Southerners who adopt several orphans and claim squatter's rights along an unopened stretch of highway and open a small business  renting fishing equipment. Gamblers attempt to take advantage of the Kwimpers' trusting nature. Toby eventually outsmarts the hoods. In the meantime, social worker Alicia Claypoole, investigates the Kwimpers' situation to determine if the children are receiving proper care. Alicia's attention angers Holly Jones, who has been in love with Toby from childhood. After Toby declines the social workers advances, she attempts to take the children away from the Kwimpers. Toby and Pop plead their own case and win custody of the children.

 

Songs:

"What a Wonderful Life"-Sung over the opening credits.

"I'm Not the Marrying Kind"-Sung to Anne Helm on the beach.

"Sound Advice"-Sung in the Kwimpers' cabin.

"On Top of Old Smokey"-Sung briefly (four lines) to Joanna Moore while lying on the beach. Music was provided by a portable radio.

"Follow That Dream"-Sung to Joanna Moore while lying on the beach. Music was provided by a portable radio.

"Angel"-Sung on the porch of the Kwimpers' cabin at the end of the film.

"A Whistling Tune" was recorded but not used. Instead, it was used in Kid Galahad.

 

Cast:

Toby Kwimper - Elvis Presley

Pop Kwimper - Arthur O'Connell

Holly Jones - Anne Helm

Alicia Claypoole - Joanne Moore

H. Arthur King - Alan Hewitt

Mr. Endicott - Herbert Rudley

Nick - Simon Oakland

Carmine - Jack Kruschen

Teddy Bascombe - Robin Koon

Eddy Bascombe - Gavin Koon

Ariadne Pennington - Pam Ogles

George Binkley - Howard McNear

Judge Wardman - Roland Winters

Jack - Frank De Kova

Al - Robert Carricart

Blackie - John Duke

Governor - Harry Holcombe

Bank Guard - Red West

 

Production Notes:

Follow That Dream was based on the 1957 novel Pioneer, Go Home, by Richard Powell.

Filmed on location in Crystal River, FL. Locations included Tampa, Ocala, Yankeetown, Inverness, and Bird Creek. Interiors were shot in a bank in Ocala and the courthouse in Inverness. Some shots were done at the studio in Culver City, CA.

Elvis arrived in Florida by bus bringing along a 21-foot speed boat and two of his cars.

The original title was Pioneer, Go Home. The pioneers were unable to come up with a rhyme for the word Pioneer, a title tune. Then the title was changed to What A Wonderful Life just before the start of location shooting. Other titles were It's a Beautiful Life and Here Come The Kwimpers.

Gambling was illegal in Florida in 1961. When two large dice tables and other gambling equipment were needed for the film, a member of the Chamber of Commerce of a Florida city and a couple of anonymous gangsters brought the needed items to the location.

The film was made in sunny Florida and the head of the Florida Development Commission was thrilled declaring that "This movie will sell Florida around the world."

The hot Florida beaches used for the film proved to lend some difficulties while shooting. Some days the temperature soared past the 100 degree mark, making it hard on the crew, cast and equipment. Elvis had to change his shirt 22 times in one day because he was perspiring so profusely.

Trivia:

Toby Kwimper received a monthly disability check in the amount of $63.80 for twisting his back during his first judo lesson in the Army. However, it twisted right back during the second lesson.

Holly Jones was nineteen and had been living with the Kwimpers since she was thirteen. She moved in with them after her parents were killed in an automobile accident. She had been the twins' baby-sitter.

 

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