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King Creole

 

 

Shooting began January 2, 1958 and completed on March 10, 1958.

Opened nationally July 2, 1958

Character:  Danny Fisher

Producer: Hal B. Wallis

Director: Michael Curtiz

 

Plot:

This musical drama is set in New Orleans with Elvis portraying a young man named Danny Fisher, who is dissatisfied with his family's financial situation. He blames his father for their financial woes. Danny has a job as a janitor for a night club to earn extra money. After an encounter with the local gangster's girlfriend, he gets expelled from High School.  While at work that night, he runs into Ronnie and her boyfriend who insist that he sing for them. Danny's talents are also noted by the club owner and he offers him a job at the King Creole. As the story progresses, Danny becomes more involved with Ronnie and soon finds himself torn between her and a young goodie-goodie girlfriend named Nellie. Another encounter leaves Danny injured and Ronnie nurses him back to health. A jealous Maxie kills Ronnie. After problems are resolved with Maxie, Ronnie's boyfriend and he is killed himself, Danny is left to return to his job at the King Creole and to Nellie.

 

Songs:

"Crawfish"-Sung in duet with Kitty White form an apartment balcony. She was in a horse-drawn cart.

"Steadfast, Loyal, and True"-Sung in the gilded Cage.

"Lover Doll"-Sung in the department store while Shark, Sal, and Dummy stole merchandise.

"Trouble"-Sung on stage at the Gilded Cage at the "prompting" of Walter Matthau.

"Dixieland Rock"-Sung in the King Creole nightclub.

"Young Dreams"-Sung in the King Creole nightclub.

"New Orleans"-Sung in the King Creole nightclub.

"Hard Headed Woman"-Sung in the King Creole nightclub right after "Hard Headed Woman."

"Don't Ask Me Why"-Sung in the King Creole nightclub.

"As Long as I Have You"-Sung in the King Creole nightclub at the end of the film.

 

Cast:

Danny Fisher - Elvis Presley

Ronnie - Carolyn Jones

Maxie Fields - Walter Matthau

Nellie - Delores Hart

Mr. Fisher - Dean Jagger

Forty Nine - Liliane Montevecchi

Shark - Vic Morrow

Charlie LeGrand - Paul Stewart

Mimi Fisher - Jan Shepard

Sal - Brian Hutton

Dummy - Jack Grinnage

Eddie Burton - Dick Winslow

Mr. Evans - Raymond Bailey

Mr. Primont - Gavin Gordon

Ralph - Val Avery

Dr. Patrick - Alexander Lockwood

Dr. Michael Cabot - Sam Buffington

Hotel Clerk - Ned Glass

Mrs. Pearson - Helen Hatch

Mr. Furst - Charles Evans

Eddie - Ric Roman 

Catherine - Lilyn Chauvan

Master of Ceremonies - Slick Slaven

Chico, Bartender at the Gilded Cage - Tony Russo

Drug Clerk - Leon Tyler

Doorman - Candy Candido

Mr. McIntyre - Walter Anthony Merrill

Entertainer - Ziva Rodann

Cigarette Girl - Rita Green

Collector - John Indrisano

"B" Girl - Kay Haydn

Salesgirls - Barbara Gayle, Susanne Sydney, Jacqueline Park, Jackie Joseph

Bit Girl - Nina Vaughn

Woman Who Asks for Water - Hazel Boyne

Woman - Blanche Thomas

Street Vendor - Kitty White

 

Production Notes:

Based on the novel A Stone For Danny Fisher. In the novel, Danny Fisher was a boxer, not a singer. The was set in New York City.

Hal B. Wallis planned to remake King Creole in 1976, but the project never got off the ground.

The original name of Danny Fisher was Danny Finnell before filming King Creole. Some reference sources can be noted to use this name even today when listing the cast of characters.

King Creole was Elvis' first film to be filmed on location. Some of the scenes filmed on location in New Orleans' French Quarter, the Vieux Carre Saloon,  Lake Pontchartrain and a local high school.

Elvis stayed on the tenth floor of the Roosevelt Hotel while in New Orleans. In Hollywood he stayed at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

Because of the mobs of fans who would flock outside the hotel where Elvis was staying, the production manager was forced to tighten security. The entire top floor of the Roosevelt Hotel was booked to house the cast and crew. Pinkerton guards were hired to patrol the floors, elevators, and staircase. Wallis also insisted that the elevator not stop on the tenth floor. To avoid the crowds, Elvis would enter an adjacent building and climb out a window, cross the roof, and enter the hotel via the fire escape. On one occasion, Elvis and his entourage entered using the elevator and requested the tenth floor. The operator politely refused to stop at the tenth floor, even after Elvis introduced himself. Elvis and the gang were let off on the eleventh floor and had to take the stairs down to the tenth floor.

Trivia:

The drug store where Mr. Fisher worked was called Regal Pharmacy. His boss was Mr. Primont.

King Creole was the nightclub owned by Charlie La Grand where Danny Fisher sang. His beginning salary was $85 a week. Danny was first billed as Danny (Boom Boom) Fisher. The previous headliner was stripper Forty Nina.

The apartment where Danny lived with his father and sister, Mimi, was located at 29 Royal Street.

Ronnie once won a contest called "The Best Legs in the State of Maine."

Carolyn Jones sang a few lines of "As Long as I Have You" without accompaniment. 

Danny Fisher attended the Royal High School The School song was "Steadfast, Loyal and True."

 

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