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The Trouble With Girls 

(And How To Get Into It)

 

 

Shooting began October 28, 1968 and completed on December 16, 1968

Opened nationally on September 3, 1969

Character:  Walter Hale

Producer: Lester Welch

Director: Peter Tewksbury

 

Plot:

Walter Hale is the manager of a traveling chautauqua. A chautauqua is a school that provides education combined with entertainment. Walter is beset with a number of problems as his show arrives in town for one week. He worries that he might have to give the mayor's untalented daughter the lead in the children's pageant to stay in the mayor's good graces. He must contend with his assistant, who is constantly harping about the union rights of his employees. Finally, someone murders the local druggist, and a member of the chautauqua is accused. These loose ends are tied together during the final show, when Walter cannily reveals the killer's identity and wins the heart of his pretty assistant.

 

Songs:

"The Whiffenpoof Song"-Sung just prior to "Violet (Flower of NYU)" at the Chautauqua.

"Violet (Flower of NYU)"-Sung with a quartet on stage at the Chautauqua.

"Clean Up Your Own Backyard"-Sung on stage at the Chautauqua.

"Sign of the Zodiac"-Sung in a duet with Marlyn Mason on stage at the Chautauqua. Mason sang most of the song.

"Almost"-Sung with only piano accompaniment in a vacant tent.

A number of songs were heard on the soundtrack to The Trouble With Girls, including "America the Beautiful," " Boola Boola," "Greensleeves," "When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose," "On Wisconsin,"  "The Darktown Strutter's Ball," "My Old Kentucky Home," "Mad'moiselle from Armentieres," "Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep," "Blow the Man Down," "The Eyes of Texas," "Camptown Races," "Toot Toot Tootsie," "She's Nobody's Baby Now," and the traditional round "Frere Jacques."

 

Cast:

Walter Hale - Elvis Presley

Charlene - Marilyn Mason

Betty - Nicole Jaffe

Nita Bix - Sheree North

Johnny - Edward Andrews

Mr. Drewcolt - John Carradine

Mr. Jonson (Mr. Morality) - Vincent Price

Carol Bix - Anissa Jones

Maude - Joyce Van Patten

Willy - Pepe Brown

Harrison Wilby - Dabney Coleman

Mayor Gilchrist - Bill Zuckert

Mr. Perper - Pitt Herbert

Clarence - Anthony Teague

Constable - Med Flory

Mr. Smith - Robert Nichols

Olga Prchlik - Helene Winston

Boy with Yale Sweater - Kevin O' Neal

Boy with Rutgers Sweater - Frank Welker

Boy with Princeton Sweater - John Rubinstein

Boy with Amherst Sweater - Chuck Briles

Mrs. Gilghrist - Patsy Garrett

Lily-Jeanne Gilchrist - Linda Sue Risk

Cabbie - Charles P. Thompson

1st Farmhand - Leonard Rumery

2nd Farmhand - William M. Paris

3rd Farmhand - Kathleen Rainey

Soda Jerk - Hal James Pederson

Chowderhead - Mike Wagner

Iceman - Brett Parker

The Cranker - Duke Snider

Choral Group - Pacific Palisades High School Madrigals

Vocal Group - The Jordanaires

Deputy Sheriff - Jerry Schilling

Gambler - Joe Esposito

 

Production Notes:

Filming was done on the MGM lot in Culver City.

The film was titled The Trouble With Girls and subtitled (And How to Get into It.) It was the only Elvis film with a subtitle.

The origin can be traced back to June 1959. At that time it was announced that Don Mankiewicz was going to write a screenplay based on an unpublished story by Mauri Grashin, Day Keen, and Swight Babcock. The film was titled Chautauqua. A year and a half later, December 1960, MGM announced that Glenn Ford was to star and Edmund Grainger was going to produce the film. The Hollywood trade papers stated that Elvis was slated to costar with Glenn Ford, Hope Lange, and Arthur O'Connell in February 1961. 

Three months later it was reported that Valentine Davies aw writing the screenplay for the film, which was due to begin production in the fall of 1961. In July 1961 it was announced that Elvis was to star in and Edmund Grainger was to produce a film titled Chautauqua. William Wister Haines was then writing a screenplay based on a novel by Day Keene and Swight Babcock. Dell books was about to release a paperback edition of the novel with a print run of one million copies. 

In August 1964, Dick Van Dyke was scheduled to sat in Chautauqua. Blanche Hanalis was writing the screenplay based on the book Merrily We Roll Along, by Gay Maclaren. Three months later it was reported that Richard Morris was writing the screenplay. MGM sold the property to Columbia Pictures in May 1965. Dick Van Dyke was still the star, but Elliott Arnold was now scripting the film (retitled Big America) and Sol C. Siegel was producing. 

Finally, MGM got the rights back in April 1968, Chautauqua was now an Elvis Vehicle.

Chautauqua began in 1873 in Chautauqua, New York, as a broad, twelve-day study program for Sunday School teachers. The two founders were theologian John H. Vincent and Lewis Miller (who was the father-in-law of Thomas Edison). Chautauqua later developed into a loose, rolling canvas college that featured classes, lectures, music, culture, and home reading courses. In the early 1900s, communities looked forward to the arrival of the Chautauqua.

The parade sequence featured 450 extras. Of that number, 100 were children. It also utilized fifty vintage automobiles, ten vintage trucks, two fire engines and a steam-driven train.

Advertising lines proclaimed "This is Elvis '69--His New Look" and "The Chautauqua Circuit and Where it Led."

Trivia:

Radford Center, Iowa was the town that provided the setting for the film.

"America the Beautiful" was played by three children on kazoos.

The Darktown Strutter's Ball was performed by Carol and Willy in the auditions for the children's play.

The Farmhand Trio sang "Susan Brown" on the street for Walter. The trio consisted of Kathy, Leonard, and Bill.

The Jordanaires were seen on stage backing Elvis in "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot".

Blooper: Plastic football helmets were used in the football game, but plastic helmets wren not used until a number of years later.

Gilroy, IA was the next town on the Chautauqua schedule after Radford Center.

"Camptown Races" was played by a one-man band.

Blooper: 

The narrator of the opening sequence was said, "Janet Gaynor just won the first Oscar." The film was set in 1927, but the first Academy Award ceremonies took place on May 19, 1929, in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Frank Welker, the college man in the Rutgers sweater, does a terrific Donald Duck impression in one scene. However, Donald Duck was not introduced to the world until 1936, when he appeared in a Walt Disney short called Orphan's Benefit.

Walter Hale and his football team won their game by a score of 110 to 97. Thankfully, no one was injured because heads were protected by plastic football helmets. However, according to the College Football Hall of Fame, leather helmets were in use in 1927, Plastic football helmets were not marketed until the 1950's and not in general use until the 1960's.

 

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