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Wild In The Country

 

 

Shooting began November 11, 1960 and completed January 18, 1961

Premiered  June 15, 1961 in Memphis

Opened nationally June 22, 1961

Character:  Glenn Tyler

Producer: Jerry Wald

Director: Philip Dunne

 

Plot:

As Glen Tyler, Elvis plays his last serious film role. Glen, a southern poverty-stricken, rural boy has just been released from juvenile hall. Glen finds himself at a crossroads in his life and must decide which path is more suitable to him in his life. Three women close to him, represent these choices he must make. The sensuous Noreen, is Glenn's country cousin who urges him to stay with his own kind. She offers passion and good times, but a carefree existence allows little thought for the future. Irene Sperry, is his court-appointed psychiatrist who recognizes his talent as a writer. She tries to encourage him to attend college but also causes a scandal when she falls in love with him. And Betty Lee is his childhood sweetheart who places Glenn's own future above her own. She encourages him to leave town and attend college. He follows Betty Lee's advice and asks her to wait for him to complete his education.

 

Songs:

"Wild In The Country"-Sung over the opening credits.

"I Slipped, I Stumbled, I Fell"-Sung to Millie Perkins in a pickup truck. "Instrumentation" was provided by the radio.

"In My Way"-Sung to Tuesday Weld on the stops at the back of Rolfe Braxton's store.

"Husky Dusky Day"-Sung in duet with Hope Lange in her car while driving back from the university.

"Lonely Man" and "Forget Me Never" were cut from the film.

 

Cast:

Glenn Tyler - Elvis Presley

Irene Sperry - Hope Lange

Noreen - Tuesday Weld

Betty Lee Parsons - Millie Perkins

Davis - Rafer Johnson

Phil Macy - John Ireland

Cliff Macy - Gary Lockwood

Rolfe Braxton - William Mims 

Dr. Underwood - Raymond Greenleaf

Monica George - Christina Crawford

Flossie, Phil Macy's Secretary - Robin Raymond

Mrs. Parsons - Doreen Lang

Mr. Parsons - Charles Arnt

Sarah, Irene Sperry's Maid - Ruby Goodwin

Willie Dance - Will Cory

Professor Joe B. Larson - Alan Napier

Judge Parker - Jason Robards, Sr. 

Bartender - Harry Carter

Sam Tyler - Harry Shannon 

Hank Tyler - Red West

State Trooper - Elisha M. Mott

Mr. Spangler - Walter Baldwin

Woman in Booth - Frankie Silverman

Huckster - Mike Lally

Mr. Dace - Joe Butham

Conductor - Hans Moebus

Juror - James Horan

Doctor - Linden Chiles Jr.

Dr. Creston, the Coroner - Jack Orrison

Mr. Longstreet - Pat Buttram

 

Production Notes:

Filming took place at the Victorian Ink House in St. Helena, CA. Exterior scenes were filmed in and around Napa Valley, including the town of Calistoga, and the University of California at Los Angeles. Interiors were shot on the Twentieth Century-Fox lot. 

Wild In The Country was based on the novel The Lost Country by J. R. Salamanca which was also his first novel. Glenn Tyler was a artist in the book, not a writer and Irene Sperry was a school teacher, not a psychologist.

"Wild In The Country" was a phrase from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass.

While filming, Elvis stayed at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

While slapping Elvis in a scene Millie Perkins broke her wrist.

The college scenes were filmed at UCLA. About 75 extras were used from the campus.

Although Red West had bit parts in other Elvis films, he had his first speaking part in this one as Glenn's brother. He propositions Irene as she is on her way to the coroner's inquest.

During filming, Elvis was treated for boils on his rear end.

Originally, Wild in the Country was to be filmed with songs, but later decided against. One of the original titles for the film was "Lonely Man" but was changed when the song was deleted from the film.

During filming Elvis received a platinum watch from RCA to commemorate his having sold seventy-five million records.

Elvis and Tuesday Weld won the Damp Raincoat Award for most Disappointing Performers of 1961. The awards were presented by the readers of Teen magazine.

Trivia:

Glenn Tyler was almost nine when his mother died. Before he appeared in court for stealing a car, he had been picked up twice on drunkenness charges.

Irene Sperry's husband was named Paul. He died in a car accident.

 

Click here for movie clips

 

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