Elvis: Frame By Frame
 

 
 

Bill Bram went behind the scenes of nine of Elvis' movies.

Design

Contrary to the many "Inside" books released the last two years this book is a 99 percent text book. The cover comes in full colour; the pictures inside are all black and white.

Content

The book reads like a Q&A. Bill Bram tracked down a lot of people who were in one way part of one of the nine movies - King Creole, Kid Galahad, Roustabout, Easy Come Easy Go, Double Trouble, Clambake, Live A Little Love Little, The Trouble With Girls and "Change Of Habit" - and interviewed or corresponded with them. A lot of the big names are missing from the list of interviews, but the vast amount of smaller co-stars, stuntmen, crewmembers and musicians makes up for this. Tracking these people down must have been a labour of love, looking at the dates of the interviews it took nearly six years to gather the information.

The author asked the same questions to different people and printed their answers. He didn't integrate their answers into a story. It takes a bit getting used to reading the book, but the answers by themselves are funny, interesting, informative or factual. It is always fun te read memories and anecdotes of those who had the chance to meet or work with Elvis. Besides this I picked up a lot on how an Elvis movie was made and learned quite a few new facts and tidbits on our man's moviecareer. We also learn that more songs were filmed for the movies, like "Danny Boy" for "King Creole" but they ended up on the cutting room floor for various reasons.

Besides the interviews Bill Bram did a lot of research and it shows in the book in the footnotes added to the interviews and the introduction chapter on each movie. In fact he added three appendixes with information on the movies King Creole, Roustabout and Easy Come Easy Go. Also featured are the stories behind the "lost" movie projects like "A Star Is Born" and Elvis' karate movie.

The pro of the book is the huge amount of information and many personal recollections from those involved; many very personal or very detailed on what happened on and off the set; a lot of new insights.  The con is the lack of illustrations. The author turned up a handful of images, but that doesn't illustrate a nearly four hundred pages book.
 
It would be great if Bill Bram would have joined forced with the Likes of Elvis Unlimited who produce many "Inside" books which are mainly picture books. The combination of both could easily create a series of definitive movie books.

Conclusion

A well researched look behind the scenes of several of Elvis better and mediocre movies. A nice read; a few more illustrations could have helped the "Q&A" format. Hopefully a researcher like this teams up with the guys from Elvis Unlimited
 

Posted:  6th. June 2008 

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