Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blue Hawaii

Blue Hawaii is my second-most favorite Elvis movie of all time. King Creole is the first, simply because Elvis was at his bad-ass best in King. It's the difference between Danny Fisher and Chad Gates (the characters in each film). It's the difference between the lyrics "if you're looking for trouble, you've come to the right place" and "rock-a-hula, baby, rock". It's the difference between the Big Easy and the Big Island. No comparison.

But there's something about Blue Hawaii. I was five years old when it came out, and our whole family went to see it at The Ritz theater in Barnesville (now a parking lot/community gathering spot). From the first strands of the title song to Elvis coming home from the Army, I was hooked. It didn't hurt any that the home office for "Chad's" daddy's pineapple business was in Atlanta. It didn't matter that a pineapple business headquartered in Georgia made about as much sense as a pinestraw business out of Honolulu. I loved that the King thought enough of his Southern heritage to make them mention Atlanta.

I became an Elvis fan through and through that night at the Ritz. I sang all the songs (ain't it funny how much you can remember when you're young?) and acted out all the parts. I was Elvis, and we were invincible.

It wouldn't last, but it was real then.

Night and me and Blue Hawaii.

Oh yeah.

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