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Blue Hawaii
Directed by Norman Taurog
Michael D. Moore (assistant)
Produced by Hal B. Wallis
Written by Allan Weiss (story)
Hal Kanter (screenwriter)
Starring Elvis Presley
Joan Blackman
Angela Lansbury
Music by Joseph J. Lilley
Cinematography Charles Lang
Editing by Terry O. Morse
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) November 22, 1961 (1961-11-22)
Running time 102 minutes
Language English
Preceded by Wild in the Country
Followed by Follow That Dream

Blue Hawaii is a 1961 musical film set in the state of Hawaii and starring Elvis Presley.



Chadwick Gates (Presley) has just gotten out of the Army, and is happy to be back in Hawaii with his surfboard, his beach buddies, and his girlfriend. His mother wants him to go to work at the Great Southern Hawaiian Fruit Company, but Chad is reluctant. So Chad goes to work as a tour guide at his girlfriend's agency.

Primary cast


Much of the film was shot on location at the Coco Palms Resort on the east coast of Kauai. The resort has been abandoned since Hurricane Iniki in 1992, but is now slated for redevelopment.[1]

Among the other locations used was the Tantalus lookout overlooking Honolulu; Chad and his girlfriend, Maile, have a picnic there early in the film.[citation needed]

The scenes at Chad's beach house were shot at Hanauma Bay, a volcanic crater that is open to the sea, near the bedroom community of Hawaii-Kai, a few miles away from Waikiki.[2]

Although it is mentioned in the film that Chad's parents live in Kahala, one of the most expensive and exclusive areas of Honolulu as of 1961, the view from their lanai (porch or terrace) shows Diamond Head as it appears from Waikiki and downtown Honolulu. This is an error because Kahala is located on the other side of Diamond Head from Waikiki.

There were several scenes filmed in and around the famous Waikiki Beach, including the opening driving scenes as well as the office scene across the street from the "International Market". The hotel scenes where Chad's clients stayed and where he picked up his tour group were filmed on the property of what is now known as the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki Beach. This is also where Chad and his girlfriend spent time on the beach.

Blue Hawaii was the first of three Elvis movies to be filmed in Hawaii, followed by Girls! Girls! Girls! in 1962 and Paradise, Hawaiian Style in 1965.

Angela Lansbury, who played the mother of Elvis, was not yet 36 years old in 1961 when the movie was released. Elvis was 26 years old. Lansbury would later comment that her appearance here was one of the worst in her career.

It could be argued that this film set the tone for Presley's future film career: pretty locations, gorgeous girls, dull plots, and mediocre songs. Almost all of these musical-comedy films performed well, whereas more "serious" films such as Flaming Star, Wild in the Country and Charro, did poorly at the box office. Blue Hawaii on the other hand was one of Elvis' most successful films.

While some of the songs on the soundtrack album can fairly be described as "inferior," others compare favorably to his non-soundtrack recordings. Presley's remake of the title song did justice to the Academy Award-winning song, while also introducing it to an audience too young to remember Bing Crosby's original hit version. His recording of "Can't Help Falling In Love" compares quite well to his other Top 10 hits, and his recordings of "Rock-A-Hula Baby" and "Ku-u-ipo (Hawaiian Sweetheart)" are notable as well.

The Blue Hawaii soundtrack album was on the Billboard Pop Albums chart for 79 weeks, spent 20 weeks at #1 on the Pop Albums chart, and sold more than 2-million copies [See: Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Albums 1955-1996]


See also


External links



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