Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Forgotten Films: Heartbreak Hotel

Judy and I saw this movie when it opened in 1988, and we loved it. We must have been the only ones because it disappeared soon afterward. It's set in 1972, and it's the story of a kid who kidnaps Elvis Presley to cheer up his depressed mother, played by Tuesday Weld.

David Keith looks nothing much like Elvis, and he sure doesn't sing like him, but he's absolutely convincing as E. at the stage of his career when he might have saved himself if he'd had the gumption. Watching this movie, you'll wish he had, if you didn't already. Tuesday Weld is great and lovely and should have had a much better film career. Charlie Schlatter is very good as her son, and in fact the entire cast is excellent. There are some wonderful scenes, like the one where Schlatter's character tells off Elvis for letting his career go into the dumper and the one where Elvis sings with Schlatter's band.

The movie was filmed in Texas, and it was nice to see the familiar locations. The hotel is actually Green Pastures, an Austin restaurant where Judy and I ate a couple of times when I was in grad school (we couldn't afford it more than that). It's still there, and I'm sure it's still expensive. We got a kick out of seeing it in the movie.

I thought Heartbreak Hotel would be a big hit, but it was far from it. Sometimes a movie seems to be made just for me, and I guess this is one of them.


Anonymous said...

You can't go wrong with Tuesday Weld. I liked it too.


Mel Odom said...

I had a blast with this one when it came out.

pattinase (abbott) said...

We liked it too. David Keith was the perfect Elvis.

Todd Mason said...

On Friday, at B&N, I picked up a dvd set for $5 including HEARTBREAK HOTEL, ASPEN EXTREME and a Mike Binder comedy, INDIAN SUMMER, with an interesting cast: Alan Arkin, Matt Craven, Diane Lane, Bill Paxton, Elizabeth Perkins. ASPEN EXTREME not being the primary attraction.