Elvis Presley is one of the most famous musicians ever. What happens when you take the music out of the equation and choose to focus solely on his movies? Enter Viva Pod Vegas: The Elvis Presley Film Podcast! Hosted by Joey Lewandowski and Mike Manzi, Viva Pod Vegas is a deep dive into the 31 films that Elvis Presley starred in, plus specials and some surprises. Uh, thank you very much for listening. Presented by the CageClub Podcast Network.
Fun in Acapulco (1963)
We're headed down to Mexico -- without Elvis, though, and we'll explain why he isn't allowed to join us -- to talk about Fun in Acapulco! We're talking about *another* Elvis character named Mike, love triangles on (and off?!) screen, and Col. Tom Parker's soundtrack mandate (and how that will become the "new normal" for Elvis movies). Joey shares the craziest bit of Elvis movie trivia we've found so far (to which Mike wonders, "Why even make this movie?). We talk about Elvis's ability to sing in Spanish, him having fun again on screen, and the craziest Elvis character backstory so far. We discuss remaking Elvis movies, his first on-screen appearance with a cape, and an on-screen Col. Tom Parker stand-in. We also talk about how Fun in Acapulco gives us another huge Elvis song ("Bossa Nova Baby") and a Top Gun-esque ending and reconciliation. We try to make sense of our "forced songs" game scale and peek ahead to our next episode to brace ourselves for Kissin' Cousins.
It Happened at the World's Fair (1963)
We're entering 1963 and headed (via plane!) to Seattle for this episode about It Happened at the World's Fair! In this episode, Mike gets a crash course on various World's Fairs (and Diane Warren) while also playing a couple guessing games and coming up with some merch ideas. (He also caught "hair blindness" from Joey, but finds himself able to revel in the fact that Elvis's character is named Mike.) We talk about Norman Taurog's continue (literal) reign of terror, how nice the print for this movie looks, and how It Happened at the World's Fair is (unexpectedly) "the Kurt Russell movie"! We compare Elvis to Pepe Le Pew and Michael Jackson, praise his fight choreography, and urge filmmakers (long since dead/retired) to get Elvis into space. We discuss the caliber of music in the movie, admire Elvis's ability to act on screen with children, and discover some really exciting new ways to incorporate music into his movies. We wonder what the titular "it" that happened at the World's Fair is, why there are so many clowns, and what a particular Elvis joke means. Plus, we share some wild Baz/Elvis news!
Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962)
Viva Pod Vegas returns as we hit the open sea for Girls! Girls! Girls!, a movie that should probably instead be called Boats! Boats! Boats! After comparing Elvis's character of Ross Carpenter to Vin Diesel (again) and past Elvis characters, we call on Brian Rodriguez (High School Slumber Party, Uncle Francis's Wine Cellar) for an expert opinion on which Friends character E would play. Then, we dive into the Golden Globe-nominated (!) film to talk about passing the focus to other singers, behind the scenes drama, and whether or not the cast was in genuine danger while making this movie. We wonder what Laurel's backstory is (and explain why the movie should be about her), debate whether or not Elvis singing in Chinese is good or bad, and find ourselves in disbelief at the times the movie decides to cut away from the action. Joey's favorite Elvis song pops up, we talk about "The Implication" from Always Sunny, and we look ahead to Sofia Coppola's Priscilla. But, most importantly, we spend a long, long time talking about "The Walls Have Ears," which is the greatest Elvis cinematic scene to date.
Kid Galahad (1962)
Two episodes of Viva Pod Vegas in one month? Unprecedented! We're back with another one of Elvis Presley's 1962 films, and this time we're talking about his stint as a boxer in Kid Galahad! In this episode, we compare Elvis to Nicolas Cage (or vice versa) and Dom Toretto before we wonder, what exactly *is* a musical, anyway? Joey's brain actually works (for a change), allowing him to make a deep cut connection. We talk about Elvis as a boxer (who can sing, too?!), on-set tensions between Elvis and Charles Bronson, and whether or not Kid Galahad hints at the same kind of seediness other Elvis movies have hinted at before. We compliment the boxing cinematography, debate how hard it is to write movie-specific songs, and look ahead to (possibly) our first dud in Girls! Girls! Girls, the next movie we're set to cover.
Follow That Dream (1962)
After our recent time warp to cover Baz Luhrmann's Elvis, we're back on the original timeline and talking about Elvis Presley in Follow That Dream! But... is homesteading a dream? We have questions! We talk about how we've been duped (yet again) into thinking every remaining movie is a musical, how weird this movie is in particular, and how terrible Elvis's character's name is. We discuss how Follow That Dream shows Elvis (once again) falling in love with a familial relation -- even though he isn't girl crazy -- and why this movie is so horny. We also share a Tom Petty connection, talk about toilets for a while, and lament the lack of a real EP being available for this movie. Plus, we begin to look at these original Elvis movies through the lens and lessons learned by watching Baz Luhrmann's Elvis. Is Pops in this movie a stand-in for the Colonel? Maybe!
Baz Luhrmann's Elvis (2022)
It's a Viva Pod Vegas / #HANX for the Memories special crossover event as we talk about Baz Luhrmann's Elvis, the Elvis Presley biopic! We discuss Austin Butler's portrayal of Elvis (and how he is the movie), Tom Hanks's portrayal of Colonel Tom Parker (and why he took the role), and Baz Lurhmann's novel take on the biopic via a new POV. We talk about Hanks's makeover and his level of "going for it," the movie's frenetic pacing and structure, and how it navigates around some controversy. We also wonder if Riley Keough would have fit in the movie and try to picture Tom Cruise as Colonel Tom.
Love your sense of humor !!
Long time Elvis fan - my interested was reenergized by the new Elvis movie. Love this podcast it’s funny and charming and you can see a love and respect for Elvis. My only concern is the lack of basic knowledge about Elvis biography (historical dates and personal life) and also vintage movie trivia. That Touch of Mink you mentioned in latest movie is very famous Cary Grant / Doris Day movie. I expect more knowledge of movie trivia of the era. Other then that - love it. Love the Fast & Furious references and Con Air.
Change of Habit
Please talk about the great movie Change of Habit, it starred Mary Tyler Moore. It was a more dramatic part for Elvis, and rumored to be his favorite.
Fun Banter and Interesting information!
I fell down an Elvis rabbit hole after watching the Baz Luhrmann movie and wanted to know more about the icon since he was way before my time.
I always knew of Elvis and his references in pop culture, especially his connection to Las Vegas, but anything beyond that drew a bit of a blank for me. The movie could touch on so much and this podcast fills in a gap for those curious about his movie career. I like how each episode dives into the plots and roles he played in all of his different films and what was going on in his life during the making of it. The trivia is very interesting and sheds a light on a lot of Elvis lore you hear. I find myself laughing out loud quite a bit with all the jokes and references listed along the way.
If you are curious about Elvis’s career in cinema or just curious about his life and want to know more about him, this is definitely a fun podcast for you!