Easy Come, Easy Go - Paramount 1967

By: www.elvis.com.au
Source: Elvis Australia
March 8, 2005

Easy Come, Easy Go -  1967
Easy Come, Easy Go - 1967
Elvis' twenty-third film was 'Easy Come, Easy Go'.

In Easy Come, Easy Go, his last film for Hal Wallis, Elvis Presley stars as Navy frogman Ted Jackson, who is about to be discharged from the service. On one of his last dives, Ted discovers a treasure chest on a sunken ship. Captain Jack, a local expert on nautical lore, is unable to tell Ted the exact treasure or cargo of the ship. But Captain Jack does reveal the name of the only descendant of the ship's captain. Ted tracks down this descendant -- a vivacious young woman named Jo Symington, played by Dodie Marshall. Jo believes the chest contains pieces-of-eight. She agrees to help Ted if the money is given to the community arts center. Their attempts to retrieve the treasure are impeded by scoundrels Gil Carey and Dina Bishop.

Carey and Bishop steal Ted's equipment and kidnap Captain Jack, but Ted tracks them down and rescues Jack. When Ted opens the chest, he discovers that the coins are copper, not gold. Ted donates the money for a down payment on a new arts center, winning Jo in the process.

The story was written by Allan Weiss, who had written the scripts for five other Elvis movies. This film centered around Elvis' character Ted Jackson, a former Navy diver who helps a free-spirited woman find a lost sunken treasure. Elvis, as marine-diver this time, searches for a treasure together with dancer Joe Symington (Dodie Marshall). But his final treasure is the dancer...

'Easy Come, Easy Go' was Elvis' last film for Paramount and producer Hal Wallis as the business relationship Elvis and his manager Colonel Tom Parker had with Wallis and Paramount drew to a close. Elvis no longer had his heart in his movie career or the music soundtracks he had to record for them. Colonel's associate Freddy Bienstock was in charge of gathering the material for recording and even Colonel Parker, not known for worrying about artistic matters, was not impressed with the selection. He was aware of Elvis' disillusionment and became concerned about record sales given the lack of usable material.

Colonel Parker pushed Mr. Bienstock to come up with better songs. Wallis was no longer anxious to please Elvis and he demanded that Elvis record at Paramount Studio's cavernous soundstage, even setting up daytime sessions - both factors uncomfortable to Elvis with his preference to have the intimacy of a recording studio and to record in the evening. Despite the end of Elvis' association with Wallis and Paramount, Elvis remained the tenth highest paid movie star in 1966 and would go on to make eight more feature films as an actor and two theatrically released concert documentaries.

Elvis Presley in 'Easy Come, Easy Go' - Paramount 1967
Elvis Presley in 'Easy Come, Easy Go' - Paramount 1967

On September 28, 1966, Elvis reported late for wardrobe fittings and then was late to the recording session that day and the one the next day. Although this annoyed the Paramount executives and Elvis was making his point, he still was recording much earlier in the day than normal and the material was still less than desirable. He detested the song 'She's A Machine' and it eventually was dropped from the movie. He got entourage member Red West, who had done some song writing, to change the lyrics of 'Stop, You're Wrong' and it became 'You Gotta Stop', which was used in the film. Backing tracks were laid down for 'Leave My Woman Alone', but Elvis never recorded the vocal for it. Two instrumentals also were used in the movie - 'Freak Out' and 'Go-Go Jo'. The resulting six-song extened-play single never charted and sold only 30,000 units. It was the last extended-play as that format was phased out and it was the least successful soundtrack of Elvis' career.

Principal photography began for Elvis' twenty-third film 'Easy Come, Easy Go' on October 3, 1966. The production began location shooting on October 10th at such sites as the Long Beach Naval Station, the Santa Monica pier and harbor and at a home in the Hollywood hills.

Elvis Presley in 'Easy Come, Easy Go' - Paramount 1967
Elvis Presley in 'Easy Come, Easy Go' - Paramount 1967

The Navy ship used in the opening scenes was the U.S.S. Gallant, a mine sweeper.

Dodie Marshall played Elvis' love interest Jo Symington. You might remember her brief appearance at the end of the Elvis movie 'Spinout' when she becomes the band's new drummer. She retired in the late 1960s. Watch for a continuity blooper with Marshall in 'Easy Come, Easy Go' - a scene in which she gets into Elvis' car wearing an orange blouse and then gets out wearing a white top and striped jacket.

Pat Priest played the lovely villainous Dina Bishop. This Utah native, the daughter of Ivy Baker Priest who served as United States Treasurer (1953-1961) and California State Treasurer (1966-1974), won beauty titles while living in Washington, DC. She then became a model and actress in California, winning her most famous role as Marilyn Munster, the beautiful 'normal looking' member of an eerie family on the television series 'The Munsters'. She retired from acting and lives in Idaho.

Elvis Presley in 'Easy Come, Easy Go' - Paramount 1967
Elvis Presley in 'Easy Come, Easy Go' - Paramount 1967

Pat Harrington, Jr. played nightclub owner Judd, a buddy of Ted Jackson (Elvis). Among the better known roles in Mr. Harrington's is providing the voice for Inspector Sergeant Deux-Deux in the animated 'Pink Panther' series. Surely, he is best known for his Emmy Award winning and Golden Globe winning portrayal of Dwayne F. Schneider on the hit TV series 'One Day At A Time'.

Frank McHugh played Captain Jack and this was the last film of his very long career as a character actor. His parents had been performers and Mr. McHugh was a child actor, first appearing in vaudeville and then on Broadway. Ironically, his movie career included a role in the 1947 movie 'Easy Come, Easy Go', which had a totally different plot line about gambling and horse racing.

Elvis Presley in 'Easy Come, Easy Go' - Paramount 1967
Elvis Presley in 'Easy Come, Easy Go' - Paramount 1967

In this film Elsa Lanchester played Madame Neherina, a 1960s yoga practitioner. Twice nominated for Academy Awards, Ms. Lanchester won a Golden Globe Award in 1958 for her role in the movie 'Witness for the Prosecution'. She also had roles in such films as 'Alice In Wonderland', 'Bell Book and Candle', 'Mary Poppins' and 'That Darn Cat!' She also is remembered for her TV role as Aunt Henrietta on the series 'Nanny and The Professor'. Another interesting tie to Elvis is that it was her husband Charles Laughton who introduced Elvis on his first 'Ed Sullivan Show' appearance in 1956. Mr. Laughton was substitute host for the show while Ed Sullivan was recovering from an automobile accident the month before.

Skip Ward played the villain Gil Carey. He went on to become the producer of the TV series 'The Dukes of Hazzard' and recently produced their reunion show and TV movie. You might watch for the continuity blooper with him in 'Easy Come, Easy Go' - after fighting underwater with Ted (Elvis), he surfaces, changes out of his wet suit into dry clothes and has his hair dried and styled before Ted has time to surface from the sea.

Tom Hatten had an uncredited role as a Navy officer. Baby boomers who grew up in Los Angeles might remember him as the picture-drawing host of the afternoon cartoon show 'Popeye'. Today he is still a radio personality in the Los Angles area. Other titles that were considered for this film were 'Port of Call', 'A Girl In Every Port', 'Nice and Easy' and 'Easy Does It'.

Principal photography for 'Easy Come, Easy Go' was finished by November 7, 1966. However, producer Hal Wallis in another show of power wouldn't release Elvis until November 22, 1966. 'Easy Come, Easy Go' opened nationwide on March 22, 1967 and was #50 on 'Variety' magazine's list for the year 1967. 'Variety' wrote in their review, 'Elvis looks great and ageless'. The 'Los Angeles Herald-Examiner' called Elvis 'a darn good actor'.

'Easy Come, Easy Go' was directed by Emmy Award winner John Rich, who had directed Elvis in the film 'Roustabout'. Mr. Rich has had an highly successful career producing and directing numerous TV series.

Behind the Scenes of Easy Come, Easy Go

Elvis usually got along well with his directors; the exception was John Rich, who directed Elvis in Roustabout and Easy Come, Easy Go. More a television director than a film director, Rich managed to snag some big-screen assignments during the mid-1960s. His film work tended to be glossy but uninspired. Rich and Elvis did not get along on the set of Roustabout, and their mutual feelings of animosity did not disappear by the time cameras rolled on Easy Come, Easy Go.

One afternoon, Elvis and Red West were trying to do a scene together but were hampered by a case of the giggles. Angered by what he felt was unprofessional behavior, Rich threw all of Elvis' buddy-bodyguards off the set. Elvis was furious. He put everything into perspective for Rich and the film's producers when he frankly told them, 'Now, just a minute. We're doing these movies because it's supposed to be fun, nothing more. Now when they cease to be fun, then we'll cease to do them'. If that had only been the case...


Elvis Presley Lyrics Easy Come Easy Go
Elvis Presley Lyrics The Love Machine
Elvis Presley Lyrics Yoga Is As Yoga Does
Elvis Presley Lyrics You Gotta Stop
Elvis Presley Lyrics Sing You Children
Elvis Presley Lyrics I'll Take Love
Elvis Presley Lyrics Shes A Machine

Recorded at: Radio Recorders Studios, 7000, Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood. September 1966.

Musicians: Elvis Presley (vocals), Scotty Moore, Tiny Timbrell, Charlie McCoy (guitars), Bob Moore, Jerry Scheff (bass), D.J. Fontana, Buddy Harman, Hal Blaine (drums), Michael Rubini (piano),Anthony Terran, William Hood, Mike Henderson, Butch Parker (horns) the Jordanaires (vocals)

Another session where Elvis overdubbed most of the songs onto previously recorded material. Jerry Scheff, who was to be part of Elvis' live band made his debut on bass at this session.

Directed John Rich
Writing Credits Allan Weiss, Anthony Lawrence
Producer Hal Wallis

Cast Overview: Elvis Presley .... Ted Jackson, Dodie Marshall .... Jo Symington, Pat Priest .... Dina Bishop, Pat Harrington Jr..... Judd Whitman, Skip Ward .... Gil Carey, Sandy Kenyon .... Schwartz, Frank McHugh .... Captain Jack, Ed Griffith .... Cooper, Reed Morgan .... Lieutenant Tompkins, Mickey Elley .... Lieutenant Whitehead, Elaine Beckett .... Vicki, Shari Nims .... Mary, Diki Lerner .... Zoltan, Robert Isenberg .... Artist, Elsa Lanchester .... Madame Neherina.

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