Loving You director Hal Kanter dies at 92

By: Elvis Australia
Source: Los Angeles Times
November 8, 2011

Hal Kanter, an Emmy Award-winning comedy writer, and a director and producer whose career included writing for Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, directing Elvis Presley and creating a landmark 1960s TV series starring Diahann Carroll, has died. He was 92. He directed Elvis Presley in the 1957 movie Loving You, which Kanter co-wrote and he wrote the screenplay for Elvis Presley's 1961 film Blue Hawaii.

Among his movie credits as a writer are Bob Hope and Bing Crosby's 'Road to Bali', Hope's 'Bachelor in Paradise' and Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis' 'Money from Home' and 'Artists and Models' - as well as the movies 'Pocket Full of Miracles' and 'Move Over, Darling'. Kanter's longest-running writing job was the annual Academy Awards ceremony. Beginning in 1952, a year before the broadcast moved from radio to television, he wrote for the Oscar show at least 33 years. In 1991 and 1992, Kanter was among the Oscar show writers who shared Emmys for outstanding writing in a variety or music program.

Interviews with or about Elvis Presley Interview with Hal Kanter

Hal Kanter : I spent some time with him [Elvis] before he came out to do 'Loving You'; I got to know him a little.

It was when he was giving a tremendous concert in Shreveport, Louisiana -- the first of his many 'farewell concerts'. I went with him from Memphis to Shreveport, and a lot of what I observed there, I went back and rewrote and put in the picture. That was one of the primary reasons that I went to Memphis, not only to meet Elvis himself, but also see him in action and to learn as much about his method of operation as I possibly could and eventually to incorporate some of what I'd learned in the film itself. One of the things that really impressed me was the fact that we arrived in a Cadillac. Bill was driving.

And thousands of kids evidently recognized it as Elvis' car. And they swarmed around the car. And I was sitting in the back seat. They were all trying to see who I was. And of course they had no idea who I was. It was a frightening experience. Till finally, he was able to get out and say, 'Just relax, kids. That's Elvis' director from Hollywood. We're going to go to make a movie.'The evening of the concert was another eye opener to me. I had never seen so many flash bulbs in my life. The place was jammed. And the audience itself was making so much noise that they couldn't even hear what the man was singing,it was amazing.

I thought. It was absolutely spectacular even for me. The kids in the audience went crazy over him, and, as a matter of fact, I think I did get a lot of it on the screen in 'Loving You'.

Hal Kanter, Elvis, Wendell Corey, Lizabeth Scott.
Hal Kanter, Elvis, Wendell Corey, Lizabeth Scott.

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