User Reviews (30)

  • Edgar Soberon Torchia26 November 2017
    7/10
    Guadalajara in Acapulco
    I would probably have never watched this film if it were not for a little old lady who often calls at the film archive where I work and asks for movies starring French actor Maurice Ronet (who is her favorite star), and strange choices as Don Sharp's "Rasputin, the Mad Monk" or this Elvis Presley's vehicle. Surprisingly I enjoyed watching it as "zero degree style" as it is, and now I believe that this is one of Presley's best vehicles of the early sixties. It has a formulaic story that does not demand much from viewers, most of the songs are forgettable and corny, and back projection and sound stage decors do not match well with such a magnificently sunny location as Acapulco. But somehow it works: Presley, kid Larry Domasin and leading ladies Ursula Andress and Elsa Cárdenas all seem to enjoy what they are doing (and make fun of themselves, as in the musical number in which Presley finishes a ridiculous song with a matador cape wrapping his head) , and screenwriter Allan Weiss surely knows how to keep us viewers smiling at every new move by orphan Raoul (Domasin) to get trapeze-artist- in-crisis Mike (Presley, that is) back in shape. Richard Thorpe (who also directed "Jailhouse Rock") moves things efficiently until the grand finale in which the trapeze artists sings... "Guadalajara" in Spanish. I could not understand a word, but it was fun to watch "The King" (at his handsomest) trying hard.
  • mark.waltz10 May 2017
    5/10
    Colorful clichés make me wish this was the real Acapulco.
    Warning: Spoilers
    After being fired as a yacht crew member thanks to an obnoxious teenaged girl, sexy Elvis Presley gets to swing those hips to a Latin beat in a local nightclub. There, he becomes the object of affection of two beautiful women, Ursula Andres and Elsa Cardenas while dealing with old fears as a high diver after an incident as a trapeze artist. With the help of the adorable Larry Domasin, Elvis is able to solve his problems, all the while wondering sardonically if Domasin is a 40 year old midget. As W.C. Fields warned older actors, cute children, especially ethnic ones, are scene stealers.

    Fun and frivolous, this has some great musical moments, especially a bike riding duet entitled "Mexico" with the scene stealing Domasin. But even with his dark hair and tan, it's obvious that Presley is as Caucasian as they come, his southern drawl a dead giveaway. The romantic subplot is rather unimportant, although Cardenas is quite striking in her matador outfit. But it's obvious that this is Hollywood's dream ideal of a friendly, tourist loving Mexico, no social issues and no reflection on the real issues of the 60's. Poor Paul Lukas is wasted in a minor role as Andres's papa, looking like a Hungarian chef Boyardee. But oh that scenery...so gorgeous, you can practically taste it!
  • TheLittleSongbird4 March 2017
    6/10
    (Mild) fun in Acapulco with The King of Rock and Roll
    Elvis Presley was a hugely influential performer with one of the most distinctive singing voices of anybody. He embarked on a film career consisting of 33 films from 1956 to 1969, films that did well at the box-office but mostly panned critically (especially his later films) and while he was a highly charismatic performer he was never considered a great actor.

    Some of his films, well a vast majority of the films before 'Girls! Girls! Girls!' (when his films became much less consistent), are actually pretty good and a few of them close to great. Particularly good are 'King Creole', 'Jailhouse Rock', 'Flaming Star' and 'Loving You'. 'Fun in Acapulco' is like 'It Happened at the World's Fair', a decent but patchy effort that ranks somewhere in the middle of his work instead of being one of the best or worst.

    Despite Acapulco being more rear/back projections than the real thing, it is still portrayed in a colourful and exotic way. The film is very nicely shot. The music is inconsistent, though still fit well and Elvis sings them beautifully and with soul. The hit unsurprisingly is "Bossa Nova Baby", while the title song, "Mexico" and "Marguerita" are not too far behind.

    Elvis is charming, very charismatic and very relaxed. He is well supported by three sensational ladies, with Ursula Andress epitomising sexy glamour just as much as she did in 'Dr No' and Elsa Cardenas and Teri Hope just as sexy and glamorous (neither of the three fare too badly in the acting stakes either), Paul Lukas' scene-stealing and hilariously batty Maximillian and the assured direction from Richard Thorpe (in his second collaboration with Elvis after the infinitely superior 'Jailhouse Rock').

    Just for the record, anybody wondering about the acrobatics, they're actually stock material from 'The Greatest Show on Earth' modelled on Cornel Wilde's movements and matched by Elvis. This said, this is very likely not to be an issue and will only really be of significance to anybody who's seen 'The Greatest Show on Earth'.

    However, as said not all the songs are great. The rest are decent to forgettable, while "Bullfighter is a Lady" is disposable and "There's No Room to Rhumba in a Sports Car" is even worse than that (only having the unintentionally hilarious title going for it).

    'Fun in Acapulco' is also overlong and very slight and formulaic in story, making the energy flag so the film can drag badly as a result. As to be expected, considering that it is rarely a strong suit in Elvis' films with a couple of exceptions ('King Creole' and 'Flaming Star') the dialogue is corny with mawkish sentimentality and humour that sometimes is fun but too often falls flat.

    In summary, another decent but patchy middling effort. 6/10 Bethany Cox
  • Harry Lags4 November 2016
    8/10
    Good time to be had in Acapulco.
    Released in 1963, "Fun in Acapulco" stars Elvis Presley as a lifeguard/singer at a ritzy Mexican resort who stirs the interest of two women and rivalry of a Mexican diver. Fun in Acapulco is an amusing musical/comedy directed by Richard Thorpe, the same director from 'Jailhouse Rock'.

    It plays out exactly as you expect and production values waver from scene to scene. But there's nearly always something cheery about Presley's movies, and this one is no different. If you can accept them for what they are, and ignore what a shame that Presley's early acting promise wasn't fulfilled? Then there's a good time to be had in Acapulco.

    The acting is good,a good fun story line and great singing make for a very enjoyable 95 mins. Recommended to all regardless of whether you're an Elvis fan or not. After all, how can you say no to Acapulco And Elvis..
  • Wuchak8 May 2016
    5/10
    Elvis having fun in the USA, not Acapulco
    Released in 1963, "Fun in Acapulco" stars Elvis Presley as a lifeguard/singer at a ritzy Mexican resort who stirs the interest of two women and rivalry of a Mexican diver. As with most of Elvis' movies, he sings a song every 7-12 minutes.

    While the story takes place in Acapulco and a lot of scenes were shot at a resort there, Elvis never set foot in Mexico during filming, presumably due to his busy schedule. This becomes clear as you watch the movie: Several cast members clearly shot some scenes at the actual resort (Ursula Andress, Elsa Cárdenas and Alejandro Rey), but whenever interaction with Elvis is required, out comes the rear-projection. Some good examples include Presley's bike ride with the Mexican kid, Elvis & Ursula along the street and every shot with Elvis and another character sitting or standing near a wall overlooking the ocean. The film is such a lark and rear-projection was so prevalent back then that the movie works in spite of this, but it was definitely noticeable and therefore excessive.

    As far as the women go, forget Marguerita (Andress) and Delores (Cárdenas) (as fine as they are), I'll take Janie (Teri Hope), the petite blond on the boat at the beginning. She had the requisite curves.

    The film runs 97 minutes.

    GRADE: C
  • MattyGibbs3 January 2016
    5/10
    Not one of Elvis's best
    Elvis plays Mike who takes a job as a lifeguard after being fired from his previous job. Here he comes across another Lothario and the two spar over women.

    This is the usual Elvis set up but this one is very light of plot and it fails to sparkle in any way. Elvis looks great but even he can't make much from the poor script. The songs are decidedly average and the back up cast including Ursula Andress add little to the story although the 10 year old boy who befriends Elvis does a decent job.

    This film just drags and seems much longer than it's running time. It never goes anywhere and to be honest compared to a lot of his other movies it isn't much fun.

    This is a disappointing effort and is strictly for die hard Elvis fans.
  • Dalbert Pringle1 December 2015
    3/10
    Number 13 For Elvis
    Hello!? And they actually called this dismal, 1963, movie - "Fun In Acapulco"!?.... Oh? Really? Well, it sure didn't come across as being "fun" to me. No way.

    And, let me tell ya - Once it was established that Elvis's sidekick (for comedy relief) in the story was going to be a 10-year-old brat named Raoul, I just knew that the so-called "fun" in this flick was gonna go nowhere, fast.

    And, speaking about the sexual chemistry between Presley and Swiss beauty, Ursula Andress - Well - To be honest, there wasn't any chemistry, at all.

    And, what about the 11 songs that Elvis sang for his adoring fans?.... (Answer) - Totally forgettable, one and all.

    And, finally - On top of all of my other complaints - This decidedly dull-edged, "boy-meets-girl", musical/comedy lost itself even more points for the filming of far too many of the outdoor scenes in the story with the actors obviously posing in front of back-projection screens..... Sheesh!

    This film certainly didn't win me over as an Elvis Presley fan. Nope. It sure didn't.
  • tilloscfc18 July 2015
    8/10
    Acapulco looks nice!!
    Warning: Spoilers
    One of Elvis' best films...well, certainly one of my favourite Elvis films anyway! I'd place this second behind Viva Las Vegas in my list of favourite Elvis flicks. Unfortunately, for some reason Elvis wasn't allowed into Mexico during the filming of 'Fun in Acapulco', and in this day and age with first colour Television and then bigger screens, the fake backgrounds and body stand ins are all too obvious. Nevertheless, it has no influence on the enjoyment or entertainment of the movie. 'Fun in Acapulco' also features two stunning "Elvis Girls" in Elsa Cardenas as a sexy Mexican Bullfighter, and the glorious Ursula Andress a year after her appearance in Dr. No as the ultimate "Bond Girl." After losing his job as a sailor for the rich around the beautiful port of Acapulco, Elvis (as Mike Windgren) under the guidance of a wily 8 year old wannabe Agent ("are you sure you're not a 40 year old midget?") Elvis performs as a singer at one Club while other Clubs managers watch his performances and attempt to hire him. In the process, Elvis is chasing beautiful "Hilton Acapulco" Hotel employee Andress...and having to fend off the attention of Cardenas. Tough life, eh. Throughout the film, Elvis has an obvious fear of heights following the death of a family member "The Flying Windgrens" in a trapeze act accident in which Mike (Elvis) holds himself responsible for. But after feeling guilty for injuring a jealous clifftop diver "Moreno" in a fight, and also being branded a coward by Cardenas for his fear of heights, Mike decides to settle things once and for all. Combat his demons, kill off the coward claims and bury his guilt for wounding Moreno The King entertains the masses by leaping into the ocean from the clifftops...and they all live happily ever after! Moreno gets Cardenas, Elvis gets Ursula Andress AND a job. This is an enjoyable film, and Acapulco looks a beautiful, picturesque place that it's hard to see why it seems to have lost it's pull in recent decades, with tourists flocking to Cancun instead. The soundtrack is good too. Aside from the dodgy "Bullfighter Was a Lady" and "No Room to Rhumba in a Sportscar" the other songs are fabulous. "Vino Dinero Y Amor" is Dean Martin-esque while the arrangement sounds like "Viva Las Vegas" and was recorded just 6 months before the famous Vegas song. The stand out tracks are "Fun in Acapulco" , "Bossa Nova Baby" and "Marguerita". Not only are they good songs but The King is in fine voice too!
  • roelou15 March 2015
    4/10
    Typical Elvis movie.
    Light hearted happy go lucky but troubled womanizer, trapeze artist & singer turned cliff diver? It's fun to see these movies 50 years later. I understand that Elvis got very tired of this formula & wanted more serious roles. It's also easy to understand why the movie executives were reluctant to do that. Boy like looks & THE Voice. As usual, they stick with what worked & what was safe. One hit song from the otherwise forgettable sound track. Although I found this to be a very silly movie, to be fair it was a very different era & you have to consider who the target audience was. As always, pretty girls abound. Include a fight scene with a bad guy who becomes a friend Later & cut, print it. Next very similar script please. That's entertainment 60's style.
  • beauzee6 November 2014
    6/10
    fun in Acapulco in Hollywood
    coulda-shoulda(s): Elvis is King of Pop and King of shoulda-wouldas > since so much of his '60s career was based upon movies and move soundtracks, we have a perfect example of what coulda shoulda woulda been: in 1962 Elvis traveled to the Seattle World's Fair to film IT HAPPENED AT THE WORLD'S FAIR. in 1963 Elvis traveled to Mexico to film FUN IN ACAPULCO. not really > he had traveled to Canada before, so the excuse of his Manager not being a citizen and therefore couldn't travel, won't take.

    so the movie co. gets down some nice location shots for cheesy rear projections.

    having said all that, we have some positives: yes Elvis played once again the loner, fighting inner demons, and outer angels (aka girls, girls, girls). but the storyline is quite enticing: can this young man, playing lifeguard during the day and nightclub swinger at night, manage to overcome his fear of heights and do the big dive off the cliff? good storytelling! very good script (for an Elvis musical). and very importantly, although there are way too many songs, they are all good, some fantastic, like MARGARITA (written by noted ballad writer, Don Roberson), and the unknown Leiber and Stoller BOSSA NOVA BABY. Elvis really sings his heart out and we have the most "production" since the BLUE HAWAII recording sessions.
  • zardoz-1313 August 2014
    6/10
    Elvis Takes The Plunge!!!
    Warning: Spoilers
    Veteran helmer Richard Thorpe directed two movies with Elvis. "Jailhouse Rock" came first in 1957, and the second one "Fun in Acapulco" followed in 1963. Comparably, "Jailhouse Rock" qualifies as the better of the two, with more grit and realism. "Jailhouse Rock" ranks one of Elvis' best musicals, and its black & white look contributes to its distinctive look. If you're counting, "Fun in Acapulco" was the King of Rock & Roll's thirteenth cinematic outing. Naturally, the action unfolds in scenic Acapulco. In real life, Elvis was nowhere near the popular Mexican resort spot when Thorpe was lensing the film with Oscar-winning cinematographer Daniel L. Fapp of "West Side Story" fame. According to Parménides García Saldaña, in his book entitled "Rey Criollo," the authorities had branded Elvis as an undesirable because two of his early movies had created such a stink in Mexico. Anyway, Elvis warbles such songs as "Fun In Acapulco," "Vino, Dinero Y Amor," "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here," "Mexico," "El Toro," "Marguerita," "The Bullfighter Was A Lady," "(There's) No Room To Rhumba In A Sports Car," "Bossa Nova Baby," "You Can't Say No In Acapulco," and "Guadalajara." Other than Top 10 Billboard hit "Bossa Nova Baby," most of these tunes are entirely forgettable like this largely disposable romantic musical comedy. "Fun in Acapulco" is of some interest because Elvis plays a character with a flawed background. Look closely and you'll spot "Andy Griffith" regular Howard McNear in one of the night club scenes. Young Larry Domasin makes a cute little boy who serves as Elvis' manager. I cannot help feeling that Raoul might have been an in-joke jab at Elvis' promoter Colonel Tom Parker. Paul Lukas has a neat little role as a cook. "Fun in Acapulco" features only one Elvis brawl and it occurs ten minutes from fade-out.

    When we first see Elvis, he is Mike Windgren, the captain of a yacht. The daughter of the wealthy man who owns the yacht, Janie Harkins (Teri Hope of "Pajama Game") is a spoiled, bratty girl who drools over Elvis. Elvis wants nothing to do with this 'jail bait' siren, so she has him fired when her father catches her with alcohol in an Acapulco bar. Fortunately, Mike encounters a homeless Mexican shoeshine boy with street smarts, Raoul Almeido (Larry Domasin), who helps Elvis snag a job singing at the Acapulco Hilton run by one of his cousins, Mr. Ramírez (Alberto Morin of "Rio Grande"), who constantly has trouble with his current singer El Trovador who gives him nothing but grief. Mike agrees to fill in for El Trovador, if Ramírez will let him lifeguard at the pool "during the siesta for room and board, no pay." Ramírez does like to upset his employers and he fears that the current lifeguard, Moreno (Alejandro Rey of "Mr. Majestyk"), who is a cliff diver, will object to Mike's presence. Of course, matters are helped that Elvis has his eye on Moreno's stunning girlfriend, Marguerita Dauphin (Ursula Andress of "Dr. No"); later, Mike learns that the Hilton chef Maximillian Dauphin (Paul Lukas of "Watch on the Rhine") is Marguerita's father. An interesting scene occurs later when Elvis ascends to the top of the diving board at the Hilton and imagines himself as a high wire trapeze artist in the circus. He looks down at the pool but sees a circus arena. As it turns out, he was part of a high-wire family trapeze act called "The Flying Windgrens, and he misses the man that he is supposed to catch. Mike's brother plunged to his death. Mike lacks the nerve to dive off the board. This is probably the most interesting facet of this Elvis character. "Girls! Girls!Girls!" scenarist Allan Weiss hammers home this point when Mike refuses to be photographed after he wows the audiences who had listened to El Trovador.

    Predictably, Mike and Moreno clash over Marguerita. Secretly, Marguerita wants to go to America, and she believes that if Mike marries her that her father and she can immigrate. Meanwhile, Mike is trying to date Dolores Gomez (Elsa Cárdenas of "Giant") when Moreno interferes again. Later, when Mike performs again with Dolores as his date, Marguerita and Moreno are in the audience. Clearly, Marguerita is upset that she didn't come with Mike so she forces Moreno to take her home. Later, on a cliff overlooking the city at night, Dolores and Mike are smooching in her convertible sports car when they almost roll off the cliff because Dolores raised the emergency brake that was between them. This was an amusing little scene. Dolores is a somewhat interesting character because she is a female Mexican bullfighter. Before long Raoul has Mike booked in almost every night club in Acapulco. Eventually, Moreno learns about Mike's tragic history, and he calls Mike a "chicken" to his face. Mike receives a wire from his mother and father who want him to return to America so they can renew their act. Of course, the ultimate act for our hero to prove his courage is to dive off the challenging 136-foot cliffs of La Quebrada. Mike scales the mountain from the other side because the crowd prevents him from entering the dive area. We learn that Mike is Catholic because he bows at a shrine and makes the cross of Saint Mary before he makes his leap of faith. Of course, he completes the dive with no difficulty.

    Interestingly enough, we don't see Mike marry MMarguerita and take her father and her to America so he can resume his high wire trapeze act. Altogether, "Fun in Acapulco" makes for a harmless diversion.
  • SanteeFats7 July 2013
    7/10
    Good enough
    Warning: Spoilers
    Almost any Elvis movie is a decent one. He can not act that well but does do a decent job when he stays within his character. There are usually a lot of songs, acceptable acting, and lots of nice girls. This one has him stuck in Acapulco after being fired because of a young girl that is daddy's little angel even though she is an underaged tart, (funny since she appeared in Playboy four years before this movie). Elvis's character is Mike and of course he sings a lot of songs but not many I recognized. Raoul is sooo good. He is a treat as Mike's manager and is a scammer at heart. Moreno is a bit of a butt-head when he brings up Mike's past as a trapeze performer who lost his brother to an accident that he feels responsible for. Of course he overcomes his fear of heights and succeeds at the end.
  • sonny starr21 June 2013
    10/10
    A South Of The Border Gem!
    Fun in Acapulco is one of those films that might surprise you. Often overlooked, it is loaded with great music and a cast that really worked well together. The interplay between Elvis and Larry Domasin, who played little Raoul, was amazing. Elvis has a history of working well with children.

    Mike, Played by Elvis, is fired from his job on a boat in Acapulco. It's The boat owners young daughter who gets him fired after Elvis refuses her charm.

    Little Rauol Befriends Mike and helps him get a job as a Singer/lifeguard. The current lifeguard, who is a champion Cliff diver begins to feel threatened by Mike. Not only is Mike cutting in on his hours but he is making moves on his girl Margueita, played by Ursala Andress. Mike is also attracted to a lady Bullfighter. It works as a silly but very fun love triangle.

    Will Mike get over his fear of diving that was brought on by an accident while performing a high wire act with his family? And who will he fall for? It makes for a fun story line.

    Fun in Acapulco was the #1 Box Office Musical in 1963. The soundtrack for this picture was wonderful. The single "Bossa Nova Baby" was a huge top 10 smash for Elvis. Also the performance of "Marguerita" was a highlight in the film.

    If you have overlooked this picture I urge you to check it out. I know you will be entertained by this charming film.
  • Spikeopath19 April 2013
    6/10
    Are you sure you're not a 40 year old midget?
    Fun in Acapulco is directed by Richard Thorpe and written by Allan Weiss. It stars Elvis Presley, Ursula Andress, Paul Lukas, Elsa Cárdenas and Larry Domasin. Music is by Joseph J. Lilley and cinematography by Daniel L. Fapp.

    Mike Windgren (Presley) is working as a boatman down in Acapulco when an unfair dismissal sees him taking up employment as a lifeguard and singer at a local hotel. Getting involved with two gorgeous women, Mike has plenty on his hands, especially since he has greatly annoyed one of his co-workers who thinks he has claims on one of the girls. But why is Mike in Acapulco in the first place? It seems he has something in his past that greatly troubles him...

    By the time 1963 had rolled around, Elvis Presley movies had settled into a safe formula purely designed to cash in on the star. All hope Presley had of becoming an actor of worth had been left behind with the likes of Jailhouse Rock, King Creole and Flaming Star.

    Fun in Acapulco basically sees Presley have women problems, have a fight with another macho man, kill off a demon in his past and sing a bunch of tunes. Unfortunately where the songs are concerned for this one, they are in keeping with much of Presley's 60s film output, not really worthy of his talents. The exception is Bossa Nova Baby, where a truly fine rendition from The King is backed up by an energetic snake-hips performance. In fact one of the film's strengths is that Presley looks in great shape, as does Andress and Cárdenas, the pic is never less than colourful and graced with beautiful people!

    It plays out exactly as you expect and production values waver from scene to scene. But there's nearly always something cheery about Presley's movies, and this one is no different. If you can accept them for what they are, and ignore what a shame that Presley's early acting promise wasn't fulfilled? Then there's a good time to be had down in Acapulco. 6/10
  • bkoganbing16 September 2012
    6/10
    No fun for Elvis and Ursula
    After her big break role in Dr. No Ursula Andress got to co-star with Elvis Presley in Fun In Acapulco. Not that she or Elvis got to have any fun in Acapulco off the set because Paramount did all their location footage with doubles. On learning that fact I carefully watched all the scenes and if you examine it closely which the average member of the movie-going public did not do you can clearly see that the King is being doubled.

    Still Acapulco is certainly shown to best advantage with that second unit cinematography. And Elvis sings some nice songs, none of which really charted for him.

    Fun In Acapulco find Elvis working as a charter boat skipper who gets fired and is stranded in the famous Mexican resort town. He has a past which involves him being involved in a family trapeze act and when he failed to catch his brother during the act resulting in the brother's demise it left him with a fear of heights and failure.

    Still he can sing and he gets a job at one of the resorts due to an enterprising shoeshine boy played by little Larry Domasin. And he gets two girls falling for him, lady bullfighter Elsa Cardenas and an exiled princess Ursula Andress. That gets Mexican high diving champion Alejandro Rey all bent out of shape. Ursula's dad, a former Grand Duke from some Zenda like duchy is played by Paul Lukas who is now making a living as the head chef at the resort hotel Presley is singing at. Another great example of Colonel Tom Parker getting Elvis the best support possible. I have no doubt that Parker also got former MGM contract director Richard Thorpe who did a number of MGM classics back in the day to direct the film.

    Elvis does a bit of acting here and Fun In Acapulco gives the King a bit of an acting job which he carries off as he struggles with his fears.

    I'm sure Presley felt gypped along with the rest of the cast in not actually shooting in Acapulco. The second unit shooting though gives Fun In Acapulco a look like the Hawaiian location films that Presley did. And it's a nice story with a capable cast backing up the King.
  • James Hitchcock6 July 2012
    5/10
    The Presley Formula
    "Fun in Acapulco" was one of a number of musical comedies made by Elvis Presley during the sixties, and follows what was a common formula in Elvis's movies- a setting in a popular tourist resort, attractive scenery, equally attractive girls, and a string of easy-listening tunes, often with an ethnic flavour. Although Elvis was still a good-looking twenty-something in 1963, in career terms he was middle-aged, the wild young rocker of the fifties having been replaced by a more family-friendly crooner. Just as much of the music in "Blue Hawaii" had a vaguely Hawaiian tinge, much of the music here has a distinctive Latin flavour. (Not exclusively Mexican; the film's best-known number is "Bossa Nova Baby", and the bossa nova was from Brazil, not Mexico).

    The plot is essentially a love-triangle involving Elvis's character Mike Windgren and two pretty girls, a female bullfighter named Dolores and Margarita, the daughter of the chef at the hotel where Mike works as a lifeguard and singer; the triangle develops into a quadrilateral when it turns out that Margarita already has a boyfriend, another lifeguard named Moreno. Neither Margarita nor her father is, in fact, Mexican; they are supposed to be aristocratic refugees from some unnamed Eastern European state. Perhaps this detail was inserted to placate that section of American public opinion which refuses to believe that the gene for blonde hair can be found anywhere south of the Rio Grande, or perhaps Ursula Andress's accent was just too obviously Central European to make her credible as a Latina. We also learn that Mike was previously an acrobat in a family circus act and lost his nerve after accidentally killing his brother during a performance; part of his reason for being in Mexico is to try and regain his courage and self-respect by taking part in a cliff-diving contest.

    The Presley Formula did not necessarily demand great acting or great plots, and "Fun in Acapulco" has neither. Plot lines involving fratricide, even accidental fratricide, do not sit well with light-hearted musical comedy, and the ramifications of the love-quadrilateral are never really resolved. The main problem is the character of Margarita, who is blatantly two-timing Moreno with Mike but gets furiously angry whenever Mike shows any interest in Dolores. To make such a hellcat sympathetic would tax the skills of even the most gifted actress, and although Andress was one of Hollywood's hottest properties following her appearance in "Dr No" the previous year, she was far from gifted. Her obvious physical attributes are much on display here; her acting talents are kept well hidden. Her main qualification for film stardom, apart from her looks, was the fact that she was the second wife of the influential director John Derek, who was later also to make a star of his even less talented fourth wife Bo.

    Elvis himself is content to stroll through the movie, relying on his charm and his singing voice rather than his acting. Elsa Cárdenas as Dolores is rather better, but the actor who really stands out is young Larry Domasin as Raoul, the Mexican boy who befriends Mike and acts as his manager. (The name is spelt as "Raoul" in the cast-list, although the normal Spanish spelling would be "Raul"). I felt rather sorry for Moreno, having to put up with so much from Margarita, but Alejandro Rey plays him as the villain of the piece, an arrogant, swaggering Latino bully who is put in his place by the quieter, more modest Anglo-Saxon Mike. Ethnic stereotypes are not confined to the characterisation; local colour is provided by endless references to bullfighting, tequila, mariachi music and the desire of Mexican residents to emigrate to the USA.

    The music is easy on the ear and whatever one may think of Ursula's acting skills one cannot deny that she is equally easy on the eye. Besides Andress and Cardenas, the film features a third glamour girl in the shape of Teri Hope who plays a sexually precocious teenager similar to the one played by Jenny Maxwell in "Blue Hawaii", rather odd casting given that Hope was 24 at the time and had appeared as a Playboy pin-up five years earlier. (Contrary to what one reviewer thought, Teri Hope and Teri Garr are two different people). There are also some attractive travelogue-type shots of the Mexican scenery, although Elvis himself apparently never went to Acapulco; all his scenes were shot in Hollywood.

    "Fun in Acapulco" was the top grossing movie musical of 1963, at a time when musicals were much more in vogue than they are today, so the Presley Formula was obviously a successful one in its day. It did not, however, produce any films of lasting significance, and like most of Elvis's films from the sixties, this one today has the look of a dated curiosity. 5/10
  • Bjorn (ODDBear)17 March 2012
    7/10
    Above average Presley film
    A typical Presley film that's quite enjoyable. Made a little before the King got bored with the indistinguishable material thrown at him and he gives a relaxed and likable performance here.

    Here he's playing a character who's trying to overcome a past trauma (an accident in a circus show which resulted in his brother's demise) by taking a job as a lifeguard at a hotel resort in Acapulco. But, with this being a Presley film, he also moonlights as a singer and has two knockout beauties wanting his full attention.

    The dramatic aspect here is actually quite good and what little Presley gets to show off in dramatic acting he pulls off well. Other than that; this is standard Presley fare. A few musical numbers in nightclubs, a shallow love story with the irresistible Andress, a macho rival for the girl's affections and a cute kid who befriends Elvis. Actually; the kid here (Larry Domasin) is quite funny and endearing and scenes involving the two are very good.

    The acting by Andress, Elsa Cardenas (as the other woman vying for Elvis's affections) and Alejandro Rey (as the fellow lifeguard and Presley's rival for Andress) is remarkably stilted. Elvis and the kid come off best. The songs here are fairly solid for Presley fans but none have become classics with the possible exception of "Bossa Nova" which is undoubtedly the highlight of this film's musical numbers.

    In the end; "Fun in Acapulco" is enjoyable for a Presley fan and others might just have a decent enough time. The scenery here is wonderful and you'll just wish you were there (as is the case with many Elvis films). Too bad the King hardly ever visited these great locations as he was always in studio and a body double used for the wide shots (and it's quite apparent in a few here).
  • dbdumonteil16 August 2010
    Blue Acapulco
    I sincerely believe that Elvis' first movies were commendable ;They had true screenplays and were directed by Thorpe,Siegel or Curtiz.The most deeply moving is perhaps " flaming star" which dealt with the loss of a mother -at a time the singer lost his-;the motherless child was again the main character of " wild in the country" ,but this latter work was marred by making Elvis an A student and a lit genius!

    It was the second time Richard Thorpe had directed Elvis and ,like other users have pointed it out ,it's much inferior to the previous effort "jailhouse rock" .IMHO,his career in the movies ended in 1961. "Fun in Acapulco" is just what the title means : swimming,diving,rivalry between the hero and another lifeguard,plus a "secret"(short flashback) :it's the only thing which is not derivative,if you know about Elvis ' birth:Jesse Garon Presley, his identical twin brother, was delivered 35 minutes before him, stillborn.He was reportedly haunted by this loss during all his life.

    As for the songs ,with the staggering exception of "bossa nova baby" -two precious minutes ,the great rocker was born again- they were written for a Latin crooner ,not for the King;honestly,what can he do in the face of material like "no room to rumba in a sports car"?
  • wes-connors16 August 2009
    4/10
    Elvis Looks Good and the Girls Are Pretty
    This time Elvis Presley (as Mike Windgren) plays a trapeze artist who has lost his nerve, after high-wire mishap. He leaves his circus family act, "The Flying Windgren", and becomes a drifting sailor. When his boat docks in Acapulco, Mr. Presley gets a job as lifeguard at the local hotel. There are plenty of fit bathing-suited bodies around the pool, including rival lifeguard Alejandro Rey (as Moreno, before "The Flying Nun"), and object of their affection Ursula Andress (as Marguerita, after "Dr. No"). Presley sings, fights, swims, and struggles to overcome his fear of heights. And, Elvis still looks trim in his own bathing trunks.

    Supposedly, one of the men carrying Presley, after his stuntman's triumphant cliff-side dive, got fresh, and groped the King; if so, it doesn't show on camera. As was sometimes the case, many of the soundtrack songs sounded better on record, with stronger studio instrumentation. This is the case with "Bossa Nova Baby", which was destined to be the film's lead hit single, peaking at #8. Of the film songs, "Mexico" was given short shrift; a pop delight, the studio version did well when released its own, peaking at #4 on worldwide charts. The title song reached #28 in Australia, and the lush soundtrack was a million-seller.

    **** Fun in Acapulco (11/27/63) Richard Thorpe ~ Elvis Presley, Ursula Andress, Alejandro Rey, Paul Lukas
  • moonspinner5527 January 2008
    5/10
    Fun for Elvis addicts; not so much for the rest of us...
    You'd have to be a real Elvis Presley junkie to get through this romp, another travelogue mostly confined to the studio which neither challenges Presley as an artist nor gives him anything fresh or lively to do. Presley sings some good songs--"Bossa Nova Baby"--and some duds--"(There's) No Room To Rhumba In A Sports Car"--while portraying a party-loving, Señorita-ogling crooner and lifeguard who finds romance down Mexico way. Gorgeous Ursula Andress get ogled by E.P. (and the camera!), while the scenery is also attractive (whenever we venture outdoors). However, admirers of Elvis's genuine talents won't find much 'Fun' here. Teri Garr has a small bit (as Teri Hope), and the supporting cast is appropriately chosen. ** from ****
  • MARIO GAUCI31 August 2007
    4/10
    FUN IN ACAPULCO (Richard Thorpe, 1963) **
    While the title itself promised little more than the fluff the film undoubtedly turned out to be, I was still let down by this Presley vehicle – given that it was helmed by the man behind one of his biggest successes and best films, JAILHOUSE ROCK (1957)!

    The star plays an ex-trapeze artist with a guilt complex(!), while Mexico and Ursula Andress provide the scenery. The narrative involves Elvis befriending a resourceful kid who gets him singing jobs(!), plus a tedious subplot comprising the jealousy of both a lifeguard (Andress’ would-be boyfriend) and a lady bullfighter who has her eyes set on Presley. Paul Lukas turns up as Andress’ father, a deposed member of royalty now forced to performing chef’s duties – the image of him in an over-sized cap, coupled with his thick Hungarian accent, proves unintentionally hilarious…but his is a welcome presence, nonetheless.

    Needless to say, Elvis sings a number of mostly forgettable songs during the course of the film: the best of these, unsurprisingly, is another Leiber/Stoller song – “Bossa Nova Baby”.
  • JoeKarlosi12 August 2007
    6/10
    Fun in Acapulco (1963) **1/2
    I fully expected to not care for this Elvis travelogue at all, but maybe I was in the right mood because it wasn't so bad. I was intrigued by the basic idea that Presley's playing a former circus acrobat who once accidentally killed his brother who fell to his death when Elvis failed to catch him during their trapeze act. Ever since, he's been terrified of heights and finds himself working hotels in Mexico to try and work out his problems; he takes on two jobs, as a lifeguard and a singer at the Acapulco Hilton. He hopes to conquer his fears by diving off the cliffs, and along the way bumps shoulders with established diving expert Alejandro Rey (who became known as Carlos in THE FLYING NUN), and moves in on his beautiful woman, Ursula Andress. The sights are colorful, even if much of it was faked with rear projection shots of Mexico -- they actually look pretty authentic and it's hard to notice. The south of the border music works within the framework of the film, and is passable (especially "Bossa Nova Baby"). The real stinker this time is the hilariously titled "There's No Room To Rhumba In a Sports Car", but these pictures are musicals, after all. **1/2 out of ****
  • Pat McCurry10 July 2003
    5/10
    The second Elvis movie I ever saw
    Fun in Acapulco is your standard, run of the mill Elvis flick. Unfortunately, it suffers from bargain basement production, but it is good enough to help you forget your troubles. It is obvious that some of the scenes filmed in "Mexico" were actually done in front of a blue screen. According to Priscilla Presley, the hotel scenes were filmed at a Mexican style hotel in California. Of course with every Elvis film, there is a few big names thrown in for good measure. In this case, the beautiful Ursula Andress, fresh from Dr. No and Alejandro Rey, who would find fame in The Flying Nun and Moscow on the Hudson. The cast is amicable, and most of the songs are passable (with the exception of the stupid 'No Room To Rumba In A Sportscar').

    Elvis was still searching for that big role. While a few of the stars went on to meatier roles, Elvis was stuck doing the same thing. You could tell by the time he was finished with movies, he was just burned out. Still, you can see he has the knack for acting, even in a flick like this. I know it sounds like I am putting down this film, but I still find some charm in it. You can't say no to Elvis or Acapulco.
  • gazzo-216 October 2002
    This is Teri Garr's debut-allegedly 14...yeah right...
    .....You can see Garr in a few scenes, yer basic bikini/dancer gal as she was in all these Elvis flix-Viva Las Vegas, Roustabout, etc. She is listed here as being born in '49 (yeah guys...)-but Leslie Halliwell had is right-1944. Hello!!!!! Do yer homework IMDB.

    As for the flick-this is a FUN Elvis meets Mexico meets Ursula movie, typical travelogue, see him dance, rumbha, romance Ursula, etc. All the usual things he did-but here he seemed to be having fun doing it. The movie does have 'Bossa Nova Baby', his last top 10 before the British invasion too.

    **1/2
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