User Reviews (30)

  • 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.
  • Michael O'Keefe23 October 1999
    8/10
    Latin rhythms and temperamental romance south of the border.
    Richard Thorpe directed a previous Elvis movie, "Jailhouse Rock". Elvis plays Mike Windgren, who is running away from a family trapeze act accident. He is hired as a life guard and singer. Elsa Cardenas, a lady bullfighter, wants Mike's attention. The beautiful Ursula Andress plays hard to get. Mike gets over his fear of heights by diving off one of the local landmark cliffs. The eleven song soundtrack of Latin-beat ditties includes "You Can't Say No In Acapulco" and the million plus selling "Bossa Nova Baby". Better than average travelog.
  • Boyo-210 April 2000
    He's not the King for nothing
    If you are an Elvis fanatic, you have to see all the movies he made, even of the majority of them are not even decent. The fact that he is in them makes them more than they would normally be. This entry is not that bad - I mean it. You have Ursula Andress, always a plus, and all those location shots. Plus the number "Bossa Nova Baby" is great. Like this movie? Of course I do - the man is known as the King for a reason, and proper respect must be paid to the man.
  • 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.
  • Shane Paterson28 June 2002
    Queremos a Elvis!
    Warning: Spoilers
    A few spoilers here...

    Director Richard Thorpe had earlier directed Elvis in 1957's "Jailhouse Rock," the young singer's third film. "Jailhouse Rock," shot in black and white, featured a somewhat dark atmosphere and a far-from-benign Elvis. "Fun In Acapulco" is different fare all together. Elvis's figurative (and temporary) emasculation by the Hollywood machine is obvious in most of his '60s 'travelogue' musicals and this film presents the sanitized Elvis in his full glory, lacquered hair and all. The story's fairly typical in its lightweight nature -- Elvis films of the '60s were generally nothing that you'd confuse with something written by Eugene O'Neill -- but it has a couple of twists and a bit of a backstory.

    The basics are that Elvis finds himself unemployed in Acapulco, short on money and too short on time to secure a work permit. He hooks up with a young street kid, Raoul, who's basically a pint-sized Colonel Parker (Parker, for the uninitiated, was the huckster who was Elvis' manager and who became as much a legend among managers as Elvis did among performers), always on the make for new ways to turn a peso. Elvis ends up doing double-duty as a lifeguard and as a fill-in singer at various clubs after Raoul helps him get his first gig at the Acapulco Hilton (the Hilton name to become more intimately associated with Elvis' name in the '70s when he changed the face of Vegas). Elvis experiences 'double trouble' yet again, being pursued by and pursuing two bodacious babes (a famous lady bullfighter, played by Elsa Cardenas, and the Hilton's Assistant Social Director, played by Ursula Andress), in the process ticking off the local diving champion (Alejandro Rey, who played the Cuban immigration lawyer in 1984's "Moscow On The Hudson"). Said rival reveals the fact of Elvis' character's past -- that he was a member of a family-based circus-acrobat team who 'lost his nerve' when he let his brother fall to his death.

    I picked up on a few ironies within the film, some of them probably planned and others retrospective ones that were obviously not. Among the first group were Elvis talking about somebody being "all shook up" (actually, I think I've seen that one in another of his '60s films...maybe "GI Blues"). Elvis also talks about kings having had food-tasters, and follows it up with another mention of 'the King' (not, by the way, a title that Elvis was overly fond of when applied to himself). The other kind included Elvis donning a bullfighter's cape for part of a song, as a kind of visual premonition of his stage suits a decade later, and Elvis shocked that his young 'manager' expected a hefty 50% of Elvis' earning (exactly four years after this film was shot, Colonel Parker renegotiated his contract with a recently-concussed Elvis and claimed a whopping -- and undeserved -- 50% of Elvis' income along with other concessions that effectively gave the wily old carny more Elvis-derived funding than Elvis himself received).

    Interestingly, Elvis didn't go south of the border for this film -- all of his wide-angle and long-shot scenes in which Acapulco scenery is evident were shot using doubles. Most of the back-projection composites are really well done, too, to the point that some people have a hard time believing that he wasn't in Acapulco for at least part of the shoot. Apparently, Colonel Parker reminded Producer Hal Wallis of the nightmare that filming became in New Orleans while working on the 1958 classic, "King Creole," and raised the specter of being forced to rely upon a few local policemen in a country where the principals didn't know the ground rules nor the relevant agencies. Elvis made up for the deficit by taking Spanish tutorials to try to improve his pronunciation (Ursula Andress, in the meantime, was trying to improve her English).

    The Mexican flavor of the film is tastefully done and is consistent and authentic. It was really a natural combination. Elvis had always -- since the '50s -- incorporated some Spanish and Mexican stylings into his dress (as he continued to throughout the '60s and even more obviously in some of his rather jawdropping '70s on- and off-stage ensembles) and the same is true of his music. Although Elvis' prime influences were black and white gospel traditions, blues, country, and Dean-Martin-style pop balladeering, many of his '60s and '70s songs have an obvious Spanish tinge. In the 1970 documentary, "Elvis - That's The Way It Is," Xavier Cugat states for the camera that Elvis "sings Spanish songs like nobody."

    I like this film. It's not a great film, and it's not even the best of Elvis' '60s musicals, but it's enjoyable and pleasant and is far above many of the films that followed, particularly those shot 1965-67. A harmless diversion, you might say, and both Elvis and his female co-stars look great. The soundtrack, though, is one of my favorite of Elvis' movie years. Elvis really nails the Mexican sound, probably thanks in part to the backing efforts of the LA-based Amigos. Most of the songs are presented well, too, and most are presented in natural settings and well shot. Check out the tasty little number, "Bossa Nova baby," and witness Elvis' ability to move upper and lower halves entirely independently. Pretty good workout. The ending "Guadalajara" is great, and Elvis delivered the take used in the movie after only a couple of attempts in the studio, having learned the lyrics phonetically. "No Room To Rhumba In A Sports car" is the weakest song, but even it has a certain charm. By the way, the Beatles saw this movie at a Florida drive-in during their first US tour (they were hoping to have seen Elvis in person but had to settle for the celluloid version until their next tour of the US).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
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