Add a Review

  • As someone else mentioned, 1963 is still early enough that Elvis Presley looks like he's enjoying himself in "It Happened at the World's Fair," which also stars Gary Lockwood, Joan O'Brien and Vicky Tiu. Pilots Mike (Elvis) and Danny (Lockwood) find themselves without a plane after it's confiscated for debts due to Lockwood's addiction to gambling. They hitch a ride to Seattle with a man and his 7-year-old niece Sue-Lin (Tiu), and Mike ends up taking the little girl to the 1962 World's Fair. When she eats too much junk, he takes her to the clinic, where he meets Diane Warren (Joan O'Brien), a nurse. He comes on a little strong - so strong, I'm surprised she didn't call security. In order to see her again, he gives a little boy (Kurt Russell) a quarter to kick him in the shins.

    After he return Sue-Lin to her uncle, she finds Mike again when her uncle doesn't come home from making a delivery. Mike now has to cope with a not very helpful partner, trying to think of a way to get his plane back, romancing Diane and taking care of a 7-year-old girl.

    This is the usual Elvis travelogue, but more interesting than others because it's shot on the grounds of the Seattle World's Fair and has that iconic moment when future brilliant Elvis impersonator Russell lets him have it in the shins. Elvis looks great and as usual sings beautifully. The music is pretty good. This wasn't the film career Elvis wanted but unfortunately for his ambitions, these films made money. Enjoyable.
  • I like this film. It has everything for a relaxed, stress-free Sunday afternoon entertainment. Elvis Presley, lots of gloriously silly early sixties fluff and footage from the 1962 Seattle World fair. It has nostalgic moments too, like Kurt Russell's famous kick-on-the-shin to Elvis. I only wish there was a bit more footage of the Fair attractions, like the Bubbleator. Perhaps MGM will bear this in mind when they bring out the DVD.
  • For me, this is one of Elvis' more enjoyable early-'60s "formula" films, partly because at this point it was still early enough that Presley still seemed to pretty much have his heart in it and is not yet bored by it all. He's an out-of-work pilot named Mike Edwards who finds himself saddled with babysitting a sweet little girl (Vicki Tui - very cute and a fine little actress) at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair when her dad drops her off and then disappears. While seeing the sights, Elvis makes the acquaintance of a lovely nurse whom he keeps trying to snare, and this necessitates a hilarious and oft-cited scene with a very young Kurt Russell as a kid at the fair who agrees to kick Elvis hard in the shin for a quarter; it's a short sequence but it's a lot of fun, and quite ironic since Russell would wind up playing Presely himself in a 1977 TV movie. This one's got laughs, romance, and also some of the best trademark Elvis fist-fighting (it's amazing to me that he would be allowed to do his own stunts in these movies where he could easily have gotten injured). Oh yeah -- and there are more songs -- quite a few of them, actually -- but only "One Broken Heart For Sale" was of moderate interest for me. *** out of ****
  • ELVIS PRESLEY gets to sing several non-memorable songs, the best of which is "One Broken Heart for Sale", but IT HAPPENED AT THE WORLD'S FAIR is strictly standard Presley stuff wherein the guy has his eye on a pretty gal (JOAN O'BRIEN) and makes a pitch, the sort that turns her off at first. Predictably, after a few misunderstandings involving a small girl abandoned at the fair, a happy ending is soon in sight.

    The music by Leith Stevens is pleasant enough and the fair grounds at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair make colorful backgrounds for the slight story. GARY LOCKWOOD is Elvis' pilot pal, both of them down on their luck but seeming to spend plenty of money on the fair and decent lodgings. The sub-plot involving both bachelors entrusted with the care of a seven year-old by a complete stranger is more than a little improbable, especially given today's public awareness of children being taken advantage of by adults with criminal behavior.

    Presley shares some effective scenes with the little girl but has his standard "boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl" routine with leading lady O'Brien, a pert blonde who plays a nurse who suspects him of feigning illness as a part of his wolf routine. Naturally, the little girl is responsible for bringing them together again after a few silly misunderstandings keep them apart.

    Nothing special, but passes the time pleasantly whenever Elvis sings, which is pretty often.
  • Enjoyable but standard Elvis fare with Elvis girl-hunting and babysitting at the World's Fair in Seattle. Songs are a bit too cutesy, reflecting the shift in Elvis' image since his return from Germany. Fun story, though, and a fun song with Yvonne Craig. Douglas appears in a very early role as a kid who kicks Elvis on the shin -- twice. Lockwood is, as always, sufficient. Fans of Expos and World's Fairs (any others of us out there?) should be pleased to see so much footage of the excellent grounds and exhibits that graced the Seattle Expo.
  • The 1962 World's Fair is the eye filling backdrop for this typical Elvis Presley project. Elvis and his flying buddy (Gary Lockwood) have their plane confiscated. Trouble occurs with involvement with gamblers and gangsters. Elvis befriends a little 7 year old girl that wants to go to the fair. Elvis uses the girl and a little boy (Kurt Russell) to aid him in romancing the infirmary nurse (Joan O'Brian). Ten light and whimsical tunes make up a pleasant soundtrack featuring "One Broken Heart For Sale". A small scene with Yvonne Craig could scorch a ten ton block of ice. This may be the hardest of the Elvis movies to find on home video. Worth seeing!
  • Taking advantage of the Seattle World's Fair, frequent Presley director Norman Taurog does his best to spice up an otherwise routine programmer in which Elvis ends up the reluctant guardian of a cute little girl who has been separated from her folks. Chief among the delights that transcend the vanilla flavor of the picture is a scene between The King and scorching supernova Yvonne Craig in which the former croons the tune "Relax" while the latter deftly evades his prowling lips and paws. The mercury reaches the boiling point in record time, and fans of the gorgeous Craig will be transformed into Tex Avery's wolf, whistling vigorously, stomping on the floor, and bashing themselves repeatedly in the head with a large mallet.
  • Enjoyed this Elvis Presley film where he plays the role as Mike Edwards who is down on his luck and meets up with a sweet little girl named Sue-Lin, (Vicky Tiu) who likes Mike and he agrees to watch her while her uncle takes care of his business affairs. Mike takes Sue-Lin to the Seattle World's Fair and they take in all the rides and Sue-Lin also wins a huge doll which is larger than she is. Mike buys Sue all kinds of food at the fair and she gets sick and is taken to a hospital where Mike runs into a very attractive blonde nurse, Diane Warren, (Joan O'Brien) who puts the make on her and Diane quickly brushes Mike off. Elvis performs various songs which were not very popular and this was not necessarily a great Presley film, but the story was very cute and if you missed the Seattle World's Fair, you will enjoy all the photography taken at the fair.
  • It was late 1962 when Elvis Presley started filming at the World's Fair in Seattle, It Happened at the World's fair follows the exact same formula that producer Hal Wallis developed for Elvis on Paramount, beautiful scenery, beautiful girls, lots of songs and occasionally some children to showcase Elvis new found maturity.

    As with most Presley movies, this has an innocent plot, a few fights, lots of movie songs, and a pretty gal to win his heart. Enjoy the Seatle fair as it was in 1962 and Elvis being on the receiving end of two painful kicks by child actor Kurt Russell. And there's some very heart warming moments as well as a few chuckles here and there.

    This is a great light-hearted movie with a couple of well known Elvis songs, such as One Broken Heart For Sale. Elvis talks, sings, fights, loves, flies, fights again, and endearingly looks after a little girl.

    Get away from reality and escape into Seattle's fair with Elvis - just for those ninety minutes. Nice Feelgood Movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I really don't get tired of this film! It contains four terrific elements that make for a good show: 1) a good soundtrack (several fine bouncy numbers, and I'm even getting used to "Relax" which visually looks stunning ---- Yvonne Craig and Elvis!), 2)an interesting story, 3) somewhat fascinating characters, and 4) good scenery. I can even add a number five, action! Elvis clobbers some gamblers near the beginning of the film, then a gangster near the end of the movie! The little Asian girl really makes the film! I find her cute, not annoying as one of my fellow writers here stated. She and Elvis had a pretty good chemistry together. Gary Lockwood was admirable as the gambling, lying friend! Joan O'Brien was okay for the role given. Kurt Russell was terrific to see.....good kicks! I was so glad to see it on TCM a while ago. Letterboxed and beautiful. My copy from VHS was awful!
  • Delphian26 March 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    Finally available on DVD in its original widescreen format and a digital transfer that is sharp and crisp, this film looks a lot better than I remember it from when I first saw it on TV as a kid. Although not one of Presley's best, It Happened at the Word's Fair is an enjoyable, if formulaic, story set against the Seattle World's Fair. One of the first films to include the Space Needle, it provides a glimpse into Seattle's not too distant past.

    The film finds Elvis as Mike Edwards, an out-of-work pilot, who finds himself stuck babysitting a young girl (Vicki Tui, now the first lady of Hawaii) at the fair. The character of Mike could be any number of characters played by Elvis – he is down on his luck, not afraid of trouble, and most importantly good with the ladies. This film tries to include something for everyone: an adorable child, Elvis, sexy women, Elvis, danger – in the wake of his partner Danny's (Gary Lockwood) gambling problems, and more Elvis. Thankfully it is still early in his film career and Elvis appears fresh and in good form – not bored to distraction with playing the same basic character as we find in his later films.

    Noteworthy in this film is the steamy (okay maybe a little more schmaltzy than steamy, but it was the early sixties after all) scene early on with Yvonne Craig. The future Catwoman plays cat and mouse with Elvis while he sings the appropriately titled song "Relax." Elvis seems to have more chemistry here than he does with Joan O'Brien, the main love interest.

    The music – although not as great or catchy as Blue Hawaii or Jailhouse Rock – is appropriate and not over done. The songs fit the action and those with the young girl seem natural and are the most touching. "How Would You Like to Be" is probably the best song from the set. The delightful song is sure to lift any pouting child's spirit.

    With decent acting and directing, the film is quite enjoyable for Elvis fans, and quite tolerable for non fans. And, of course, the screen debut of Kurt Russell (he'd later go on to play Elvis) in which he kicks the King is worth seeing just for the irony.
  • rs114-118 August 2014
    I discovered this movie during some research on the original release of A Hard Day's Night 50 years ago. It Happened at the World's Fair was the second feature of a drive-in double bill with A Hard Day's Night in Wayne, Michigan in September 1964. I thought how cool is that, and I've watched it about five or six times on the Warner Archive web site.

    It grabs you from the very beginning with Elvis flying across the beautiful blue widescreen sky, singing Around the Bend. The scene with Yvonne Craig leaves me in cold sweats every time, and then Joan O'Brien's mature, classy beauty helps carry the rest of the movie.

    It's a great snapshot of a moment in time, the early 1960s, when world's fairs showed us an exciting future and there was great enthusiasm about the space program.

    The songs are all fairly good, and mesh in well with the plot. And it's intriguing to see Gary Lockwood in such a light-hearted role a few years before his much more serious performance in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    No it's not Grand Illusion or Tokyo Story or The Battleship Potemkin, but it's a great example of Hollywood Elvis at his peak in the early 1960s.
  • kwbucsfan20 August 2001
    This movie isn't quite as strong as its predecessors but is still a decent movie. This movie has a strong supporting cast with Kurt Russell and Gary Lockwood. It had an interesting plot, but the movie was not all that spectacular, though plenty watchable. This movie did have a strong soundtrack though.
  • helena-kerschner719424 February 2012
    Honestly, I love this movie! It's, in my opinion, the best Elvis movie. It's kid friendly, and doesn't have half naked bimbos running around all over creation. It's a very heartwarming movie, that leaves you in a happy, lightweight mood afterwords. Mike(Elvis) and Danny start off this movie with Danny gambling away all of their money, and in too much debt, the Sheriff takes away their plane, Bessie. Needing transportation, they hitchhike their way to Seattle with Sue-lin and her uncle. Mike repairs Sue-lin's ukulele, and then explains what the World's Fair is to her through a song. Once they get off in Seattle, Sue-lin and her uncle come to Mike and Danny saying that the uncle is too busy to take Sue-lin to the fair, so Mike agrees to take her. While at the fair, Sue-lin overeats and develops a stomach ache. At the nurse's office, Mike spots a pretty nurse and makes up a story about having something in his eye. The nurse is offended and asks him to leave. Mike returns Sue-lin to her uncle and Danny announces that he's met a guy who will provide them with a place to stay. Mike is still thinking about the nurse, and goes back to the fair too see her. He pays a little boy to kick him, causing a huge bruise, and sees Diane(the nurse). Diane takes care of him along with another nurse, but they meet the boy and he spills the beans about kicking Mike. A few minutes later, Sue-lin finds Mike and tells him her uncle is gone. Mike lets her stay with them, causing and resolving different problems. VERY CUTE and worth watching!
  • This is another enjoyable Elvis vehicle: it’s early yet, but I’m having a better time with these films than I had anticipated! Once again, the songs prove to be quite inconsequential – the only two I liked here were “One Broken Heart For Sale” and the would-be macabre children’s ditty “Cotton Candy Land” – and the leading lady is the rather unsympathetic and over-coiffeured Joan O’Brien. But, thankfully, Gary Lockwood is on hand to offer solid support as Elvis’ sidekick who has a gambling addiction; it’s ironic that the film ends with Elvis signing up for a NASA space program when Lockwood himself would go on to obtain screen immortality with Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)!

    The subplot involving the abandoned Asian child often threatens to descend into bathos but she wins over the audience with her cute and amusing antics to get sick in order to bring Elvis and nurse O’Brien together again after a quarrel. Also notable is the scene featuring a very young Kurt Russell (who would eventually portray Presley in a 1979 TV biopic directed by, of all people, John Carpenter!) which involves yet another scam by which Elvis is able to ensnare O’Brien into falling for him.

    Unfortunately, at a running time of 105 minutes, the film does slightly outstay its welcome and some of the other subplots – those involving the child welfare board’s attempts to take the kid out of the jobless Elvis’ custody (leading to a chase inside the grounds of the Seattle Fair) and Lockwood falling in with crooks (climaxing in an admittedly energetic fistfight in a hangar) – could have been jettisoned without sacrificing the film’s entertainment value.
  • I remember watching Elvis movies on tv when I was young, when they had "Elvis movie week" during the afternoon. I can honestly say that this is the only Elvis movie I remember anything about, and that I remember actually liking it. What I liked most (now this was when I was 12 yrs. old or so) was how the little Chinese girl worked as matchmaker for Elvis and the nurse to get together. I just really loved it!! I also liked that Elvis was a very kind and loving man to a lost little girl. Now, I just saw this video again after not having seen it in over 25 years, and I was happy to find that I STILL like it, actually, I like it much better than I did when I was young. I was glad, because this is not true of all movies, Superman being an example. Well, this time I saw a lot in the movie that I did not remember. I especially liked when Elvis was with Dorothy in the beginning and he sings the song "Relax". It is just very funny. I liked his eye check-up scene with the nurse. I think Elvis looked very handsome walking around in a suit all the time. The scene of him riding in the monorail was beautiful and romantic. All I can say is that this is a GREAT Elvis movie, and all my children, ages 19, 10, and 4, love it too. The songs are of the "fluffy" sort, but we got the CD of them because my children liked them so much. Sadly, this movie is not available to purchase at the moment. I was glad to find a copy on ebay. I must honestly say this is NOT Elvis' best movie, but it is lots better than a lot of them, and personally ranks in my top 5 Elvis movies. If you want to see Elivis' best acting, see him in Jailhouse Rock and King Creole.
  • Elvis Presley (as Mike Edwards) goes to Seattle for their 1962 "World's Fair" (set mainly in Culver City, though). Accompanying the singing pilot is his crop-dusting partner Gary Lockwood (as Danny Burke). Along the way, they pick up cute little Vicky Tiu (as Sue-Lin); and, they agree to take her to the fair, for her uncle. Mr. Presley and Mr. Lockwood succumb to weaknesses for women and gambling, and lose little Miss Tiu. Presley sings ten songs; he ogles shapely women, and falls for one Joan O'Brien (as Diane Warren)...

    Truly a FAIR film; "It Happened at the World's Fair" is more disappointing in that it does, after all, star Elvis Presley, a man capable of so much more. Two of the ten new songs are worthy: "They Remind Me Too Much of You" is a strongly sung ballad; and, "One Broken Heart for Sale" is a good, albeit medium-paced, rocker. The version of the latter song has an extra verse in the film, but the album version is punchier. Look out for future "Batgirl" Yvonne Craig (Dorothy Johnson) to really bust things up, in an early scene. At the fair, young Kurt Russell kicks Presley in the shins a couple times, after asking him, "Are you drunk?" Not enough happened at the world's fair to justify the length of this movie.

    **** It Happened at the World's Fair (4/3/63) Norman Taurog ~ Elvis Presley, Joan O'Brien, Gary Lockwood, Vicky Tiu
  • Good Lord! There seems to be no concept of time in this film, everything happens instantly. A farmer picks up Elvis and his slimeball business partner hitchhiking to the fair, and they are instantly such good friends that he trusts Elvis to accompany his seven year old niece to the fair all day. At the fair, Elvis meets a nurse who is about as exciting as wet unsalted mashed potatoes with a side of lukewarm water, and instantly he falls in love with her. He comes on like a creep and she hates him (as if she had any better prospects), but when the little seven year old girl is (temporarily) orphaned the next day, she naturally seeks out Elvis whom she's only known two days now to come live with, and the ensuing nonsense from this most unbelievable of stories brings Elvis and Miss Yawnsville together. Meanwhile Elvis' business partner (they fly a crop-duster for cryin' out loud!) is the biggest douche in the whole world, who steals their money and gambles it away. No one knows they've gone to Seattle so why it is Elvis doesn't just beat this creep to death and dump his body in the Sound is the greatest mystery of the entire film.

    The entire nuance of this unfortunate film can be summed up in the World's Worst closing number "Happy Ending", in which all of the film's potentially disastrous events are miraculously wrapped up in a mess of fairy dust, and Elvis and Miss Yawnsville march through the fair grounds singing Happy Ending accompanied by a marching band that appears out of nowhere and is apparently present to follow around tuneful fair-goers (???). Near the end, Elvis stops and buys all the balloons off of a balloon vendor and gives them to his stupid twit girl, at which point the now empty-handed balloon vendor does what anyone would do, he just gets down and boogies in the street to that far out marching band music. I nearly vomited on myself.
  • patricklhines2 December 2012
    Acting just a touch square you might think! However he was a singer, if you bare that in mind and just enjoy the fun and wonderful songs, then your sure to enjoy it . Take it for what it is. That's what I did and I love it., its a roller-coaster ride of entertainment by none other than Elvis.

    what more can a person need.

    Great acting by others in the film.

    Although Elvis wasn't to bad himself It's certainly fair anyway

    Plus for a bonus he has beautiful women in it too

  • Watched this movie at the movie theatre when I was 11. The scenes are colourful and visuals wonderful. It is a feel good movie we need more of those.
  • ewgers5 June 2020
    This IS one of the better Elvis movies .Nice little feel good story .Yes there is a story in an Elvis flick. Su lin ,cutest little child acting you will ever see Ended up being the First Lady of Hawaii
  • Lebowskidoo2 March 2020
    The 60's, a time when you would pick up two strangers hitchhiking and let them ride on the back of your truck (no seatbelts!) with your eight year old niece, and then leave her with them at the world's fair!

    Elvis and the little girl are undeniably cute together. So is Elvis with teeny Kurt Russell in his film debut, kicking Elvis in the shins.

    Nice to see Seattle in the 60's, and the story deviates slightly from the usual Elvis movie formua.
  • Juist great to see Elvis in a movie when ever Where ever
  • I love this movie. "It Happened at the Worlds Fair" is my favorite Elvis movie.
  • 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'. 'It Happened at the World's Fair' is hardly one of Elvis' worst however, if anything it's a middling effort, patchy but decent.

    There are good things here in 'It Happened at the World's Fair'. The locations are colourful and beautifully shot, the archive footage is very nostalgic and is inserted well. A few of the songs are great, the big one being "One Broken Heart for Sale", with "They Remind Me Too Much of You" and "How Would You Like to Be" on the same level.

    Elvis is good natured and charismatic with his singing beautiful and distinctive as ever. Vicky Tiu is adorable and never gets on the wrong side of annoying, Gary Lockwood is charming and Kurt Russell makes an interesting screen debut with two of the film's best scenes.

    However, 'It Happened at the World's Fair' is overlong and rather slight, with a couple of subplots either needing elaboration, in need of a trim down or excision. The ending wraps everything up far too patly too. Of the songs, three of them are great while the others range from good to forgettable and vary in how well they fit, though none of them are disposable (like the worst songs in 'Blue Hawaii', 'Girls! Girls! Girls!' and Elvis' worst films).

    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. Joan O'Brien is flavourless window dressing, and Norman Taurog's direction is routine at best.

    To conclude, a decent if patchy middling Elvis film. 6/10 Bethany Cox
An error has occured. Please try again.