11 January 2009 | bkoganbing
Matrimony On Their Minds
Spinout is somewhere in the middle of the pack of the Elvis Presley cinema output. It's an amiable comedy with the King about a singer with a group who is a celebrity racer. Along the lines of Paul Newman before and Tom Cruise afterwards. I don't include Steve McQueen because that man was serious about the sport and had he entered it earlier might have had that as a career.
Anyway Elvis is the target of three women with matrimony on their minds. Rich girl Shelley Fabares, Jacqueline Susann like author Diane McBain, and the drummer in the King's own group, Deborah Walley who is a gourmet cook on the side.
As usual Colonel Tom Parker got quality help for his boy behind and in front of the camera. Norman Taurog ended his career directing a series of Presley pictures and this is one of them. Such movie veterans as Frederic Worlock and Cecil Kellaway have small roles and this is the farewell big screen appearance of Una Merkel. Also in the cast is Carl Betz once again playing Shelley Fabares father as he did on the Donna Reed Show. Will Hutchins, television's Sugarfoot is also around as a policeman who appreciates good cooking and Jack Mullaney and Jimmy Hawkins are the other members of Elvis's group. Note that they play electric guitars or simulate playing them while Elvis sticks with a regular model.
Of course Spinout ends with the Big Race and I don't think I have to tell you who wins, but the race itself is 3/4 of the fun. No big songs came out of the score for Elvis, but he acquits himself in the vocal and comedy department. Spinout should please his fans.