Kid Galahad [1962]

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: Elvis Presley, Gig Young, Lola Albright, Joan Blackman, Charles Bronson
Genre: Drama, Musical, Sport
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Runtime: 95 minutes

Elvis Presley tries on boxing gloves for Kid Galahad, one of his post-Army pictures that still has some fresh air and innocence in it. First spotted crooning from the back of a pickup truck, Elvis plays an ex-G.I. newly returned to his foresty birthplace, where shifty Gig Young runs a boxing camp. Naturally the kid turns out to have talent with the gloves, and a gamblers/mobsters/boxing formula soon kicks in. Meanwhile, Elvis turns his attention to Joan Blackman (from Blue Hawaii) and Young resists making an honest woman of girlfriend Lola Albright. Charles Bronson, who didn't get on well with Elvis, has a hefty role as an incorruptible trainer. The songs squeezed in around this are humdrum, and even the best ones can't accurately be described as rock & roll. Director Phil Karlson, a dab hand at action films (The Phenix City Story), gets some savagery into the fight scenes, and the early location work has a nice breezy feel. As for Presley himself, the early signs of stupor are beginning to be apparent; after the enjoyable opening reel he lacks the old spirit, looking understandably unengaged by the material or his co-stars. --Robert Horton

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