Review: ‘Frankie and Johnny’

Frankie and Johnny is Elvis all the way in a story built loosely around the classic folk song, coupled with a dozen or so tunes, pretty girls and Technicolor.

Frankie and Johnny is Elvis all the way in a story built loosely around the classic folk song, coupled with a dozen or so tunes, pretty girls and Technicolor.

The screenplay from a Nat Perrin story has Elvis and Donna Douglas (in her first major film role) as entertainers on a Mississippi riverboat about 100 years ago. Elvis is Frankie, Donna is Johnny, and, like in the ageless song, they love each other. But Frankie gambles too much, losing all the time, until he finds a lucky redhead – Nellie Bly, natch – played by Nancy Kovack.

Elvis is Elvis. He sings and acts, apparently doing both with only slight effort. Presley does little hip swinging, no doubt in keeping with the period of the story, although he does get a chance to bounce out one number – ‘Shout It Out’ – with Dixieland accompaniment.

Frankie and Johnny

Production

Small/F&J. Director Frederick de Cordova; Producer Edward Small; Screenplay Alex Gottlieb; Camera Jacques Marquette; Editor Grant Whytock; Music Fred Karger (dir.); Art Director Walter Simonds

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1966. Running time: 87 MIN.

With

Elvis Presley Donna Douglas Harry Morgan Sue Ane Langdon Nancy Kovack Audrey Christie
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