Love Me Tender (1956)

89 mins | Western | November 1956

Director:

Robert Webb

Writer:

Robert Buckner

Producer:

David Weisbart

Cinematographer:

Leo Tover

Editor:

Hugh S. Fowler

Production Designers:

Lyle Wheeler, Maurice Ransford

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Reno Brothers . According to Twentieth Century-Fox publicity notes contained in the production files at the AMPAS Library, the film was initially conceived as a post-Civil War story without songs. Once internationally popular rock and roll idol Elvis Presley was cast as the younger brother, however, four songs, including Love Me Tender , were worked into the script. RCA-Victor was so impressed with Presley's rendition of that song that it decided to release it as a single prior to the opening of the film. After Presley sang the ballad on the Ed Sullivan Show , Fox decided to retitle the film Love Me Tender . Love Me Tender marked Presley's screen debut.
       Although most reviewers were critical of Presley's acting abilities, the film was so popular that it recouped its cost just two weeks after its national release, setting a record, according to a Nov 1956 HR news item. A Sep 1952 HR news item states that Robert L. Jacks was originally to produce the picture. Although a HR news item places John Epper and Tom McDonough in the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Reno Brothers . According to Twentieth Century-Fox publicity notes contained in the production files at the AMPAS Library, the film was initially conceived as a post-Civil War story without songs. Once internationally popular rock and roll idol Elvis Presley was cast as the younger brother, however, four songs, including Love Me Tender , were worked into the script. RCA-Victor was so impressed with Presley's rendition of that song that it decided to release it as a single prior to the opening of the film. After Presley sang the ballad on the Ed Sullivan Show , Fox decided to retitle the film Love Me Tender . Love Me Tender marked Presley's screen debut.
       Although most reviewers were critical of Presley's acting abilities, the film was so popular that it recouped its cost just two weeks after its national release, setting a record, according to a Nov 1956 HR news item. A Sep 1952 HR news item states that Robert L. Jacks was originally to produce the picture. Although a HR news item places John Epper and Tom McDonough in the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
24 Nov 1956.
---
Daily Variety
16 Nov 56
p. 3.
Film Daily
16 Nov 56
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Sep 52
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 56
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Aug 56
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Aug 1956.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Sep 56
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Sep 56
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Nov 56
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Nov 1956.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
17 Nov 56
p. 145.
New York Times
15 Nov 56
p. 43.
New York Times
16 Nov 56
p. 23.
Variety
21 Nov 56
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Exec ward des
Cost des
MUSIC
Vocal supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styles
PRODUCTION MISC
SOURCES
SONGS
"Love Me Tender," "Let Me," "We're Gonna Move" and "Poor Boy," words and music by Elvis Presley and Vera Matson.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Reno Brothers
Release Date:
November 1956
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 15 November 1956
Production Date:
late August--early October 1956
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
15 November 1956
Copyright Number:
LP7378
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Lenses/Prints
lenses by Bausch & Lomb
Duration(in mins):
89
Length(in feet):
8,051
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18251
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On April 10 1865 at the Greenwood, Louisiana, train station, a battalion of Union soldiers are awaiting the arrival of the payroll train when news comes that the war has ended. Their jubilation is cut short, however, when a band of Confederate soldiers attack, steal their uniforms and then trick the payroll guards into turning the money over to them. Unaware that the Confederacy has disbanded, the rebels, led by Vance Reno, ride to deliver the money to Gen. Randall. Upon arriving at their destination, they discover that Gen. Lee has surrendered and so decide to split the cash among themselves. Vance and his brothers, Ray and Brett, then ride home to their family farm in Texas, where Vance plans to marry his sweetheart Cathy, while Mike Gavin and the others head their separate ways. Along the trail, Vance stops at a general store to buy a wedding suit and a gift for his bride. As they near the family farm, the brothers encounter their neighbor Jethro, who tells Vance that everyone thought he was killed in the war. At the farm, the brothers are greeted by their mother, Cathy and Clint, their youngest sibling. Vance is stunned to learn that Cathy, believing him dead, married Clint. Heartbroken, Vance tries to reassure a jealous Clint that he never loved Cathy. One week passes, and the brothers decide to bury the money in the barn. Cathy, who still loves Vance, pleads with him to forget the past and try to accept her marriage to his brother. That night, a sleepless Vance informs his mother that he is leaving for California, driven away by ... +


On April 10 1865 at the Greenwood, Louisiana, train station, a battalion of Union soldiers are awaiting the arrival of the payroll train when news comes that the war has ended. Their jubilation is cut short, however, when a band of Confederate soldiers attack, steal their uniforms and then trick the payroll guards into turning the money over to them. Unaware that the Confederacy has disbanded, the rebels, led by Vance Reno, ride to deliver the money to Gen. Randall. Upon arriving at their destination, they discover that Gen. Lee has surrendered and so decide to split the cash among themselves. Vance and his brothers, Ray and Brett, then ride home to their family farm in Texas, where Vance plans to marry his sweetheart Cathy, while Mike Gavin and the others head their separate ways. Along the trail, Vance stops at a general store to buy a wedding suit and a gift for his bride. As they near the family farm, the brothers encounter their neighbor Jethro, who tells Vance that everyone thought he was killed in the war. At the farm, the brothers are greeted by their mother, Cathy and Clint, their youngest sibling. Vance is stunned to learn that Cathy, believing him dead, married Clint. Heartbroken, Vance tries to reassure a jealous Clint that he never loved Cathy. One week passes, and the brothers decide to bury the money in the barn. Cathy, who still loves Vance, pleads with him to forget the past and try to accept her marriage to his brother. That night, a sleepless Vance informs his mother that he is leaving for California, driven away by his love for Cathy. The next day at a picnic, Vance is about to tell Clint that he is leaving when Maj. Kincaid, Marshal Ed Galt and Siringo, a Pinkerton detective, arrive to question the brothers about the robbery. When Vance denies the charges, the marshal declares that they are under arrest, and that he is taking them to Tyler to stand trial. That night, Gavin and his rebel compatriots appear at the Reno farm and introduce themselves to Clint. Believing that his brothers have been framed, Clint joins Gavin and the others in an attempt to free them. On the train bound for Tyler, meanwhile, Siringo promises Vance that all charges will be dropped if he returns the money. When Siringo produces as evidence the twenty dollar bill that Vance paid the shopkeeper, Vance confides that he has only the brothers' share, and Siringo responds that all the money must be returned. Just then, Gavin and his cohorts board the train and free the brothers at gunpoint. Furious, the major gives orders to shoot them on sight, but Siringo and the marshal are convinced that the brothers were ignorant of the escape plan. When Vance relates Siringo's offer to Gavin and the others, they refuse to turn over their share of the money, prompting Vance to pull his gun and demand its return. After entrusting Clint with a message for Siringo, directing him to meet them at the mill the following afternoon, Vance rides back to the farm to retrieve the brothers' share. Discovering that the farm is being watched by soldiers, Vance asks Jethro to fetch the money, and Cathy finds him digging in the barn. When Jethro tells Cathy that Vance is hiding in his cabin, Cathy hurries to warn him that the major has ordered him shot on sight. As Cathy and Vance try to evade the soldiers, Clint meets with Siringo and then rejoins Gavin and the others. Upon learning that Cathy and Clint are married, Gavin vindictively incites Clint to violence by telling him that Cathy and Vance have run away together. Feeling betrayed, Clint rides after them, followed by his brothers and Gavin and his gang. Vance, meanwhile, hides Cathy in a cave and then rides to the mill to consummate his deal with Siringo. Suddenly remembering their old boyhood hiding place, Ray and Brett head for the cave and find Cathy there. When Cathy hears that Clint believes that she has betrayed him, she insists that Ray and Brett take her to him. Crazed with jealousy, Clint refuses to believe her explanation and throws her to the ground. After Brett sends Cathy home, Gavin convinces Clint that she is riding to meet Vance and the two ride to the cave, seeking revenge. Ray and Brett warn Vance, who gives Ray's money to Siringo and instructs him to return with reinforcements. Brett and Vance then proceed to the cave, where Vance tries to reason with Clint. Goaded by Gavin, Clint levels his gun at Vance and shoots him. As Gavin and the others pounce on Vance's prone body, Clint, feeling remorse, charges at them, firing his gun. Just as Siringo and his men arrive, Gavin guns down Clint. With his final breath, Clint begs Vance's forgiveness and then dies in Cathy's arms. Later, at her son's gravesite, Martha weeps, and is comforted by Cathy, Vance, Ray and Brett. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.