Girl Happy (1965)

96 mins | Comedy | 14 April 1965

Director:

Boris Sagal

Producer:

Joe Pasternak

Cinematographer:

Philip H. Lathrop

Editor:

Rita Roland

Production Designers:

George W. Davis, Addison Hehr

Production Company:

Euterpe, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

On 11 Jul 1963, DV reported that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (MGM) producer Joe Pasternak had begun preparations on Elvis Presley’s seventeenth starring vehicle, The Only Way to Love. The project remained on the studio’s slate for almost a year, until a 14 Feb 1964 DV item using the new title Girl Happy noted that director Boris Sagal was reportedly contemplating dropping out to complete prior commitments. He ultimately remained onboard, and a 26 Feb 1964 LAT article included Girl Happy as one of the thirty-one MGM films scheduled for upcoming production.
       Casting was initiated by a 19 Feb 1964 DV brief speculating about the involvement of Annette Funicello, who was concurrently appearing in several similar “beach party” movies for American International Pictures (AIP). Additional items in the 18 Mar 1964 and 27 Apr 1964 DV claimed that Yvette Mimieux and Joey Heatherton were also considered before the 13 May 1964 edition confirmed that Shelley Fabares had agreed to star as the leading love interest, “Valerie.” Fabares later reunited with Presley for Spinout (1966, see entry) and Clambake (1967, see entry).
       Several casting announcements throughout the summer of 1965 named Norman Grabowski, Lori Williams, Hank Jones, Milton Frome, Gay Harmon, and Danny Whitten among the cast. Their roles could not be confirmed, or may have been uncredited. The 25 Jun 1964 DV also noted that students from the University of Southern California (USC) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) were used as background actors.
       Principal photography began 22 Jun 1964, as indicated by a DV ... More Less

On 11 Jul 1963, DV reported that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (MGM) producer Joe Pasternak had begun preparations on Elvis Presley’s seventeenth starring vehicle, The Only Way to Love. The project remained on the studio’s slate for almost a year, until a 14 Feb 1964 DV item using the new title Girl Happy noted that director Boris Sagal was reportedly contemplating dropping out to complete prior commitments. He ultimately remained onboard, and a 26 Feb 1964 LAT article included Girl Happy as one of the thirty-one MGM films scheduled for upcoming production.
       Casting was initiated by a 19 Feb 1964 DV brief speculating about the involvement of Annette Funicello, who was concurrently appearing in several similar “beach party” movies for American International Pictures (AIP). Additional items in the 18 Mar 1964 and 27 Apr 1964 DV claimed that Yvette Mimieux and Joey Heatherton were also considered before the 13 May 1964 edition confirmed that Shelley Fabares had agreed to star as the leading love interest, “Valerie.” Fabares later reunited with Presley for Spinout (1966, see entry) and Clambake (1967, see entry).
       Several casting announcements throughout the summer of 1965 named Norman Grabowski, Lori Williams, Hank Jones, Milton Frome, Gay Harmon, and Danny Whitten among the cast. Their roles could not be confirmed, or may have been uncredited. The 25 Jun 1964 DV also noted that students from the University of Southern California (USC) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) were used as background actors.
       Principal photography began 22 Jun 1964, as indicated by a DV production chart published four days later. According to the 24 Jul 1964 LAT, the majority of filming took place on Stage 30 of the MGM studios in Culver City, CA, which housed a full-scale motel and swimming pool set. The 15 Jul 1964 DV stated that exteriors and night shooting were completed at the nearby beach in Venice, a coastal neighborhood of Los Angeles. A 30 Jul 1964 DV brief suggested that production was expected to conclude the following day.
       The 22 Jul 1964 DV claimed that actor Lance LeGault served as both a choreographer and stand-in for Presley on the picture, while a 22 Jun 1964 LAT news story named Toni Basil as the assistant to choreographer David Winters.
       A story in the 9 Jul 1964 DV reported that Presley received $50,000 per week to star in Girl Happy, and the 23 Nov 1964 LAT estimated his cumulative salary for Roustabout (1964, see entry), Tickle Me (1965, see entry), and Girl Happy totaled $1.75 million.
       According to the 16 Mar 1965 DV, Girl Happy first opened 12 Mar 1965 in six Alabama theaters, where it earned a three-day gross of $27,756. A Var news story published on 24 Mar 1965 confirmed that MGM had decided to proceed with a 500-print saturation booking across the Southern U.S. beginning 17 Mar 1965, to coincide with a week-long school holiday related to local teachers’ conventions. The saturation release continued in cities such as Detroit, MI; Nashville and Knoxville, TN; and Honolulu, HI; as indicated by the 14 Apr 1965 DV, which reported positive box-office figures from all three states and advertised the general national release that same day. However, the film did not open in New York City until more than a month later, on 26 May 1965. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
11 Jul 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
2 Jan 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
14 Feb 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
19 Feb 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
18 Mar 164
p. 2.
Daily Variety
27 Apr 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
13 May 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
22 May 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
25 Jun 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
26 Jun 1964
p. 6.
Daily Variety
9 Jul 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
15 Jul 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
15 Jul 1964
p. 11.
Daily Variety
16 Jul 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
16 Jul 1964
p. 5.
Daily Variety
16 Jul 1964
p. 6.
Daily Variety
22 Jul 1964
p. 5.
Daily Variety
27 Jul 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
28 Jul 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
30 Jul 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
16 Mar 1965
p. 4.
Daily Variety
14 Apr 1965
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
26 Feb 1964
Section A, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
22 Jun 1964
Section C, p. 21.
Los Angeles Times
24 Jul 1964
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
23 Nov 1964
Section B, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
14 Apr 1965
Section D, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
16 Apr 1965
Section C, p. 10.
New York Times
26 May 1965
p. 41.
New York Times
27 May 1965
p. 28.
Variety
24 Mar 1965
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
Asst cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
Rec supv
Boom op
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
Scr supv
Tech adv
Gaffer
Prop master
SOURCES
SONGS
"Girl Happy," words and music by Doc Pomus and Norman Meade, sung by Elvis Presley
"Cross My Heart and Hope To Die," words and music by Ben Weisman and Sid Wayne
"Do Not Disturb," "Spring Fever" and "Wolf Call," words and music by Bill Giant, Bernie Baum and Florence Kaye
+
SONGS
"Girl Happy," words and music by Doc Pomus and Norman Meade, sung by Elvis Presley
"Cross My Heart and Hope To Die," words and music by Ben Weisman and Sid Wayne
"Do Not Disturb," "Spring Fever" and "Wolf Call," words and music by Bill Giant, Bernie Baum and Florence Kaye
"Do the Clam," words and music by Ben Weisman, Sid Wayne and Dolores Fuller
"Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce" and "Puppet on a String," words and music by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett
"I've Got to Find My Baby," and "The Meanest Girl in Town," words and music by Joy Byers and "Startin' Tonight," words and music by Lenore Rosenblatt and Victor Millrose.
+
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Only Way to Love
Release Date:
14 April 1965
Premiere Information:
Alabama opening: 12 March 1965
Los Angeles opening: 14 April 1965
New York opening: 26 May 1965
Production Date:
22 June--late July 1964
Copyright Claimant:
Euterpe, Inc.
Copyright Date:
24 November 1964
Copyright Number:
LP29360
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex
Color
Metrocolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
96
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

After completing their engagement at a Chicago nightclub, Rusty Wells and his combo plan to spend Easter week in Fort Lauderdale entertaining college students. Big Frank, the owner of the nightclub, decides to waive his option to hold the group in Chicago when he learns that his daughter Valerie plans to vacation in Fort Lauderdale. He sends the group to Florida with the understanding that they keep a close watch on his daughter. While in Fort Lauderdale, Rusty and the combo find that most of their time is devoted to keeping Valerie out of trouble. To relieve the other band members of their commitment to Big Frank, Rusty offers to assume responsibility for her. The two are happy until Valerie learns of Rusty's bargain with her father, whereupon she goes on a wild drinking spree and ends up in jail. Her father posts bail for her, and soon all is forgiven as Valerie and Rusty are ... +


After completing their engagement at a Chicago nightclub, Rusty Wells and his combo plan to spend Easter week in Fort Lauderdale entertaining college students. Big Frank, the owner of the nightclub, decides to waive his option to hold the group in Chicago when he learns that his daughter Valerie plans to vacation in Fort Lauderdale. He sends the group to Florida with the understanding that they keep a close watch on his daughter. While in Fort Lauderdale, Rusty and the combo find that most of their time is devoted to keeping Valerie out of trouble. To relieve the other band members of their commitment to Big Frank, Rusty offers to assume responsibility for her. The two are happy until Valerie learns of Rusty's bargain with her father, whereupon she goes on a wild drinking spree and ends up in jail. Her father posts bail for her, and soon all is forgiven as Valerie and Rusty are reunited. +

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.