Roustabout (1964)

101 mins | Melodrama | 10 November 1964

Director:

John Rich

Producer:

Hal B. Wallis

Cinematographer:

Lucien Ballard

Editor:

Warren Low

Production Designers:

Hal Pereira, Walter Tyler

Production Company:

Hal Wallis Productions
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HISTORY

According to a 4 May 1961 DV item, producer Hal B. Wallis had already begun filming the Elvis Presley vehicle Blue Hawaii (1961, see entry) by sound technician-turned-writer Allan Weiss when he decided to collaborate with Weiss on his next story idea, Roustabout. Although Roustabout was originally set for Wallis’s 1962 production slate, the project was shelved as Presley went on to star in several other films for Paramount Pictures, United Artists (UA), and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (M-G-M).
       On 15 Jan 1964, DV reported that Weiss had been hired to polish Anthony Lawrence’s draft of his original story, and a 27 Mar 1964 DV production chart indicated that principal photography began shortly thereafter, on 9 Mar 1964. While many scenes were shot on Stages 12, 14, and 15 of the Paramount Pictures studios in Hollywood, CA, items in the 16 Mar 1964, 17 Mar 1964, and 20 Mar 1964 DV reported that some carnival sequences took place in nearby Long Beach, the San Fernando Valley town of Thousand Oaks, and Lake Sherwood. According to the 15 Apr 1964 DV, more than fifty dancers, singers, and musicians were hired to perform the “Little Egypt” musical number, with approximately 200 background actors appearing as the “audience.”
       During the first few days of filming, Presley was reportedly kicked in the forehead by stuntman Glenn Wilder, requiring nine stitches. The 17 Mar 1964 DV claimed that the injury was written into the script as the result of a “motorcycle accident.”
       Items throughout production reported the casting of several actors whose participation could not be confirmed, including: ...

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According to a 4 May 1961 DV item, producer Hal B. Wallis had already begun filming the Elvis Presley vehicle Blue Hawaii (1961, see entry) by sound technician-turned-writer Allan Weiss when he decided to collaborate with Weiss on his next story idea, Roustabout. Although Roustabout was originally set for Wallis’s 1962 production slate, the project was shelved as Presley went on to star in several other films for Paramount Pictures, United Artists (UA), and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (M-G-M).
       On 15 Jan 1964, DV reported that Weiss had been hired to polish Anthony Lawrence’s draft of his original story, and a 27 Mar 1964 DV production chart indicated that principal photography began shortly thereafter, on 9 Mar 1964. While many scenes were shot on Stages 12, 14, and 15 of the Paramount Pictures studios in Hollywood, CA, items in the 16 Mar 1964, 17 Mar 1964, and 20 Mar 1964 DV reported that some carnival sequences took place in nearby Long Beach, the San Fernando Valley town of Thousand Oaks, and Lake Sherwood. According to the 15 Apr 1964 DV, more than fifty dancers, singers, and musicians were hired to perform the “Little Egypt” musical number, with approximately 200 background actors appearing as the “audience.”
       During the first few days of filming, Presley was reportedly kicked in the forehead by stuntman Glenn Wilder, requiring nine stitches. The 17 Mar 1964 DV claimed that the injury was written into the script as the result of a “motorcycle accident.”
       Items throughout production reported the casting of several actors whose participation could not be confirmed, including: Toby Reid, Carey Foster, Buddy Lewis, Ted Lehmann, Richard DiPalo, Marianna Hill, Roger Creed, Mike Mahoney, Gene Gannon, Bernice Dalton, motorcycle stunt riders Arthur Levy and Ray Kellogg, and Presley’s frequent stand-in, Lance Le Gault.
       In the 23 Nov 1964 edition of her LAT column, Hedda Hopper claimed that Presley’s combined salary for Roustabout, Tickle Me, and Girl Happy (1964, see entries) totaled $1.75 million.
       Several months before the picture’s release, the 3 Jul 1964 DV reported that director John Rich held a sneak preview screening the previous evening at the March Air Force Base. According to the 21 Oct 1964 Var and 29 Oct 1964 LAT, a 200-theater saturation release was scheduled to begin in the New England area on 11 Nov 1964, followed by its overseas debut in London, England, on 12 Nov 1964. The picture opened citywide in Los Angeles on 25 Nov 1964 for the Thanksgiving Day holiday, as confirmed by an LAT advertisement published that day. The New York City engagement began 10 Nov 1964 at the Forum, Broadway and 46th Street, and other area theaters, according to the 11 Nov 1964 NYT review.
       Copyright claimants are Hal B. Wallis and Joseph H. Hazen.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
4 May 1961
p. 1.
Daily Variety
24 Jul 1961
p. 4.
Daily Variety
11 Sep 1963
p. 4.
Daily Variety
15 Jan 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
10 Mar 1964.
---
Daily Variety
13 Mar 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
16 Mar 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
17 Mar 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
20 Mar 1964
p. 10.
Daily Variety
25 Mar 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
27 Mar 1964
p. 10.
Daily Variety
31 Mar 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
10 Apr 1964
p. 12.
Daily Variety
14 Apr 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
15 Apr 1964
p. 30.
Daily Variety
16 Apr 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
20 Apr 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
3 Jul 1964
p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
12 Mar 1964
Section A, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
12 Apr 1964
Section U, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
29 Oct 1964
Section C, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
10 Nov 1964
Section D, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
23 Nov 1964
Section B, p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
24 Nov 1964
Section C, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
25 Nov 1964
Section C, p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
28 Nov 1964
Section B, p. 7.
New York Times
11 Nov 1964
p. 38.
Variety
8 Apr 1964
p. 10.
Variety
15 Apr 1964
p. 15.
Variety
29 Apr 1964
p. 7.
Variety
21 Oct 1964
p. 22.
Variety
11 Nov 1964
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
process photog
DANCE
Choreog
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Tech adv
SOURCES
SONGS
"Roustabout," "Poison Ivy League" and "One Track Heart," words and music by Bill Giant, Bernie Baum and Florence Kaye, "Wheels on My Heels" and "It's a Wonderful World," words and music by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett
"It's Carnival Time," words and music by Ben Weisman and Sid Wayne
"Carny Town," words and music by Fred Wise and Randy Starr
+
SONGS
"Roustabout," "Poison Ivy League" and "One Track Heart," words and music by Bill Giant, Bernie Baum and Florence Kaye, "Wheels on My Heels" and "It's a Wonderful World," words and music by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett
"It's Carnival Time," words and music by Ben Weisman and Sid Wayne
"Carny Town," words and music by Fred Wise and Randy Starr
"Hard Knocks" and "There's a Brand New Day on the Horizon," words and music by Joy Byers
"Big Love, Big Heartache," words and music by Dolores Fuller, Lee Morris and Sonny Hendrix
"Little Egypt," words and music by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
+
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
10 November 1964
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 10 Nov 1964; New England opening: 11 Nov 1964; Los Angeles opening: 25 Nov 1964
Production Date:
began 9 Mar 1964
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Hal Wallis Productions
10 November 1964
LP29277
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
Techniscope
Duration(in mins):
101
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Charlie Rogers, an embittered orphan who makes his living as a singer-guitarist, is involved in a motorcycle accident with a jeep driven by Joe Lean. Annoyed at Charlie's shouted advances to his daughter Cathy, Joe runs Charlie off the highway, wrecking his motorcycle and guitar. Maggie, who owns a carnival where Cathy is an assistant, promises to have the motorcycle repaired and the guitar replaced; in the meantime, she hires Charlie as a roustabout at her carnival. Although Charlie is unhappy with the work, his increasing fondness for Cathy keeps him on the job after the motorcycle and guitar are returned. Charlie soon becomes a featured attraction as a singer, and the carnival, which was on the verge of bankruptcy, begins to make money. Harry Carver, an unscrupulous businessman, makes Charlie an offer to perform in a nightclub for more money, and, after an argument with Joe and squabbles with Cathy and Maggie, he accepts. Charlie is an immense success, but Maggie's carnival is again on the verge of closing. Cathy comes to one of Charlie's performances, and they realize that they are in love. Charlie leaves Carver and returns to Maggie's carnival in time to save ...

More Less

Charlie Rogers, an embittered orphan who makes his living as a singer-guitarist, is involved in a motorcycle accident with a jeep driven by Joe Lean. Annoyed at Charlie's shouted advances to his daughter Cathy, Joe runs Charlie off the highway, wrecking his motorcycle and guitar. Maggie, who owns a carnival where Cathy is an assistant, promises to have the motorcycle repaired and the guitar replaced; in the meantime, she hires Charlie as a roustabout at her carnival. Although Charlie is unhappy with the work, his increasing fondness for Cathy keeps him on the job after the motorcycle and guitar are returned. Charlie soon becomes a featured attraction as a singer, and the carnival, which was on the verge of bankruptcy, begins to make money. Harry Carver, an unscrupulous businessman, makes Charlie an offer to perform in a nightclub for more money, and, after an argument with Joe and squabbles with Cathy and Maggie, he accepts. Charlie is an immense success, but Maggie's carnival is again on the verge of closing. Cathy comes to one of Charlie's performances, and they realize that they are in love. Charlie leaves Carver and returns to Maggie's carnival in time to save it.

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

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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.