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Change of Habit (1969)

Elvis Presley , Mary Tyler Moore , William Graham  |  G |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Elvis Presley, Mary Tyler Moore, Barbara McNair, Jane Elliot, Leora Dana
  • Directors: William Graham
  • Writers: James Lee, S.S. Schweitzer, Eric Bercovici
  • Producers: Joe Connelly
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2010
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006674X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,565 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Change of Habit" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Trailer
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Production Notes
  • Recommendations

  • Editorial Reviews

    Product Description

    Laughter, romance and rockin' good times are just what the doctor ordered as Elvis plays an inner-city M.D. who falls for social worker Mary Tyler Moore. But this guitar-atrumming doc will be playing a different tune when he discovers his would-be girlfriend isn't who - or what - she seems to be! Featuring Elvis at the peak of his phenomenal popularity, it's a hilarious romantic comedy highlighted by the King's unforgettable performances of classic rock hits including "Rubberneckin'", "Let Us Pray" and "Change of Habit."

    Elvis tried something different in his final narrative movie… but the results are oddly similar to his usual '60s formula. Here the King plays a doctor working in an inner-city free clinic, playing host to three Catholic nurses (who are really nuns incognito). Elvis gets hung up on one of the nuns, played by Mary Tyler Moore; she seems a lot closer to The Dick Van Dyke Show than the Vatican. The songs are sparse--"Rubberneckin'" gets a workout in one of those awful stilted hootenannies so prevalent in Elvis pictures. The flower-power ambience is more interesting than the story; the film features Mod Squad-style attempts at racial politics, a sit-down protest, and a weird sequence involving "rage reduction" to cure an autistic child. Elvis has good scenes and indifferent ones, but he looks fantastic (this is just after the great "comeback"), and he dresses like no other doctor before or since. --Robert Horton

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars "A good movie, not just an Elvis movie." February 28, 2001
    Format:VHS Tape
    When I was younger anytime my parents or other adults talked about Elvis movies, what came to mind were lame movies with very little plot, structured in a way so Elvis could sing some "new" tunes. My "mama always used to say that" Elvis was a better actor than most people believed, but from watching films like BLUE HAWAII, I thought she was just couldn't face the truth that Elvis couldn't act his way out of a paper bag. After seeing CHANGE OF HABIT (and learning more about how Colonel Parker ran the King's life) I realized my Mom was right, Elvis was a decent actor. It's just that he was never allowed many opportunities to display his talent and grow as an actor. This is unfortunate.
    CHANGE OF HABIT is a good movie. It has an interesting plot, most of the characters aren't just paper mache blowing in the wind, and the movie deals with social issues that are still relevant even today. Many people suggest that Mary Tyler Moore is miscast in this film, but I found her believable in her role as a nun. Also, the supporting cast does a good job given their limited screen time.
    As is the case in all Elvis' movies, there are tunes. However, unlike the other Elvis' films I have seen, the movie isn't structured around the songs. The songs that you actually see Elvis singing appear more natural than staged and a couple of them are really memorable, e.g. "In the Ghetto".
    I haven't seen very many Elvis' films, but out of the ones I have viewed, this is the best. I wish Elvis would have been allowed to make more films like this. He could have ended up being remembered as much for his acting as his singing and that would have really been a change of habit.
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    15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Dr Elvis - Magnificent October 30, 1999
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape
    This is a truly magnificent movie and represents a change from the racing driver come hotel employee that Elvis usually play. In the opening scene, the King is surrounded by a group of hippies whilst he plays guitar and sings a great song called 'Ruberneckin'.
    The title track is an attempts to cash in on the folk scene in the vein of Dylan's 'Blowin in the Wind'.
    Elvis playing a doctor is a genius stroke of scriptwriting as is a romantic involvement with a nun (Mary Tyler Moore) who eventually turns away from the Church to be with Elvis.
    This film also has a social conscience and like 'Edge of Reality' has a sixties feel about it.
    There is something great about this film, I can't put it into words. Maybe it is so bad that it is good, I am not sure.
    I would recommend that anyone see this.
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    17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Presley's Final Screen Role November 12, 2004
    "Change of Habit" (1969) will not be remembered as one of Elvis Presley's best efforts, but this socially conscious drama represents an admirable change of pace. In his last fictional film, Elvis gives a believable performance in the improbable role of a ghetto doctor. He actually fares better than Mary Tyler Moore - hopelessly miscast as a nun. Though ludicrous in spots, "Change of Habit" is easier to sit through than many of Presley's lame musicals. Elvis remains fascinating to watch and the climactic gospel-rock number is a must-see.
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    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Elvis in Change of Habit June 27, 2001
    Format:VHS Tape
    If you love Elvis movies, you'll love this one as well! There isn't much singing in it, so this movie has a more realistic feel to the story than most of Elvis' movies. This movie proves that you don't have to show explicit sexual scenes to have a thought provoking story.
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    11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Serious Movie Deserved Better Production June 15, 2000
    Format:VHS Tape
    While his "new" music, including the very important title "In The Ghetto", was getting good notice across the world, this socially-conscious movie was in release. Unfortunately, the "Made For TV" quality made this respectable effort a minor work, which did showcase strong performances by Presley as an inner city Doctor and by Mary Tyler Moore as a Nun who wants to try a different approach in a complex setting. The music is very agreeable and is well interpolated - dig Elvis on piano ("Lawdy, Miss Clawdy") and singing along with Darlene Love ("Rubberneckin'"). The somewhat non-traditional "Let Us Pray" number might suggest the controversial "gospel rock" of future decades. The difficult physical/spiritual theme warranted more time and attention than was presumeably allowed and perhaps accounts for the film's lesser-known status.
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    10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe I'm not an Elvis Fan, but... December 9, 2005
    By L. Bell
    Format:VHS Tape
    ...I loved this movie - maybe because I like Mary Tyler Moore? I judge movies based on whether I become uninterested which happens a lot. I never did get bored and wanted to finish watching it. I really enjoyed it. I am not an Elvis fan per se, but he was great in this one. I don't like when he is the playboy. I like this one because he is a doctor and a good guy.
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Not an Elvis Movie January 4, 2007
    By Timmer
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    This movie does star Elvis Presley. However, he is really a minor player. Even my 12 yr old son noticed that much. The movie is about the 60's movement to better the humanity in a neighborhood of racial mixes, young people on drugs, & the Banker - the guy who "owns" the neighborhood, preys on those just trying to get by. So we have Sr. Michelle who tries to naively help the troubled youth, Sr. Irene who comes to terms with her ownself as she learns how to beat the Banker & help her people & young Sr. Barbara - the young rebel, who learns how to fight the tough battle while staying in tune with the neighborhood people. Elvis has the role of Dr John Carpenter, a calm voice in a sea of turmoil. He knows there's trouble in the streets, he's there to help those he can, get involved when necessary & help where he can. He doesn't have any illusions of being the superhero. Actually Elvis seems to have walked in off the street onto the movie set he is so lowkeyed. He appears to be having fun, relaxed & even gets to play football. He does sing - 4 songs if you include the title track. One song at the beginning where he & the neighborhood kids are just hanging out & jamming, & one at the end - a gospel song in church. The one in the middle is the kind of movie song he hated to do - he just bursts into song on a carousel, singing to a small girl trying to get her to smile. This is one of my favorite Elvis movies, give it a shot.
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