16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Ok I'm no big fan of Elvis, I know his music, (an American can't help but know it.) Its good music, but I don't own a song of his. I don't claim to be a follower of his movies either, but this one is a western and I AM a follower of westerns and Civil War movies and this passes well.
This movie brings it highs and lows. A trio of brothers fresh from a raid of a Union payroll find out that the war is over on their way to turn in the money to their General with the unit. Their commander Vance (the eldest brother) decides there is no Confederate Government to turn the cash in to. They split the dough and head home. The family gets a shock that they are alive when they were told they were dead, while he gets a shock which the girl we was to marry is wed to his younger brother (Elivs).
The plot twists when the Union army decides that to come after the former raiders, causing splits among the raiders and increasing the tension between the brothers. The movie is more than passable (should likely be 3 3/4 stars vs 4's) and the acting is pretty good and the story moves along well.
As far as Elvis goes, this movie proves he can act. Its a shame that we don't see him in later years in more conventional movies such as this one. This picture convinces me he could carry it off well. Sinatra was able to pull off movies that were seperate from his singing, (although he did a fair amount of "singing" movies.) its a shame Elvis never got that chance.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2002
In this western drama set immediately after the Civil War (originally titled "The Reno Brothers"), Elvis appears in the secondary role of Clint Reno. This was the only time in his acting career that Elvis received second billing. Clint, the younger of the four Reno brothers, stayed behind to run the family farm during the war while his older brothers were off fighting for the Confederacy. Star Richard Egan plays Vance Reno, the elderst brother whom the family believes to have been killed in battle. Upon returning home, Vance is shocked to discover that Clint has married Vance's former sweetheart, Cathy, played by Debra Pagent (who appeared in The Ten Commandments). The love triangle, complicated by the greedy actions of some unscrupulous ex-Confederates, eventually pits brother against brother, resulting in Clint's death. The downbeat ending is tempered by the brother's reconciliation as Clint dies in Cathy's arms.
Originally titled "The Reno Brothers", this western drama was re-titled after a number of articles announced that advanced sales for "Love Me Tender"--one of the songs recorded for the film--exceeded a million copies. It was the first time advanced sales for a single release had ever suprassed the million mark, and the producers capitalized on the publicity by changing the film's title.
The enormous amount of press coverage also affected the film's conclusion. During production, fanzines leaked that Elvis's character was supposed to die near the end of the film. As originally shot, the final scene features Mother Reno solemnly ringing the dinner bell as her three remaining sons toil in the fields. Pain and loss are registered on the faces of Mother Reno and Cathy, who mourn the death of Clint. Elvis's legion of fans were disturbed by the news that their idol was to be killed off in his first film and caused such a commotion that Twentieth Century-Fox shot an alternative ending in which Clint is spared. For reasons known only to the producers the second ending was rejected. Instead a third version of the ending was used and Clint is killed as called for in the original script, but the final shot superimposed a ghostly close-up of Elvis as Clint crooning "Love Me Tender" as his family slowly walks away from his grave. Hence the fans were then left with a final image of Elvis doing what he was famous for--singing.
The same promotion surrounding Love Me Tender that generated excitement among the fans also generated loathing among the critics. Many were brutal in their assessment of Elvis's performance, particulary Time Magazine, comparing Elvis's acting and screen presence to that of a sausage, a "Walt Disney Goldfish", a corpse, and a cricket--all in the same brief review.
If Elvis cried over the mean-spirited reviews, then he cried all the way to the bank. The film recouped its production costs within three days of release, guaranteeing that Elvis's Hollywood future would be lucrative.
Produced for Twentieth Century Fox by David Weisbart. Released November 15, 1956. B&W.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2009
Thursday, November 15th, 1956, was a rather interesting occasion; because, it was on this date that the educational system of New York City suffered a very unusual setback. It seems as though thousands of young teenage girls who had attended classes that very morning had suddenly vanished; like they had just disappeared off the face of the earth. Well, what the school authorities did not know that the young girls did know about was that they had snuck off to the historic Paramount movie theater in the heart of Times Square in New York to be among the first to actually witness a screening of Elvis Presley's very first feature film debut. A very large cardboard cut-out was seen placed atop of the theater's marquee, covered by a sheet of canvas. When the canvas was removed, the image revealed was that of Elvis Presley, smiling while strumming his guitar. Naturally, the girls all went crazy when this happened. This was an elaborate publicity scheme masterminded by Elvis' manager Col. Tom Parker. Originally released during the 1956 Thanksgiving holiday season, "Love Me Tender" quickly recovered its 1-and-a-half million dollar investment costs within less than three days in the cinemas. This was not only Elvis' screen debut; it was also the first and only time in his film career in which he recieved co-star billing. The movie was originally titled "The Reno Brothers". However, due to the rise in Elvis' overwhelming popularity, the studio decided to change the film's title. This was intended to capatalize on the film's title song, which eventually became another number one hit for Presley. The movie itself wound up becoming the second-highest grossing film of the year 1956, behind "Giant" starring Rock Hudson and James Dean. Elvis would follow this film with 3 more during the 50s: "Loving You", "Jailhouse Rock" and "King Creole". Shortly thereafter, he would go on to serve a 2-year stint in the United States Army overseas in Germany. Elvis himself had a very unique on-screen presence that helped to make him one of the most original personalities in the history of popular entertainment. Many people have thoroughly enjoyed his film career, which spans a total of 33 motion pictures. "Love Me Tender" is a truly classic movie with a brilliant stand-out performance from Elvis Presley, highlighted by 4 songs on the film's soundtrack. If you are a fan of the king, then this is one film event that you will most definitely enjoy. His 4 films from the 50s are considered perhaps his very best, and this is where it all started.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2006
I bought mine and it's in black and white, not colorized as the store claims to be. So I would give all the stores selling this item as colorized version a zero star!!!!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2002
"Love Me Tender" is a WHOLE lot better than I thought it would be. It is a very well-done movie. It may not be the absolute, hands-down best Elvis movie, but it ranks highly on the list. It has a good cast, Richard Egan, Debra Paget, etc. The movie is set right after the Civil War, so the songs couldn't be "rock-n'roll", so the movie has country-type songs, and of course, "Love Me Tender". I also appreciate how he's singing these songs on the front porch with his guitar or singing at a benefit to raise money for building a schoolhouse(all very logical and natural settings to be singing in, as opposed to breaking out in song with an invisible orchestra behind you when you're riding horses or something.) It is well-acted, and has an interesting plot, enough to keep you interested. See this movie. It's worth the time.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2006
For anyone who enjoys Elvis Presley's earlier films, Love Me Tender is a must buy. Presley was not even the top star of this film, but by now, the other actors are long forgotten, and Elvis Presley is a household name. This post Civil war bittersweet romance does not offer an overwhelming plot, but I enjoyed the rough edges in the characterization of the caring, but short-tempered, young Texas farmer that Presley portrays, The film does not contain a host of Elvis' songs as do his later musicals, but his sensitive rendition of "Love Me Tender" is unforgettable.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2013
THANK YOU this blu ray disc arrived 13/08/2013 about time we had something NEW from the powers that be. this movie made in 1956/57 in black and white the first by ELVIS was a sight to behold. from the movie and extras 20th fox deserve PLAUDITS for the QUALITY of the transfer this never looked better this was a work of LOVE by ALL concerned and to see ELVIS perform in HD like this ( now for BLUE HAWAII) THE STORY: the reno boys are off at war, steal army payroll then discover the WAR is over so divi up the money and go home. then the federal army are after them. starring RICHARD EGAN; DEBRA PAGET; and ELVIS PRESLEY.
THIS MOVIE should be in all collections on quality alone.then to see ELVIS perform 4 songs LOVE ME TENDER;WERE GONNA MOVE;LET ME;POOR BOY in HD and DTS now for something with more color and more SONGS GREAT! FANTASTIC! go buy
the price is good ENJOY i did....the cuz
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2013
This is Elvis' first movie and a pretty decent beginning for him. The quality of this Blu-ray is outstanding in picture and sound. Don't buy this for a History lesson. Don't buy it because it is a fairly good, not great western but buy it because it is a chance to see Elvis at the age of 21 in great quality. The same year he did Hound Dog and Heartbreak Hotel. At the same time buy his third movie from 1957, Jailhouse Rock, also in Blu-ray. Then sit back and enjoy a double feature of Elvis in his prime in high quality video, like you have never seen him before.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2002
"Love Me Tender" was a complete success when it first came to theaters November 15, 1956. The love triangle in this story is one-in-a-million! Elvis does such good acting in this picture that some fans could consider it his finest acting...and it's only his first movie! Elvis does four songs in the picture: "We're Gonna Move", "Love Me Tender", "Let Me", and "Poor Boy." Although "Love Me Tender" is set after the Civil War the songs Elvis sings are closely related to rock'n'roll. Very disappointing when Elvis' character dies near the end. Elvis' mother did not like that at all. I cried when Elvis' character dies, and after the family walks solemnly away from his grave there is a ghostly close-up of Elvis singing "Love Me Tender." I was shocked, and cried at this! Elvis fans, if you want something a little more uplifting, try "Loving You." Elvis didn't like when he did the songs in "Love Me Tender" because his band wasn't there with him on-screen.
19 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2006
Now, WHAT a major disappointment! Look at the product description. It says: "Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC"
Did it say Black and White OR Color?
Did you say Color?
Yes, that's what I thought I saw, too.
There IS a colorized version, so Amazon leads us to believe this is IT!
Isn't that false advertisement?
I emailed them and demanded an explanation and a refund on that product!
Sure, I am a big Elvis fan and I already have that movie, in original Black and White.
I bought this one, BECAUSE they advertised it in COLOR!
So, people, BE CAREFUL, DO NOT buy this thing if you also expected it to be in color.
I give 3 for the fact that it's not Elvis' best movie, but I'd give Amazon a MINUS 5 points, if they'd have a negative rating system!