Paradise, Hawaiian Style
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In "Paradise, Hawaiian Style," Elvis plays Rick Richards, an ex-airline pilot who starts a charter helicopter sightseeing service in Hawaii and finds himself surrounded with pretty tourists. Co-starring Suzanna Leigh and James Shigeta, "Paradise, Hawaiian Style" features the memorable melodies "A Dog's Life," "Sand Castles" and "Bill Bailey, Won't you Please Come Home."
Elvis and Hawaii go together like one of Graceland's peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches. To be honest, though, Paradise, Hawaiian Style finds the King looking puffier and sleepier than he did in the salad days of Blue Hawaii. Making matters worse is the song selection and the prominence of an allegedly adorable child actor--always a bad thing in an Elvis picture. Despite all that, there's something casually likable about the film: costar James Shigeta is a welcome performer (he plays the island pilot who goes into business with flyboy Elvis), leading lady Susanna Leigh is an above-average companion, and the location shooting is a big upgrade over the cardboard backdrops of many late-career Presley vehicles. Extended musical sequences take place at the Polynesian Cultural Center--nothing wrong with that, but rock & roll has been left pretty far behind. --Robert Horton
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