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Elvis Presley's Poor Acting Skills In Film

788 words - 3 pages

Elvis Presley's Poor Talents Paying Bills

Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, is an American Pop Culture Icon who influenced his audience with his commanding voice and dazzling sex appeal. In the 1950's, Elvis devoted his career to singing and making music. In the sixties, however, he dedicated his time towards making movies and appearing in motion pictures. As many critics agree, Elvis had poor acting skills in his films, generally showing apathy and/or dull facial expressions. Yet, through entertainment media, Elvis was able to inspire a generation of youth to "take action" in American society from his "poor actions". Moreover, film in the age of mass media neutralized Elvis' "bad acting" by redirecting the audience's attention towards his dynamic singing and sexual physique, heavily appealing to the social trends of the 1960's decade.

In the decade of the 60's, Elvis starred in over 34 motion pictures, averaging more than 3 films released per year. In these films, Elvis generally had the lead role, allowing the center of attention to fall on his shoulders. Unfortunately, Elvis had poor acting skills, usually displaying bland facial expressions or lethargy. According to the New Yorker magazine, Elvis' acting talents were thin: "Thicklipped, droopy-eyed and indefatigably sullen, Mr. Presley, whose talents are meager but whose earnings are gross" (Raaphorst). Thankfully, Elvis had extraordinary singing talents to make up for his poor acting skills. Knowing his strengths, Elvis and his producers began placing songs into his movies to gain a greater acceptance from his audience: "Statistically, he holds records for the most Top Forty hits (107), the most Top Ten hits (38), the most consecutive #1 hits (10) and the most weeks at #1 (80)" (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation). Furthermore, Elvis' producers began to advertise for his movies by soliciting his singing skills. For example, on the cover of "Jail House Rock," the producer wrote "HIS FIRST BIG DRAMATIC SINGING ROLE", dramatizing the significance of Elvis' voice. Notably, though, Elvis did gain his viewer's praise from other notions than just his singing. Elvis accepted attention for his sexual physique, receiving compliments from the "delinquent youth" when exposing his naked chest in several films. Surely, Elvis influenced the "raging youth" of the 60's to "act up" when stating controversial and rebellious lines in different films, particularly in "Jail House Rock": "That ain't tactics, honey...That's just the beast in me!" (Raaphorst). By combining poor acting with an...

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