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Elvis Presley Movies

Tickle Me

Elvis & Jocelyn Lane in Tickle Me
Elvis and costar Jocelyn Lane.
In 1971, Lane became a princess
when she married into royalty.

By the time Tickle Me was released, the storylines of Elvis Presley’s musicals had become paper-thin and the credibility of his characters had become strained by their ridiculous occupations. Though disturbing to critics and biographers, fans understand that the appeal is Elvis himself, not his characters.

Here, Elvis stars as Lonnie Beale, a singing rodeo cowboy who moonlights as a handyman at a beauty spa. Though several women try to catch the attention of Lonnie, including spa owner Vera Radford, played by Julie Adams, the rodeo rider falls for Pam Merritt. Pam, portrayed by Jocelyn Lane, is visiting the spa to investigate a nearby ghost town where her grandfather has supposedly hidden a cache of gold.

Pam enlists the help of Lonnie and his sidekick Stanley, played by Jack Mullaney, to recover the treasure. Unscrupulous locals, also looking for the gold, try to frighten the hapless trio into leaving the territory, but the three eventually prevail. Lonnie and Pam marry at the end, marking one of the few times that one of Elvis’s characters actually weds on-screen.

Behind the Scenes of Tickle Me

Tickle Me represented a somewhat different arrangement between Colonel Parker, Elvis, and Allied Artists Productions, the studio producing the film. Allied was facing deep financial trouble. They desperately wanted to make a deal with Elvis because a Presley picture was a guaranteed money-maker. The Colonel agreed to cut Elvis’ salary from $1 million to $750,000 (plus the usual 50 percent of the profits) to help Allied cut expenses. This meant that the studio had to come up with the rest of the budget -- a mere $750,000. To keep within that minuscule budget, no new songs were purchased or recorded for the film. The soundtrack was made up of previously recorded Elvis tunes. True to form, this Elvis musical comedy was financially successful. Allied executive Steve Brody later admitted Elvis’ hand in saving his studio, "You might say they were ready to wheel the patient out when Dr. Presley came in."

Cast of Tickle Me
Lonnie Beale
Elvis Presley
Vera Radford
Julie Adams
Pam Merritt
Jocelyn Lane
Stanley Potter
Jack Mullaney
Estelle Penfield Merry Anders
Deputy John SturdivantBill Williams
Brad Bentley
Edward Faulkner
Connie Gilchrist
Barbara Werle
Adolph the Chef
John Dennis
Mr. DabneyGrady Sutton
Allison Hayes
Inez Pedroza
Lilyan Chauvin
Angela Greene
Henry the Gardener
Robert Hoy
Mrs. Dabney
Dorothy Konrad
Eve Bruce
Francine York
Bully in Bar
Red West

Songs Featured in Tickle Me

  • Long, Lonely Highway
  • It Feels So Right
  • (Such an) Easy Question
  • Dirty, Dirty Feeling
  • Put the Blame on Me
  • I’m Yours
  • Night Rider
  • I Feel That I’ve Known You Before
  • Slowly hut Surely

Credits for Tickle Me

  • Allied Artists Productions
  • Produced by Ben Schwalb
  • Directed by Norman Taurog
  • Screenplay by Elwood Ullman and Edward Bernds
  • Photographed in DeLuxe Color and Panavision by Loyal Griggs
  • Music by Walter Scharf
  • Vocal accompaniment by The Jordanaires
  • Choreography by David Winters
  • Released May 28, 1965

To learn more about Elvis Presley, see: