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Elvis Presley Movies

The Trouble With Girls

An odd mixture of music, comedy, and melodrama, The Trouble with Girls is unique for an Elvis Presley picture because Elvis is only on screen for about a third of the film. Elvis stars as Walter Hale, the manager of a traveling chautauqua. A chautauqua is a school that provides education combined with entertainment. Walter is beset with a number of problems as his show arrives in town for one week.

elvis presley the trouble with girls parade
About 450 extras were used alongside Elvis Presley in The Trouble
With Girls
' parade scenes, including 100 children.

He worries that he might have to give the mayor's untalented daughter the lead in the children's pageant to stay in the mayor's good graces. He must contend with his assistant, played by Marlyn Mason, who is constantly harping about the union rights of his employees. Finally, someone murders the local druggist, and a member of the chautauqua is accused. These loose ends are tied together during the final show, when Walter cannily reveals the killer's identity and wins the heart of his pretty assistant.

Behind the Scenes of The Trouble With Girls

The Trouble with Girls had a long history of trying to reach the screen. In June 1959, trade magazines announced that Don Mankiewicz was set to write a sceenplay based on an unpublished story by Mauri Grashin, Day Keene, and Dwight Babcock. The film was tentatively titled Chautauqua. In December 1960, MGM announced that Glenn Ford was slated to star in Chautauqua with Elvis Presley, Hope Lange, and Arthur O'Connell. Valentine Davies was scheduled to adapt the story.

The following year, only Elvis remained in the original cast, and William Wister Haines was doing the adaptation of the story, which Keene and Babcock had recently published as a novel. By 1964, Dick Van Dyke was announced as the star of Chautauqua. Many writers later, the property was sold to Columbia Pictures. Van Dyke was still scheduled to be the star, but the title had been changed to Big America. In April 1968, the property was resold to MGM, where it was adapted as an Elvis Presley vehicle by Arnold and Lois Peyser.

Cast of The Trouble With Girls
Walter Hale
Elvis Presley
Marlyn Mason
Nicole Jaffe
Nita Bix
Sheree North
Edward Andrews
Mr. Drewcolt
John Carradine
Mr. Jonson (Mr. Morality)
Vincent Price
Carol Bix
Anissa Jones
Joyce Van Patten
Pepe Brown
Harrison Wilby
Dabney Coleman
Mayor Gilchrist
Bill Zuckert
Mr. Perper
Pitt Herbert
Boy with Yale Sweater
Kevin O'Neal
Boy with Princeton Sweater
John Rubenstein
Boy with Rutgers Sweater
Frank Welker
Boy with Amherst Sweater
Chuck Briles
Deputy Sheriff
Jerry Schilling
Joe Esposito
Vocal Group
The Jordanaires

Songs Featured in The Trouble With Girls

  • Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
  • The Whiffenpoof Song
  • Violet (Flower of NYU)
  • Clean Up Your Own Backyard
  • Sign of the Zodiac
  • Almost

Credits for The Trouble With Girls

  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
  • Produced by Lester Welch
  • Directed by Peter Tewksbury
  • Screenplay by Arnold and Lois Peyser
  • Based on a story by Mauri Grashin, Day Keene, and Dwight Babcock
  • Based on a novel by Day Keene and Dwight Babcock
  • Photographed in Metrocolor and Panavision by Jacques Marquette
  • Music by Billy Strange
  • Released September 3, 1969

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