EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|LOVE ME TENDER (aka: THE RENO BROTHERS) (director: Robert D. Webb; screenwriters: Robert Buckner/from a story by Maurice Geraghty; cinematographer: Leo Tover; editor: Hugh S. Fowler; music: Lionel Newman; cast: Richard Egan (Vance Reno), Debra Paget (Cathy), Elvis Presley (Clint Reno), William Campbell (Brett Reno), Mr. Siringo (Robert Middleton), Mike Gavin (Neville Brand), Martha Reno (Mildred Dunnock), James Drury (Ray Reno), Bruce Bennett (Major Kincaid), L.Q. Jones (Pardee Fleming).; Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: David Weisbart; 20th Century Fox; 1956)|
debut film and only time billed as a supporting
by Dennis Schwartz
Elvis's debut film and only time billed as a
supporting actor. It's a routine Western that blends
in music (4 songs, including hit record title song
sung by a wriggling Elvis) and melodrama. The result
was this cheapie, shot in black and white, that lucked
out in casting Elvis, whose singing popularity
propelled the film into a tremendous box office hit
despite critics downgrading his performance and giving
the film a rotten review. The studio renamed it from
its original title The Reno Brothers after Elvis's
record was a hit before the movie release. Director
Robert D. Webb ("Beneath the 12-Mile
Reef"/"The Glory Brigade"/"The Proud Ones") directs in
a workmanlike manner, as writer Robert Buckner
adopts Maurice Geraghty' story.
In April 10 1865 at the
Greenwood, Louisiana, train station, the three Reno
brothers, Vance (Richard Egan), Brett (William
Campbell) and Ray
(James Drury), are part of a
Confederate squad on a mission to rob a Union payroll
train, not knowing the war is over. When the Rebels
learn the war is over, they decide to keep it as the
spoils of war and evenly split the stolen money and
immediately return to their homes. The three brothers
return to their Texas ranch, where the oldest brother
Vance plans to marry his attractive sweetheart
neighbor Cathy (Debra Paget). But the Reno family
received an army letter that Vance was killed in
action and Cathy marries the youngest Reno brother
Clint (Elvis Presley), who stayed home to run the
ranch for their widowed mom (Mildred Dunnock).
The brothers hide the
stolen payroll in their barn and refuse to return it,
even after a Pinkerton man (Robert Middleton) and the Yanks contact them
a few months later and offer proof that they have the
loot. When jailed, Vance works out a deal with the
Pinkerton man to return the money and have the charges
dropped, but a jail break occurs.
Things get complicated, and
Clint flips out with jealousy when learning from
Vance's fellow Rebels that Cathy really loves Vance.
Clint gets shot and to avoid a bleak ending, Clint
later reappears as a ghost to sing again the title
song as the family walks away from his grave.
REVIEWED ON 6/4/2013 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ