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The swinging sixties were a time of great confusion in Hollywood and a perfect example of that is Live a Little, Love a Little (1968), Elvis Presley's 28th movie. For the first time, you see a studio wrestling with the dilemma of trying to make Elvis relevant to the new, emerging pop culture. Based on the novel, Kiss My Firm But Pliant Lips by Dan Greenburg, Live a Little, Love a Little presents a hipper Elvis more in keeping with the permissive times. That means he gets to moonlight as a Playboy Magazine-type photographer while also working for a conservative advertising agency. He also gets to use some mild cuss words and break a former Elvis taboo which was never to show Elvis in bed with his leading lady. Another sign of the times are groovy visual touches here and there like a surrealistic dream sequence to the tune of "Edge of Reality," a fantasy sequence with a talking dog, and a nifty snapshot montage of Elvis in the sea.
During the filming of Live a Little, Love a Little, Elvis got the bum rush from two little old ladies on a Los Angeles street. He was literally knocked off his feet as the pair pushed past him to get autographs from their idol, Elvis's co-star Rudy Vallee. The famous crooner from the thirties is best remembered for his theme song, "My Time is Your Time" and his amusing performance in Preston Sturges' The Palm Beach Story.
Live a Little, Love a Little marked the second appearance of Vernon Presley, Elvis' father, as a background extra. His other cameo was in Loving You. Another interesting tidbit involves guitarist and composer Mac Davis. His composition, "A Little Less Conversation," was one of the standout musical numbers in the film and was used again in Elvis' 1968 TV comeback special later that year. Davis went on to write some major hits for Elvis, including "In the Ghetto" and "Don't Cry, Daddy."
Director: Norman Taurog
Cast: Elvis Presley, Michele Carey, Don Porter, Rudy Vallee, Dick Sargent, Sterling Holloway, Eddie Hodges
by Jeff Stafford