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Love Me Tender

Love Me Tender(1956)

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The working title of this film was The Reno Brothers. According to Twentieth Century-Fox publicity notes contained in the production files at the AMPAS Library, the film was initially conceived as a post-Civil War story without songs. Once internationally popular rock and roll idol Elvis Presley was cast as the younger brother, however, four songs, including Love Me Tender, were worked into the script. RCA-Victor was so impressed with Presley's rendition of that song that it decided to release it as a single prior to the opening of the film. After Presley sang the ballad on the Ed Sullivan Show, Fox decided to retitle the film Love Me Tender. Love Me Tender marked Presley's screen debut.
       Although most reviewers were critical of Presley's acting abilities, the film was so popular that it recouped its cost just two weeks after its national release, setting a record, according to a November 1956 Hollywood Reporter news item. A September 1952 Hollywood Reporter news item states that Robert L. Jacks was originally to produce the picture. Although a Hollywood Reporter news item places John Epper and Tom McDonough in the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed.