ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Film Review: Fun in Acapulco

Updated on April 3, 2016
Film Frenzy profile image

Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.

Background

In 1963, Richard Thorpe released Fun in Acapulco which starred Elvis Presley, Ursula Andress, Elsa Cardenas, Paul Lukas, Larry Domasin, Alejandro Rey, Robert Garricart, Teri Hope, Genaro Gomez, Red West and Teri Garr. The film grossed $3.1 million at the box office and reached #5 on the Variety weekly chart and #33 overall for the year while becoming the top grossing movie musical of the year. It was also the last Presley film released before the Beatles came to the United States.

Synopsis

Acapulco boat worker Mike Windgren gets fired from his job due to the boat owner’s daughter and a young Mexican boy helps him get a job as a lifeguard and singer at a local hotel. However, tempers flare when Mike comes across a rival lifeguard: the champion diver of Mexico and he’s angry at Mike for taking some of his hours and stealing the heart of his girlfriend.

Review

Released in the middle of that period when Presley was making two movies per year, Fun in Acapulco is one of those films that caters more to those diehard fans of his films rather than a majority of the general public. The plot generally hits all the notes that the usual Presley films hit, him starting off high on life only to crash and become in need of a way to get back on top and when he easily finds a way back up, his character gets involved in a love triangle and he has to pacify a rival guy. Interestingly, it hits said notes rather well for the kind of films that Presley had been in, but it wouldn’t have nearly done as well had the film been anything other than Presley vehicle. It makes it so while the film isn’t very good in and of itself, it’s got a certain personality due to who it was made for. Granted, some of Presley’s films lacked that personality and were even worse for it. This isn’t one of those films.

However, while the plot hits the usual notes, it’s pretty clear that Presley was starting to get burnt out in his filmmaking career at this point. His acting here ranges from passably mediocre to him practically phoning it in at various points. It seems one of the more notorious points seems to be when Mike is meeting Raoul and gets the boy to help him get a job at the hotel. From an acting standpoint, it’s pretty clear that Presley’s mind wasn’t fully on the project and it felt like there were many other places that he would rather have been. Notably, the other actors in the film do pretty decent jobs and are able to mask Presley’s apathy to the best of their ability.

Still though, the music in the film is done well, showing that even when he wasn’t truly into making these films, his true passion in making music never really died. As with many of Presley’s films, the soundtrack is one of the best parts of the film and when it came to the points where Presley had to make it look like he was singing, they were done pretty well, even if he was just going through the motions in his acting.

Mike’s characterization is also a good aspect to the film in terms of character growth. He starts off the film trying to escape his past as a circus performer whose career ended when he was the reason his partner was injured during a trapeze act. This notably gave Mike a substantial fear of heights that feels very realistic due to the source of said fear. However through the film, as he goes toe to toe with his rival, entertains the affections of Margarita and Dolores, and entertains the hotel crowd with his songs, Mike is able to keep his past a secret until the aforementioned rival found out and gets Mike to perform a 100 plus foot dive off the La Quebrada cliffs. However, the growth comes in during the climax when he’s set to perform the dive and eventually is able to after overcoming his fear. While a character overcoming their fears has been done much better in other films, it’s able to succeed here due to it being a Presley vehicle.

3 stars for Fun in Acapulco

the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent WNI's positions, strategies or opinion

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)