ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Film Review: G.I. Blues

Updated on December 10, 2015
Film Frenzy profile image

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


In 1960, Norman Taurog released G.I. Blues, starring Elvis Presley, Juliet Prowse, Robert Ivers, James Douglas, Leticia Román, Sigrid Maier, Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana, Arch Johnson, Kenneth Becker, Carl Crow, Beach Dickerson, Fred Essler, Mickey Knox, and The Jordanaires. The film grossed $4.3 million at the box office, reaching #2 on the Variety weekly national box office chart in 1960 as well as winning the 2nd place Laurel Award in the category of Top Musical of 1960. Screenwriters Edmund Beloin and Henry Garson were also nominated by the Writers Guild of America for the category of Best Written American Musical and the film itself was nominated for the Grammy Awards for Best Soundtrack, Album and Best Vocal Performance, Album, Male. The film shares a name with one of the quests found in the video game Fallout: New Vegas.


Tulsa McLean, US Army Specialist 5 serving with the 3rd Armored Division in West Germany is a tank crewman with a singing career and has dreams of running his own nightclub following his time in the army. Having formed a band with his friends, performing in various nightclubs, Tulsa makes a bet that his friend can spend the night with a club dancer to raise money for his dream. However, the friend he made the bet with soon gets transferred to Alaska and he must go through with it in his stead.


Though an entertaining film, G.I. Blues is only moderately decent and really too silly for its own good, showing that sometimes being self-aware really isn’t a good thing for a film. It’s got some good ideas, but has poor execution, such as the first nightclub scene, where Tulsa and his friends are singing. One person thinks it’s a good idea to turn on the jukebox, which will play over the performance. Initially, that would be a good idea to start some conflict, but it’s really the song choice, “Blue Suede Shoes,” that takes away the enjoyability of the scene. Though some of Presley’s other films had a bit of self-awareness about them, with his character rising to become a musical star, this one practically falls flat as it just seems like it was tailor made to star nobody but Presley and cater it specifically toward his time in the service. Those other films might have been the same, catered and written specifically for Presley, but they didn’t have that feeling, instead giving off a vibe of trying to tell a good story before it tried to show off its main star. The “Jailhouse Rock” sequence in the film of the same name was great, yes, but the sequence was after the story established itself.

There’s also incredibly obvious plot points, such as the films spending an inordinate amount of time on Lili’s first dancing scene, as if to tell the audience that the girl they’re watching is so integral to the story that they’re going to keep her dance going for as long as possible, even after it’s worn out its welcome. There’s also the bet. The ethical implications of placing a bet on whether or not a guy can get a girl to spend the night with him aside, the bet is made with Dynamite as the person who has to get her to spend the night with him. The film stars Presley and it’s blatantly clear that before the film is over, Dynamite is going to be taken out of the way in order for Presley to get the girl. Cue Dynamite getting transferred to Alaska. But at least Tulsa didn’t get the girl on his own, having to get help from two other characters’ baby son, Tiger.

In everything though, Presley does give a good acting performance, continuing to show growth from his theatrical debut back in Love Me Tender. It could be due to the fact that he’s back in his element, portraying a character with a singing career, but even so, he does a fine job. While the scene where someone puts one of his songs on the juke box is pretty silly for its own good, his bewilderment that someone would try and ruin their show comes off as very believable. And even though it’s an obvious turn of events that can be seen from the beginning of the bet, he acts well as someone who has apprehensions about taking over the bet after Dynamite is transferred, but decides to go through with it.

2 stars for G.I. Blues

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


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, 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:

    Show Details
    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 or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    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)
    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.
    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)