ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Film Review: Love Me Tender

Updated on November 12, 2015
Film Frenzy profile image

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


In 1956, Robert D. Webb released the western film Love Me Tender, named after the song by Elvis Presley of the same name. Starring Presley, Debra Paget, Richard Egan, Robert Middleton, William Campbell, James Drury, Neville Brand, Mildred Dunnock, Russ Conway, Ken Clark, and Barry Coe, the film grossed $4.5 million at the box office. The first of many films starring Presley, it was originally The Reno Brothers, but advance sales of the single passed one million and the title was changed. It garnered a DVD rerelease in 2006 for its 50th anniversary.


While his three brothers are fighting the Civil War for the Confederate Army, Clint Reno stays home to take care of his mother and the family farm. Mistakenly informed that Clint’s eldest brother, Vance, has been killed, Clint marries his girlfriend Cathy. However, Vance soon returns home and though he accepts the marriage, the family must still struggle for stability. Meanwhile, the US government is trying to find money stolen by Confederate soldiers a day following the war’s end.


Up until this point, Presley had just been a singer, albeit one loved by hordes of teenaged girls. Love Me Tender introduced him to the world of acting. And his performance was actually very good as far as theatrical debuts go. He gives believability to the character of Clint from the time he finds that Vance didn’t actually die as he thought to his decision that he’s going to help his brothers out when they’ve been taken by the officials. Everything from his confusion to his determination and loyalty to his family is realistic.

The film’s story is also really good, intersecting the love triangle between Clint, Vance and Clara and the robbery. For the former, there’s really good familial conflict when Vance discovers that Clint had married his girlfriend. It really does feel that a fight is going to break out, but notably, like a family would do, Vance comes to accept it because his family was acting on faulty information, namely that he was dead. After all, as long as Clara’s in the family, then all is good. As for the latter, where Presley’s acting makes Clint’s determination and loyalty realistic, Clint going off with his brothers’ friends to save them from the federal agents is played out really well. It interestingly demonstrates that while there is conflict and a love triangle between the two of them and Clara, that they’re still family and family sticks up for each other.

And within everything that goes on, Vance gets a pretty good character arc. When first confronted about the missing money, he insists that he and his brothers didn’t steal it and considers taking it as the spoils of war. But as he’s on a train with the federal agents, he starts realizing that with the war ending a day prior to the robbery that maybe it was just plain robbery and not the spoils of war that he thought and decides to cut a deal in order to avoid being incarcerated. It shows that he knows what’s right, but needs a little thinking things through to arrive at that point. And had the train not been held up by Vance’s friends and Clint in order to free them, the film might have had a very different ending.

Speaking of the ending. It’s abrupt, like shoving the film off a cliff in order to end it that way. It makes sense due to Clint having died, the money returned, the brothers acquitted, the other Confederates arrested and the triangle between him, Vance and Clara ending. However, it feels like the climax arriving at the point of Clint’s death was rushing to get to that point and what followed was a rush to close everything out. It had been a pretty tight film prior to that though.

There’s also the songs present throughout the film. Using the title of Presley’s song makes sense for a western, seeing as it’s based off a Civil War Ballad. But even so, the way he sings it and the other songs (“Let Me,” “Poor Boy,” and “We’re Gonna Move”) feel more at home in contemporary 1950s than out on the western range. Further, his rendition of “Poor Boy” features his trademark hip-swivel, which is met with cries of glee. But back in the 1860s, it would have been considered a display of public indecency.

3 stars for Love Me Tender

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


    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)