Blue Hawaii | 1961

102 min. | color | Paramount | released: november 22, 1961

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After a two-year stint in the army, Chad Gates (Elvis), returns home to Hawaii to resume his career as a beach bum. Mother and Father Gates (Angela Lansbury and Roland Winters) have other plans for their son, including working for dad at the Greater Hawaiian Fruit Company. Desperate not to be “the boss’ son,” Chad becomes a tourist guide at the travel agency, where his girlfriend Maile (Joan Blackman, who also played Elvis’s love interest in “Kid Galahad”) works. This gives the filmmakers an excuse to film the characters doing stereotypical Hawaiian activities in beautiful Hawaiian locations, while going easy on the plot. Although this may seem like a complaint, “Blue Hawaii” is one of Elvis’s better vehicles.

Chad is hired to chaperone sexy school teacher Abigail Prentice (Nancy Walters) and four of her teenaged girl students from the mainland. One of the girls, Ellie (Jenny Maxwell), has a chip on her shoulder about her rich parents not loving her enough, and lashes out at Chad and the other girls. After Ellie inappropriately flirts with an older, drunken tourist (Steve Brodie), Chad gets into a fist fight with the guy, ends up in jail and is fired from the travel agency. Maile and Chad decide to go into the travel business for themselves. Abigail and the girls sign up to finish their stay with the new travel agency and after a couple of standard romantic misunderstandings and a melodramatic scene where Chad spanks Ellie (to show people really do care about her), Chad and Maile are married.