Sixties City presents a wide-ranging series of articles on all aspects of the Sixties, penned by the creator of the iconic 60s music paper  Mersey Beat

Elvis Presley - Fun in Acapulco



Directed by Richard Thorpe, who directed ‘Jailhouse Rock’, 'Fun in Acapulco' was Elvis’ 13th movie and was produced by Hal Wallis, who produced nine Elvis films including 'Loving You', 'King Creole', 'G.I. Blues', 'Blue Hawaii', 'Girls! Girls! Girls!', 'Roustabout', 'Paradise Hawaiian Style' and 'Easy Come, Easy Go'. The movie was written by Allan Weiss, who also wrote the scripts for the Elvis movies 'Blue Hawaii', 'Girls! Girls! Girls!', 'Roustabout', 'Paradise Hawaiian Style' and 'Easy Come, Easy Go'.

The members of the cast of the Paramount film included Ursula Andress as Marguerita Dauphin, Elsa Cardenas as Dolores Gomez, Alejandro Rey as Moreno and Larry Domasin as Raoul Almeido. Elvis stars as Mike Windgren, a former trapeze artist in 'The Flying Windgrens' who leaves the circus after an accident in which his partner is seriously injured. He develops acrophobia, a fear of heights, and moves to Mexico. Initially he’s hired as a boat hand, but is sacked when the boss’s teenage daughter lies to her father about him. A young shoeshine boy, Raoul, sees Mike performing in a local tavern and helps him get a job in a hotel where he works as an assistant lifeguard during the day and sings in the hotel at night.

He is resented by the chief lifeguard Moreno, who is also Mexico’s champion diver. When Moreno learns of Mike’s fear of heights he taunts him as a ‘gallina’ (chicken). The two men compete for the attention of Marguerita Dauphin, although Mike also romances a female bullfighter, Dolores Gomez.
When Mike and Moreno engage in a fight, Moreno pretends to be too injured to participate in diving from the famous La Perla cliffs, a height of 136 feet. Mike is then challenged to take the dive in his place and as the time approaches he has visions of his trapeze accident, but finally overcomes his fear and is successful.
Elvis Presley - Fun in Acapulco

Elvis Presley - Fun in Acapulco This was Swiss actress Ursula Andress’ first American film and she was still learning to speak English – while Elvis was trying to learn pronunciation of the Spanish words for some of the songs in the movie. The two stars were also linked romantically off set. She was to say, “They wouldn’t let me wear lipstick or mascara and they put a ribbon in my hair to please the innocent little girls who made up Elvis’ audiences. They wouldn’t even let me wear a proper bikini, saying ‘You can’t show your navel in a Presley picture!’”

All of the scenes with Elvis were filmed in Hollywood and there was a stunt double for the Mexican sequences. The film was released nationally in America on 27th November 1963 and was generally featured on a bill with a reissue of the Kirk Douglas western ‘Last Train From Gun Hill.’

The soundtrack was recorded at Radio Recorders Studio in Hollywood in January 1963. The musicians on the soundtrack were: Elvis Presley, vocals; The Amigos, background vocals; The Jordanaires, background vocals; Scotty Moore, Tiny Timbrell, Barney Kessel, guitar; Ray Siegel, bass; Dudley Brooks, piano; Emile Radocchia, percussion, D.J.Fontana, Hal Blaine, drums; Anthony Terran, Rudolph Loera, trumpets.

The album ‘Fun In Acapulco’ was released on RCA LPM 2576 in December 1963 and all 11 songs from the movie were included, together with two bonus tracks. The album reached No.3 in the Billboard charts with a chart life of 24 weeks.

The track listing was:

Side One: ‘Fun In Acapulco’ by Ben Wiseman and Sid Wayne; ‘Vino Dinero Y Amor’ by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett; ‘Mexico’ by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett; ‘El Toro’ by Bill Grant, Bernie Baum and Florence Kaye; ‘Marguerita’ by Don Robertson; ‘The Bullfighter Was A Lady’ by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett’ ‘No Room To Rhumba In A Sports Car’ by Fred Wise and Dick Manning.
Side Two: ‘I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here’ by Don Robertson and Hal Blair; ‘Bossa Nova Baby’ by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller; ‘You Can’t Say No In Acapulco’ by Dee Fuller, Lee Morris and Sid Feller; ‘Guadalajara’ by Pepe Guizar. The bonus tracks were: ‘Love Me Tonight’ by Don Robertson and ‘Slowly But Surely’ by Ben Wiseman and Sid Wayne. During The Beatles' first American tour they watched this movie in a drive-in in Miami, Florida.

Also see Sixties City pages: Elvis Films




Mersey Beat Magazine Bill Harry attended the Liverpool College of Art with Stuart Sutcliffe and John Lennon and made the arrangements for Brian Epstein to visit The Cavern, where he saw The Beatles for the first time. Bill was a member of 'The Dissenters' and the founder and editor of 'Mersey Beat', the iconic weekly music newspaper that documented the early Sixties music scene in the Liverpool area and is possibly best known for being the first periodical to feature a local band called 'The Beatles'. He has worked as a high powered publicist, doing PR for acts such as Suzi Quatro, Free, The Arrows and Hot Chocolate and has managed press campaigns for record labels such as CBS, EMI, Polydor. Bill is the critically acclaimed author of a large number of books about The Beatles and the 60s era including 'The Beatles Who's Who', 'The Best Years of the Beatles' and the Fab Four's 'Encyclopedia' series. He has appeared on 'Good Morning America' and has received a Gold Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.


Article Bill Harry 2017               Original Graphics SixtiesCity 2017

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