What King Creole has Taught me

Things I learned rewatching King Creole:

Good girls are boring and whingey even if they do look a bit like Jennifer Lynn Barnes who is not in the least bit boring and knows more about monkeys than you do.

Bad girls are cynical and sad and usually dead by the end of the movie and may wind up in the Addams Family.

Walter Matthau is a very bad man.

Elvis’ hair gets messed up easily, this means he is virile but not bad, even if he accidentally kills someone.

It is not a good sign for a movie with not many songs if all the bits when people aren’t singing are boring.

Movies that were your favourite when you were little may turn out to only have1 camp value when you watch them as an adult. This may not be a bad thing. Especially if the songs are good.

Rewatched any movies lately that weren’t the way you remembered them?

  1. Yes, I split that infinitive on purpose. Because I can. []


  1. James on #

    Jen Lynn Barnes knows more about EVERYTHING than I do.

  2. Jude on #

    Movies, no, although I watch about 6 movies a week. Books, yes. I loved Catcher in the Rye as a teen, in my twenties, thirties, and forties, but when I re-read it in my 50s, it no longer spoke to me. I found that fascinating.

  3. Justine on #

    Jude: I had the same experience with Catcher in the Rye. Loved it as teen. Found it self-involved, whingey dreck when I re-read it in my 20s. Haven’t tried it since. Don’t wanna!

    Don’t get me wrong self-involved is pretty much compulsory for most first person narratives. I have nothing against it. The protags of my last two books (HTDYF & Liar) are plenty self-involved. But Holden is self-involved beyond mere self-involved.

  4. BC Woods on #

    I recently saw “Teen Wolf” again for the first time in years.

    When I was a kid it seemed like a very exciting story of “What if I just woke up one day and was a werewolf?”

    Now it seems like a really anti-gay allegory about how you should suppress you differences in order to conform to the model behavior of society.

    Think about it: its the story of a kid feels weird his whole life, then wakes up one day and discovers that the reason he felt weird was because he was actually a werewolf.

    THEN his father (who is also a werewolf) immediately tells his son to hide the fact that he is a werewolf for his own good. The whole movie repeats the message over and over again that werewolves lead a dangerous lifestyle and are better off trying to pass as human.

    At the end of the movie, everyone has turned against the werewolf, and he has to change back into human form, so he can play basketball with his human teammates who are ironically named “The Beavers.”

    It goes on and on, but I’ll stop there for the sake of trying to sound somewhat sane.

  5. Justine on #

    BC Woods: Wow. That does sound incredibly obvious. Yet you have succeeded in making me want to see Teen Wolf.

  6. BC Woods on #


    You totally should.

    Not many people ever watch it with that viewing in mind, but when you do it becomes incredibly obvious. There’s even a scene where Michael J Fox is turned down for a part in the school play in his regular human form, but gets the part right away once he turns into a “werewolf.”

    When I saw that I said: Well now that’s just lazy and stereotypical.

  7. Rachel on #

    BC: Wow, never thought of that.

    I haven’t had this experience exactly, but I have had the experience of reading *name of book withheld*, getting made fun of by someone for reading it, protesting “But it’s actually really good writing!” and then going back and realizing, um, no it isn’t. Oops.

  8. Sarah on #

    Happens a lot unfortunately.
    Troop Beverly Hills was lotsa fun when I was younger. Ah-herm.
    Mostly it’s the old cartoons though.
    Me = die hard He Man and She-Ra fan. What bloody legends they were. WERE being the operative word. I didn’t remember their arch nemesis having such a lame name as Skelletor. But who am I kidding. HE-man?

    And The Care Bears! And The Smurfs! Captain Planet! Sadly to me, they have not held up to the test of time.

  9. Delia on #

    Movies, not so much–I don’t see a lot of movies, much less re-watch them. But I remember loving “The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew” when I was little, and having my heart broken when I discovered that it’s really, really stupid and badly written sentimental tripe. And a pre-Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoon called Crusader Rabbit (available only in the New York area), which I loved immoderately and bought a video of when I saw it on the shelf. Boring. Repetitive. Not in the least bit funny. Sigh.

    Loved the Elvis clip. Just have to say, though, that if anybody else had used that body language (especially the dangling hand), he would have been called gay, gay, gay. Just goes to show, eh?

  10. Julia Rios on #

    My mother is a big fan of White Christmas, and I grew up seeing that every year. After a few years away from home, I cam back for Christmas with Moss and his mother, who was meeting my mother for the second time ever. my mother found out that Holiday Inn was on TV one night and said we ought to watch it as it was where the song “White Christmas” originally came from. I think I had seen it as a very small child, and remembered it as basically fluffy. So we all sat down… Reader, it had a BLACK FACE routine in it! Oh my god, the mortification. I cannot even tell you. After that when I saw White Christmas in a subsequent year, I realized that there was a lot of not so cool stuff in it, too (though at least in their nostalgia for minstrelsy number, they leave their faces plain). Then I found a white supremacist site touting the goodness of White Christmas for instilling proper values in white supremacist children, and every time I see references to that movie now, I think of that. In spite of all that, I still like it because I know all the songs, and it makes me think of happy Christmases at home.

  11. Mitch Wagner on #

    I love Elvis’s Fonzie hair-combing in the first video.

    I’ve re-watched some of the wisecracking antihero comedies of the 70s and very early 1980s: “Stripes” and “Ghostbusters,” for example. When I was in my 20s, I thought Bill Murray was totally cool in those movies. Now I think he’s just a jerk. In the case of “Ghostbusters,” he seems to have Tourette’s, his comedy seems to consist of saying random, inappropriate things.

    I watched the first few minutes of the movie “M*A*S*H” this morning and commented on Facebook that Hawkeye and his main sidekick (Duke Forrest in the movie rather than Trapper John) just seem like (pardon my strong language here) assholes. I wondered if they seemed that way to the audience when the movie came out, in 1970. A friend said they probably did, that they were the “House” of their era.

    Frank Burns in the movie seems sympathetic. He’s in over his head, but he’s trying.

  12. Mitch Wagner on #

    I just watched a little more M*A*S*H — Frank is no longer sympathetic, he’s a self-righteous jerk.

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