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Paramount Studios presents
Fun in Acapulco (1963)

"They used to call him Flying Windgren. Now they just call him gallina—chicken."
- Moreno (Alejandro Rey)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: January 22, 2003

Stars: Elvis Presley, Ursula Andress, Elsa Cardenas, Paul Lukas, Alejandro Rey, Larry Domasin
Other Stars: Howard McNear, Teri Hope, Charles Evans, Alberto Morin, Teri Garr
Director: Richard Thorpe

MPAA Rating: PG for (mild thematic elements)
Run Time: 01h:36m:49s
Release Date: January 07, 2003
UPC: 097363746348
Genre: musical

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C C-BA- D-

DVD Review

Elvis movies are notoriously thin on plot, and Fun in Acapulco is even weaker than most in this respect. Much of the time here is spent on bogus local color, and the rest is taken up by eleven songs, none of which is particularly memorable.

This time out, Elvis is Mike Windgren, who loses his job aboard a boat and has to support himself in Acapulco. He is aided by the entrepreneurial little boy Raoul Almeido (Larry Domasin), who acts as manager getting Mike singing jobs around town. Mike also romances a woman bullfighter, Dolores Gomez (Elsa Cardenas) and an Iron Curtain refugee duchess, Marguerita Dauphin (Ursula Andress). But Marguerita's high-diving boyfriend Moreno (Alejandro Rey) doesn't approve, taunting Mike with his fear of heights derived from a circus accident.

The songs are all tinged with a Mexican flavor, but many of them also mimic more successful Elvis tunes. Weirdly enough, he is often backed by a group of mariachis singing doowop. The result has the prepackaged effect that strips much of an Elvis picture of whatever little fun it has to offer. Elvis' character is strangely unsympathetic this time around; he not only takes hours away from Moreno at his job as lifeguard and steals his girlfriend, but he injures Moreno's shoulder just before he's supposed to make a big dive for some important astronaut guests. This can hardly have been what Elvis' fans were hoping to see here.

Elvis is in good voice, though he only actually dances in one tune. He's not really playing anything of a stretch here beyond his usual character. Domasin is hugely annoying in a cloying Dondi sort of role. Cardenas is stiff to the extreme and Andress seems to want to be somewhere, anywhere, else. One mild highlight is Teri Hope as the jailbait daughter of the yacht owner, who engineers Elvis' dismissal. She's pert, vicious and completely nasty. Veteran actor Paul Lukas is mostly wasted in a thankless role as Andress' chef father.

The end result is a little bit of froth that's moderately entertaining, but not especially meritorious in any respect. The film features some truly wretched bluescreen effects and poor stunt double work that hardly resembles Elvis. For Elvis devotees only.

Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: C-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The anamorphic widescreen picture has generally good color and detail throughout. The source print is in excellent condition, with only the occasional speckle. For the most part it looks like it was shot recently. There is some mild ringing and aliasing present, and the water often has a digital appearance. But otherwise it looks fine.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, Frenchyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Two English-language selections are provided: both the original mono, and a 5.1 remix. Both sound quite nice indeed, with the 5.1 version obviously having a broader soundstage. However, there's no hiss or noise present on either track, and the mono has a surprising depth and presence to it. A somewhat brighter French mono track is also included. No, there's no Spanish track despite the obvious thematic link.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Other than English subtitles, there's nothing at all. The chaptering is adequate.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

A weaker than usual entry in the Elvis canon, with a good audio transfer and an acceptable video transfer. Nothing at all for extras, though.


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