Spinout lives up to its poster's tag line: No brakes on the fun.">
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Warner Home Video presents
"Look, I'm not marrying you, I'm not marrying her, I'm not marrying anybody! I'm staying single! Single! SINGLE! SINGLE! SINGLE! SINGLE!"
DVD ReviewLike the Calvary charging in to make a rescue, Spinout could not have come along at a better time for its star, Elvis Presley. After three consecutive films (Harum Scarum, Paradise Hawaiian Style, Frankie and Johnny) containing little or no rock and roll that ranked with the weakest of his oeuvre, along came a flick that didn't exactly break the King out of a stereotypical rut , but it was a step in the right direction back to the kind of flick his fans loved.
In "Elvis movie plot variation 2,678", Tupelo's favorite son plays Mike McCoy, a happily single racecar driver, and, dig this kiddies, he sings, too! Crisscrossing the countryside with bandmates Curly (Jack Mullaney), Larry (Jimmy Hawkins), and Les (Deborah Walley), life couldn't be better for this confirmed rock and roll bachelor—until the afternoon before the final gig of a weeklong stay in Santa Barbara.
Run off the road by an overzealous fan while taking his prized racing car out for an afternoon drive, it's a wonder Mike makes it to the local club in time, much less in one piece. Following the end of the show while his accompanying trio pack up to head to the next town, McCoy is approached by Howard Foxhugh (Carl Betz), millionaire businessman and owner of Foxhugh Motors, not to plug his cars, but to arrange a private performance for his daughter's birthday. Mike say thanks but no thanks, even after the magnate offers a $5,000 fee for his services. Not the kind of man to take no for an answer, Howard manages to cancel the quartet's tour with an offer to reschedule should they reconsider. With little choice but to proceed, they set up shop in Foxhugh's living room and prepare to meet the little brat, who turns out to be the same girl that ran McCoy off the road: Cynthia (Shelley Fabres), a gorgeous brunette who only has eyes for her favorite singer. But an angry Mike doesn't return her affection and she bursts into tears. Tenderhearted underneath his free-soul veneer, he comforts Cyn and before long, huggin' turns to kissin'.
Hightailing out the door, he has another A-HA(!) moment with renowned author Diana St. Clair (Diane McBain), yet another bachelorette looking to change her marital status. Having met Mike the night before at the combo's campsite and enlightening him on her forthcoming book "The Perfect American Male", Mike learns that he's the kind of man that embodies the title. With two women on his trail and a big race to concentrate on, Mike doesn't need any more distractions, but little does he know that rhythm-keeper, Les, is harboring more than a secret crush on her boss. How could he not see it? She snarls at every advance Diana and Cynthia make, always has warm cooked meals and desserts ready for partaking, knows how to pound those skins and is cuter than a ward full of babies.
So, will Mike give up the road in exchange for the hand of one of these comely cuties? You'll have to wait for our singing racer to cross the finish line to find out.
With favorite director Norman Taurog behind the camera, the best set of songs to surround a Presley musical in quite a while (including the rollicking Stop, Look and Listen, which boasts perhaps the wildest guitar lick on any Elvis song, the Bo Diddley-flavored Never Say Yes and the flirty Smorgasboard) and the best supporting cast the King ever had full of familiar faces from past films (Hawkins and Fabres from Girl Happy, Mullaney from Tickle Me), eventual returnees in future movies like Will Hutchins from Clambake, Dodie Marshall in Easy Come, Easy Go) and popular television/movie performers from the '60s (Betz of Donna Reed Show reuniting with TV daughter Fabres, Diane McBain from Surfside 6, and my personal favorite of all of Elvis' female co-stars, beach movie mainstay and one time Gidget Deborah Walley, who could not be more adorable as Les.
Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B+
Image Transfer Review: At first glance, I must admit I was a little disappointed with this transfer, wanting it to be miles ahead of the muted colors I became used to via many television broadcasts. But after reviewing parts of it a second time, I think I was expecting too much. Save for the odd pinkish skin tones here and there, this is a very good presentation, with nice, but not overblown, unnatural colors. Very nice print quality, too that aids in a extremely film-like presence.
Image Transfer Grade: B+
Audio Transfer Review: Not as robust as I would have preferred, but a very listenable 1.0 mono track. Dialogue comes off well and the musical numbers sound impressive considering the limitations of its vintage.
Audio Transfer Grade: B
Disc ExtrasStatic menu
Scene Access with 27 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Thai with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Double Trouble, Speedway, The Trouble with Girls
Packaging: Keep Case
Extras Review: A collection of trailers from other Elvis movies is the only extra. With a few of the film's co-stars still around, I don't see why Warner couldn't have ponied up a little dough and provided a featurette on the making of the film. But at least fans are no longer All Shook Up about this 1966 film being unavailable on DVD.
Now, what about Girl Happy?
Extras Grade: C
Final CommentsAn absolute favorite among Elvis fans and an incredibly appealing '60s kind-of-movie in its own right, with good tunes, cool racing footage and a grade "A" cast, Spinout lives up to its poster's tag line: No brakes on the fun.
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