“My heart aches with love for you”
Clambake was released October 18th,1967 and was directed by Arthur Nadel. This musical stars Elvis alongside Bill Bixby and Shelley Fabares yet again. In Japan, the film was under the title Blue Miami. Though the movie was set in Florida, much of the footage was shot in California. There were some bloopers surrounding this including boats in the boat garage have numbers CF (for California) and not FL (Florida). During some of the filming you can see California mountains in the background and with the ocean being on opposite sides of the states, it made it not seem like Florida.
There were numerous delays in the production of the film. Clambake was the last film in which he demanded a $1 million salary. The movie was a flop at the box office and with Elvis’s desire to do more serious films, the studios were no longer wanting to give him a seven-figure paycheck for his performances.
During the timing of the filming, Elvis was growingly upset over the quality of films he was in. This lead to him over eating and his weight went from 170lbs to 200lbs. One of the movie studio executives ordered Elvis to lose weight and this introduced him to diet pills. This time in his life was when Elvis was becoming more interested in the religious studies and spirituality. He began reading a lot and Colonel Tom Parker felt this was a distraction for Elvis with his performance in the film and he ordered the singer to not read any books while the film was being finished. There was another halt in production for 2 weeks when Elvis fell and hit his head at his mansion, which resulted in a mild concussion.
Elvis stars as Scott Heyward who happens to be rebelling against the plans of his father. His father is Duster Heyward (James Gregory) who happens to be an extremely rich oil tycoon. Scott decides to leave his family and drive to Florida to find himself. During a stop for gas, he meets Tom Wilson (Will Hutchins). Tom is traveling to Florida himself to take a job as a waterski instructor located at a Miami hotel. Scott and Tom make small talk and gives Scott an idea to switch identities with Tom. The purpose is so he can see how an ordinary person is treated compared to a millionaire. Tom stays at the same hotel pretending he is rich.
Hotel guest Dianne Carter (Fabares) who needs lessons the minute Scott arrives at the hotel as the employer. Once they are in the water, Dianne proves that she is an expert skier. She is attempting to get the attention of wealthy playboy James J. Jamison III (Bixby). Dianne confesses to Scott that she is a gold digger thinking he is one as well. Scott decides to help Dianne get Jamison, but of course ends up falling for her.
A House That Has Everything
After much persuasion to a boat builder, Scott is able to rebuild the Rawhide in order to compete in the annual Orange Bowl race. Jamison won that same race the last three years. Scott sends for “goop”, which is an experimental coating that hopefully fixes major flaws. The issue here is the “goop” loses his strength in the water. There is no time to test how it will be in the water, Scott applies it to the boat and hopes it holds the Rawhide together. Because he acquired the “goop”, Scott’s father learns of his location and comes to tell his son how proud he is of him.
Hey Hey Hey
You Don’t Know Me
(I love this song. Scott sings this knowing Dianne has feelings for him, but because she is an open gold digger she will never truly love Scott for who he is.)
In the meantime, Jamison proposes to Dianne. Scott barges into the room before Dianne can give an answer, but Jamison tells Scott they will be married after he wins the race. During the race, Jamison’s boat, Scarlet Lady, takes the lead, but not long after Scott passes him at the finish line. Dianne decides she’s going to leave and Scott offers her a ride. During their drive, he hands her an engagement ring stating he bought it with the winnings from the race. Dianne is insistent that Scott takes back the ring so they can use the money for other things and agrees to marry him. Because of this, Scott confesses who she really is. She does not believe him until he shows her his driver’s license and the film ends with her fainting in the passenger seat of Scott’s convertible.
I always had a soft spot for this movie. I liked how the film is light hearted when I was younger and it was a really nice movie to watch before bed. Also, I remember this movie being the reason I can spell the word confidence thanks to the song Elvis sang to the children at the playground. That, and I just love Shelley Fabares. She was my favorite leading lady to an Elvis movie and they had great chemistry.