“Momma keep your daughters out of sight, I’m in a loving mood tonight”
This movie was one of my absolute favorites growing up, and still is. Released April 7th, 1965, Girl Happy is an American musical romantic comedy. This film is a beach party film and takes place in Fort Lauderdale, FL during spring break. Although many of the scenes take place outsideand the extras are wearing beach attire and clothing for heat, Elvis wears long sleeves for most of the film.
Though the film took place in Florida, the majority of the filming took place in southern California. There were alternative titles to Girl Happy including The Only Way to Love and Girl Crazy. Starring alongside Elvis was Shelley Fabares. She would go on to be in Spinout and Clambake. Most people know her as Christine Armstrong on the sitcom Coach.
Girl Happy Trailer
Rusty Wells (portrayed by Elvis) is a nightclub singer and just closed an engagement with a club in Chicago. He and his band are packing up to leave for an annual trip to Fort Lauderdale. Big Frank (Harold Stone), the owner of the Chicago nightclub, extends their stay and the band is stuck in Chicago. Rusty gets the bright idea to discuss leaving with Big Frank.
They walk into the office where they hear him discussing a Fort Lauderdale trip with his daughter. Clearly upset he demands no one ever mention the city to him again. The bandmates leave and Rusty is left to ask by himself. Rusty thinks of a plan.
Big Frank hires them to make a trip to Fort Lauderdale and spy on his daughter to ensure she does not get in any trouble.They make the long trip to Fort Lauderdale and Rusty finds that Valerie (Shelley Fabares), Big Frank’s daughter, is very beautiful.
The Meanest Girl In Town
Rusty finds himself interested in Deena (Mary Ann Mobley; also stars alongside Elvis in Harum Scarum). Trying to balance spying on Valerie and a relationship with Deena is not a simple task. Rusty “sacrifices” his vacation to watch over Valerie and ends up falling in love with her.
Puppet On A String
After a phone call with Big Frank, Valerie learns of how Rusty was hired to watch her goes to a nightclub, gets drunk, and ending up in jail. Big Frank arrives in Fort Lauderdale, angry with Rusty, but then sees that he and Valerie have fallen in love and tries to fix the situation. They rekindle their relationship and there is a happy ending once again.
I seriously just love this movie. Growing up, I found Shelley Fabares to be completely adorable. I bought a dress that reminded me of her for my graduation picture. Watching Elvis’s character change and fall in love made me love Elvis so much more. I loved watching beach films like Where the Boys Are, but when it comes to spring break movies, this one is my favorite.
Until we meet again,
TCB and TCE,