Stay Away, Joe (1968)


“My dreams are there, where the eagle flies”

Released March 8th, 1968 was Stay Away, Joe. This western-comedy was set in modern times. It was based on the 1953 novel by Dan Cushman. The screenplay for this film was actually adapted from a failed Broadway musical Whoop-Up. Directed by Peter Tewsbuy and produced by Douglas Laurence, this film was released by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. Though for the film, Elvis was paid $850,000 plus 40% of the profits, the film made $1.5 million at the box office.

Stay Away, Joe

Elvis stars as Joe Lightcloud (Probably never saw that coming right?), who is a Native American and happens to also be a rodeo rider. He’s a Navajo and his family still lives on the reservation. Once he returns home, Joe decides drives the cattle with his Cadillac convertible because he needs to make a scene. (I can honestly see Elvis doing that in real life). Wanting to prove that Navajos can successfully raise cattle on the reservation, Joe asks the Congressman to give him 20 heifers and a prize bull. Bargaining that if the experience is a success, the government will help all the Navajo since they would be worthwhile after. Joe sells the heifers to fix issues in their house and his friend Bronc Hoverty (L.Q. Jones) barbecues the prize bull, on accident. As a result, they are out on their bargain unless Joe can find a new solution.

All I Neede Was The Rain

With this issue, Joe borrows a bull which has no interest in the heifers. Joe is constantly getting in trouble with girls, and Mamie Callahan is no excuse to that. Mamie cannot seem to stay away from Joe, and her shotgun caring father is not too thrilled. Still in need of money, organizes a contest in which the riders have to stay on the bull he is currently borrowing, Dominick. With his skilled riding, Joe wins the contest and receives the money. He then gets into a fight and destroys the house they have been raising money to fix. Joe creates more problems than he does solutions, which is why everyone seems to want him to stay away.

Stay Away

I have owned this movie for years, maybe 10 or more. That being said, I believe I have watched this movie 2 or 3 times (compared to Viva Las Vegas where I have lost count completely). It is not my favorite, but I always thought it was insane how dark they made Elvis for this film. They really used a lot of makeup on him to get him as dark as his family members in the film. Makes me wish I had a beautiful suntan now.


Little Sister

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