It Happened at the World’s Fair (review)

Get new reviews in your email in-box or in an app by becoming a paid Substack subscriber or Patreon patron.

What happened at the world’s fair? Not much, as it turns out. Elvis Presley has a date with an adorably precocious seven-year-old Asian girl, falls in love with a nurse who’s somewhat older, breaks into song at the slightest provocation, applies for the budding astronaut program, and gets kicked in the shins (not once but twice!) by a little tough played by a grade-school Kurt Russell. Russell would grown up to play not only Elvis himself but also an Elvis impersonator, both of whom were probably better approximations of an actual human being than the cardboard-cutout King here. With the flimsiest of plots and the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair as a backdrop — the Space Needle! the monorail! trés moderne! — this is basically a series of strung-together music videos for such tunes as “One Broken Heart for Sale,” “Happy Ending,” “Relax,” “I’m Falling in Love Tonight,” and six other justly forgotten Elvis ditties. (The DVD features a beautiful widescreen transfer, but the sound is vintage early-60s mono.) A bizarre little film, strictly for Elvis completists.

share and enjoy