Strange beginning, in that, there is a scene before the opening credits. The title track is really good, love it. The opening credits shows, what I presume to be, cameos by actual speedway stars (actually, I do recognise Richard Petty). Love the cars they are about to race. If you’re interested in old cars you’ll like them too. Wow, how things have changed.
Unfortunately they have included the silly sounds that the spinning cars make in Hollywoodland (old school Hollywoodland I suppose) really could have done without that. Other than that this race is much improved compared to the race in Viva Las Vegas.
Steve Grayson (Elvis) wins the big race then spins out, but never fear he is fine, well of course he is, otherwise it would be a very short movie. After that Nancy Sinatra shows up at the boys (Elvis and Bill Bixby) trailer. This is Nancy’s final movie before concentrating on her musical career…her album Nancy Sinatra’s Greatest Hits is my absolute favourite album…other than an Elvis album. Give it a listen! Highly recommended.
So in this movie we are back to your stock standard Elvis type of movie, after a small break in formula with Stay Away, Joe. The set where Steve Grayson sings Let Yourself Go, kinda looks like a Batman set. Let Yourself Go is a fantastic song and makes an appearance in the 68 Comeback Special, a spectacular version set in a brothel or bordello.
The little girl who is stealing the hot dogs is supa dupa cute. She takes them outside and is followed by Steve. Where he sees that she is feeding her 4 little sisters. What a lovely scene.
Nancy Sinatra sings Your Groovy Self, she can really hold her own in this movie in relation to singing.
Steve’s manager, Kenny (Bixby) is a sleazy character, his behaviour is borderline (when I say borderline, I am being polite) illegal. He has lied on his taxes and Susan (Sinatra) is an IRA agents sent to investigate.
Another cute scene with all those little girls, Your Time Hasn’t Come Yet Baby, after Steve buys the family a new car. Steve wins a race again, so it’s off to the Drive In A-Go-Go where the girls are dancing in bird cages, and the waitress is crying because her boyfriend can’t afford to marry her…so…Steve pays for everything, again.
Here comes a song, at the IRS, He’s Your Uncle, Not Your Dad, not my favourite song but it does fit the scene. And we get to see Gale Gordon do some high kicks during the dance, before he takes Steve and Kenny into the office for an audit. Where it is found Steve owe $145 000.
All the gifts that Steve has given to everyone has been repossessed by the IRS. Steve goes to see Susan and plead for more money because his manager took all of his money (sounds familiar), an amusing scene from her apartment to the lobby. The janitor has been in absolutely everything even playing Agent #8 in Get Smart.
Steve qualifies for the big race then blows a motor in a crash, cue the fixing car scene…reminiscent of the one in Viva Las Vegas…only lots cuter with those little girls helping by filling their little red cart with car parts.
Car fixed, races car, crashes car just before finish, but manages to get everyone’s presents back to them. So all in good in Elvis Movie Land…The End…after a song…There Ain’t Nothin Like A Song.
Co Stars Alive: Nancy Sinatra YEP
Bill Bixby NOPE
Gale Gordon NOPE
My Favourite Song: Let Yourself Go
Most Popular Song: Speedway
Stay tuned for Day 28 of ELVIS MONTH
1 thought on “ELVIS MONTH Day 27 Speedway (1968)”
Enjoyed your page here a lot, especially all the great photos! I think “Speedway” is the best of Elvis’s later films. Yeah, as you point out the overall plot largely follows the Elvis movie formula, but this movie works it better than most of them. Steve Grayson’s generosity is inspiring, there’s good humor, and the songs are better than in many of Elvis’s films. I agree that “Let Yourself Go” is probably the best, and I like “Your Time Hasn’t Come Yet, Baby” quite much too. I even like the song-and-dance of “He’s Your Uncle, Not Your Dad” that you weren’t so crazy about. Elvis appears to be having a fun time in this film too, unlike some of his other later movies. I read tonight on another website that RCA’s Follow That Dream label may soon issue a 2-CD set of the “Speedway” soundtrack with songs deleted from the movie, alternate takes, and the like, so I wish they’d hurry on that. All in all, “Speedway” is the only one of Elvis’s late ’60s films that I watch repeatedly.