I feel like I’ve been getting a lot of cosmic signs from the universe lately that I need to spend some time thinking about Elvis, so I have been watching a lot of Elvis movies lately (and reading Elvis biographies and listening to Elvis and music tangential to Elvis). Elvis was extremely stylish, impossibly good looking and could wear clothes like no other rock star really ever could. Most of his movies revolve around him being surrounded by extremely hot babes, so there is plenty of fashion inspiration to be found in them. I probably will be doing more than one Fashion in Film feature on Elvis movies for this reason.
As I was perusing his filmography one day, I stumbled on the trailer for Tickle Me (1965). The trailer tries to sell you on the idea of Elvis as a champion rodeo rider (saloon crooner by night) but you don’t get to see him ride a horse or a bull at much at all. That’s because this is really a movie about Elvis working on a weight loss ranch for models and celebrities.
When I was watching the trailer for Tickle Me, I thought to myself “Why on earth is there a remote ranch populated only by beautiful young women in bikinis and Elvis?”. That was a silly question! Of course, it was a weight loss ranch, and it is explained early on that this weight loss ranch is for models and celebrities only. So a weight loss ranch for women who don’t need to lose weight at all. Makes sense. It’s a perfect excuse for Elvis to be surrounded by perfect 10s.
There is some business about buried treasure and a haunted hotel with some Scooby Doo level hi-jinks. Jocelyn Lane plays Elvis’s love interest and she is adorable. There are two scenes where she wears chic pajamas and one scene where she wears a to-die-for split orange and yellow dress. Elvis wears all these fantastic pastel western shirts and pants, and no one could make them look as good as he did. At the ranch, they drive these cool pastel Jeeps to get around. This was a movie Elvis made in a hurry to pay off some debts to the IRS and it shows, but you know what…it’s still a really fun movie! All of the musical bits were great, Elvis really inhabits his persona in these. One of the early scenes where he sings at a saloon and drives all of the women wild to the chagrin of their male companions is probably my favorite. I think what I most enjoyed was that this was a movie made on the premise of Elvis working at a weight loss ranch for models and celebrities, a premise so absurd and delightful that this movie could not possibly disappoint me.
Tickle Me (1965) can be rented on iTunes or Amazon for your viewing pleasure.