Roustabout DVD : The year was 1964. The miniskirt is in. If you can't Watusi, you can't dance. Cassius Clay (soon to be Muhammad Ali) claims the heavyweight crown. And Elvis is a karate-chopping biker who's hired as a carnival Roustabout. At first he just provides muscle and a diversion for the beautiful carny girls. Then he picks up a guitar and gets the midway rockin'. Looks like this talented tough guy may be what the good-hearted owner (Barbara Stanwyck) needs to save her travelling show from bankruptcy.
After a fracas at the coffee house where he sings, Presley hits the road and lands a job as a handyman at the carnival run by Stanwyck. Presley by any other name still being Presley, it isn't long before he's singing (some 11 songs) and attracting throngs of young people to the carnival to hear him. Of course, he's also attracted the attention of the lovely Freeman, who talks him into returning to the carnival after a fight with a patron sends Presley packing and leaves Stanwyck in big financial trouble. Slightly better than average Presley fare, ROUSTABOUT boasts a better cast than most of the King's films--with Stanwyck's presence lending the production status.
There are recognizable names, though, all the way to the end of the credits--Albertson, Raquel Welch (in her film debut), Kiel, and Barty, as well as Playboy's Miss November of 1958, Staley.
Elvis sings 'Roustabout', 'Poison Ivy League', 'One-Track Heart' (Bill Giant, Bernie Baum, Florence Kaye); 'Little Egypt' (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller); 'Wheels on My Heels', 'It's a Wonderful World' (Sid Tepper, Roy C. Bennett); 'It's Carnival Time' (Ben Weisman, Sid Wayne); 'Carny Town' (Fred Wise, Randy Starr); 'Hard Knocks', 'There's a Brand New Day on the Horizon' (Joy Byers); 'Big Love, Big Heartache' (Dolores Fuller, Lee Morris, Sonny Hendrix).