I saw this film yesterday for the first time. "Bravo" was running a special on Elvis films. I never knew Elvis had a film which included a performance of the "back in the day" very controversial, rythmn and blues nugget "Little Egypt." This song joins the list of other worthy but rarely released collector's items including "I'm yours" and the seemingly very personal, prophetic rocker "One broken heart for sale". The film also showcased an enjoyable performance of the tune "Hard knocks" which I had never heard before.
Then there's the cut-up characters; including the usual barking but good hearted Barbara Stanwyck, Pat Buttram (best remembered as "Haney" from Green Acres), and Leif Erickson, the "mute on the subject" ex-husband of doomed actress Frances Farmer. Frances mentioned in her patchwork autobiography "Will there really be a morning," that she had sung an earlier version of what was eventually to become an Elvis' song on the Ed Sullivan show after her final release from a psychiatric facility; "I ended up singing 'Aura Lee,' my song from "Come and get it." "It had more value to the public for Elvis Presley had made a success of it under the title "Love me tender." In addition, it would be interesting to know who the "Little Egypt" dancer was and where Teri Garr is located in the line-up of chorus girls. Semi-secretive "Adam 12" star Kent McCord is listed by IMDB as having had three uncredited appearances in Elvis' films: "Kissin' Cousins," "Viva Las Vegas" and "Roustabout." Then there's Elvis himself in black leather with his bad boy persona; presumably one his most popular characterizations as this picture is surprisingly at present give or take in the top 20 of most of Elvis' Amazon film listings.
Someone mentioned Raquel Welch's appearance during the "tea room scene" had been edited out of the DVD release. Years ago I saw Mae West's "I'm no angel" at a public library showing and later when I bought the video, it seemed to have been shortened as well. Ironically, Mae was rumored to have been offered the role of "Maggie Morgan" in this film. I remember reading somewhere along the way that Fellini wanted to use her in "Satyricon" as well, suggesting that her decades long seclusion from the silver screen may have been a highly selective choice rather than a run of bad luck. Watching these "highly controversial" performers in their element today makes their performances seem as though Ms. West was correct in her assessment "...much ado about nothing;" so why the editing?
All in all, "Roustabout" proved to be a very interesting and pleasant surprise!