When Baz Luhrmann's glitzy Elvis biopic hits theaters, star Austin Butler will become the latest actor to portray the King of Rock and Roll on-screen, following the likes of Don Johnson, Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell and Michael Shannon. But Elvis Presley himself was no stranger to the big screen.
In the late '50s and throughout the '60s, Elvis, already a bona fide rock star, turned his attention to the silver screen, starring in more than 30 feature films in hopes of becoming a movie star like his idols, Marlon Brando and James Dean. The rare dramatic turn aside, most of the movies in which he starred were lighthearted comedies that featured Elvis as a swoon-worthy heartbreaker and included at least one musical number. Which is why you might recognize his film credits for the hit songs that came out of them more than for the movies themselves.
Whether you're new to Elvis the actor or looking to revisit your favorite of his film roles, here is a guide to how you can watch every single movie starring the King of Rock and Roll. Below, a little less conversation and a lot more movies.
Moviegoers were introduced to Elvis in this musical romantic Western, set at the end of the Civil War. The three Confederate Reno brothers rob a Union Army payroll train and head for home, where Vance (Richard Egan) intends to marry his fiancée, Cathy (Debra Paget). But, upon arrival, he discovers that Cathy has already married his youngest brother, Clint (Presley). To complicate things, the U.S. Army knows of the brothers' theft and is hunting them down for the money.
In this musical drama, Elvis plays Deke Rivers, a delivery boy with a unique sound, who becomes a rock and roll star with the help of a publicist (Lizabeth Scott) and a country music bandleader (Wendell Corey). Sound familiar?
In this musical drama, Elvis plays Vince Everett, an inmate serving time for manslaughter whose cellmate (Mickey Shaughnessy) teaches him to play the guitar. After being released, Vince becomes a major rock star, but trouble arrives when his cellmate demands a cut of the action.
Directed by Michael Curtiz, King Creole is widely regarded as the best film Elvis was ever in. In this borderline-noir musical drama, based on the Harold Robbins novel A Stone for Danny Fisher, Elvis delivers one of his finest performances. He plays Danny Fisher, a New Orleans teenage dropout who achieves success as a singer in a Bourbon Street nightclub. It isn't long, however, before he gets mixed up with gangster Maxie Fields (Walter Matthau).
Elvis plays soldier Tulsa McLean, a soldier with hopes of opening a stateside nightclub once he returns home. To raise the funds he needs, he accepts a bet to seduce an icy widow (Juliet Prowse). This was the first film Elvis appeared in after receiving his army discharge.
In this Don Siegel Western, Elvis plays Pacer Burton, son of a white rancher (John McIntire) and his Kiowa wife (Dolores del Río), whose loyalties are tested when the settlers and the tribespeople come into conflict.
Elvis plays delinquent Glenn Tyler, who finds himself on probation after getting into a brawl with his brother. Hope Lange co-stars as the counselor who helps him discover his knack for writing, with Millie Perkins plays his childhood sweetheart.
Nowadays, when most people think of an Elvis movie, they think of a movie like Blue Hawaii, a frothy musical comedy featuring an exotic locale. Although he would go on to star in this type of movie several more times, this was his first time doing so. Elvis plays Chad Gates, an ex-G.I. who returns home to Hawaii wanting nothing more than to hang loose. He rejects a job at his father's fruit company to spend his time with his beach buddies, swimming and surfing. Much to the chagrin of his snobby mother (Angela Lansbury), he begins working as a tour guide with his girlfriend (Joan Blackman). Blue Hawaii features the most popular love song he ever made, "Can't Help Falling in Love."
In this musical romantic comedy, Elvis plays Toby, who winds up marooned in Florida with his father (Arthur O'Connell). When they move into a makeshift home on the beach, they unwittingly ignite a feud with local bureaucrat H. Arthur King (Alan Hewitt).
Playing yet another ex-G.I. in this musical sports drama, Elvis is down-on-his-luck Walter Gulick, who takes a job as a sparring partner at the local gym. The owner (Gig Young) sees potential in him as a professional fighter and take him under his wing. Charles Bronson co-stars as a trainer who's seen it all before, and Joan Blackman plays his love interest.
Elvis plays a skipper named Ross Carpenter, who finds himself caught between two love interests (Laurel Goodwin and Stella Stevens) as he works to earn the $10,000 needed to buy his own boat.
Elvis stars as Mike Edwards, a crop duster who gambles away his plane. To get it back, he must travel to the Seattle World's Fair, where he takes a young girl (Vicky Tiu) under his wing and finds romance with a nurse (Joan O'Brien).
Elvis stars as Mike Windgren, a former trapeze artist who's suffered from vertigo ever since accidentally dropping his partner during a performance. Working as a lifeguard and entertainer at an Acapulco resort, Mike falls in love with the hotel's social director (Ursula Andress).
Elvis plays race-car driver Lucky Jackson, who dreams of winning the Grind Prix. When he falls for a swimming instructor (two-time Oscar nominee Ann-Margret), he's forced to slow down or risk losing everything. Of all the films Elvis starred in, Viva Las Vegas was the highest grossing.
Elvis stars in dual roles as a G.I. officer, Josh, who must convince a look-alike hillbilly cousin, Jodie, to allow the U.S. government to build a missile site on his land. Meanwhile, troops begin moving into the area and are seduced by a host of country beauties.
Elvis plays Charlie Rogers, a coffee shop singer who loses his job after getting into a fight. A highway run-in with Maggie (four-time Oscar nominee Barbara Stanwyck) leads to a job at her traveling carnival. Although his singing becomes a big hit, his attempted romance with Cathy (Joan Freeman) leads to friction with her father (Leif Erickson).
Elvis plays a rock singer, Rusty Wells, who is hired to chaperone a gangster's daughter (Shelley Fabares) on her spring break trip to Fort Lauderdale. When she realizes that Rusty has been paid to keep her out of trouble, she decides to cause some trouble.
Elvis stars as rodeo has-been Lonnie Beale, who starts working at a dude ranch that caters to wealthy women. There, Lonnie gets caught up with a bevy of ladies (including Julie Adams and Jocelyn Lane), and hunts for buried treasure.
Elvis stars as American movie star Johnny Tyronne, who, while promoting his latest film in the Middle East, is kidnapped by a gang of would-be assassins and enlisted to assassinate an Arab king. Johnny attempts to escape his captors while also wooing the beautiful Princess Shalimar (Mary Ann Mobley).
Elvis is Johnny, a riverboat singer and gambler, and Donna Douglas is his girlfriend, Frankie. When a fortune teller predicts that a redhead will bring him good luck, he strikes up with his boss' gal (Nancy Kovack).
Elvis plays singing pilot Rick Richards, who hopes to get his helicopter charter gig off the ground with the help of a friend (James Shigeta). When his pilot's license is jeopardy, Rick must decide whether riches or romance is more important.
Elvis stars as Mike McCoy, a rocker who moonlights as a race-car driver. Mike is the object of affection of an heiress (Shelley Fabares), a writer (Diane McBain) and the drummer for his band (Deborah Walley). Who will he choose?
Elvis plays Lieutenant Ted Jackson, a Navy frogman who moonlights as a nightclub singer. When he discovers sunken treasure during a dive, he thinks he's struck it rich! Dodie Marshall co-stars as his go-go dancing love interest.
Elvis plays singer Guy Lambert, who unknowingly becomes entangled in a botched jewel heist while on tour in Belgium. Annette Day plays a runaway heiress and groupie at the center of it all.
Elvis plays Scott Heyward, the son of a rich oil tycoon, who trades places with a water ski instructor (Will Hutchins) in Florida to see if girls will like him for him. Shelley Fabares plays his love interest, who, ironically, is really hoping to meet a rich man.
Elvis stars as Joe Lightcloud, a mixed-race American Indian rodeo star, who returns to the Navajo reservation where he was raised to help the tribe start a cattle business. Joe takes on a congressman while romancing a local (Quentin Dean).
Elvis adds another race-car driver role to his filmography playing Steve Grayson, who must win back everything after his wayward manager (Bill Bixby) squanders his fortune. His love interest is an IRS agent played by Nancy Sinatra.
Elvis plays photographer Greg Nolan, who finds himself juggling two jobs and a budding relationship with an eccentric model (Michele Carey), who might be the great love of his life or she might end up ruining his life entirely.
In a rare dramatic turn, Elvis plays Jess Wade in this Western. Jess is a former outlaw who is attempting to go straight. When his old gang frames him for a robbery, he sets out to clear his name.
Elvis stars as Walter Hale, the manager of a traveling Chautauqua show in the 1920s, who gets involved in a murder case in a small Iowa town. If that weren't enough, Walter has to deal with the grievances of a woman (Marlyn Mason) attempting to organize a union right under his nose.
In his final film role, Elvis plays Dr. John Carpenter, a physician who partners with a local woman to open a clinic in a rough inner city neighborhood. Unbeknownst to him, the woman, Sister Michelle (Mary Tyler Moore), is actually a nun. Soon Sister Michelle finds herself conflicted between religion and romance.