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STUDIO: Warner Home Video
RUNNING TIME: 94 Minutes
• Elvis Trailer Gallery
"Austin Powers meets Elvis’ hips."
Elvis Presley, Nancy Sinatra, Bill Bixby, Gale Gordon, William Schallert
Elvis portrays race car driver Steve Grayson who enjoys the fast lane on and off the track. Life is looking grand for our hero until he discovers that the IRS is on his case for owing $145,000 in back taxes. Seems the tax return submitted by Steve’s manager Kenny (Bill Bixby) is not acceptable, so in comes Susan Jacks (Nancy Sinatra) to lay the hammer down on Steve.
Elvis’ first movie, Love Me Tender, was well received by critics and fans and is actually a pretty decent movie with Elvis showing potential as a dramatic actor. However, the studios were not interested in Elvis’ acting credentials and instead wanted to churn out a ton of cheap movies that made money so instead of audiences getting more movies along the line of Love Me Tender they were given the likes of It Happened at the World’s Fair, Kissin’ Cousins, Tickle Me and Speedway. Early on in Elvis’ acting career one could see that he was trying to offer audiences a good performance and then it seems he just did not give a shit anymore and sadly it shows in the above mentioned films. Elvis phoned in his performance in Speedway and what we are left with is a silly story with subpar performances.
Elvis’ movies have found a new audience today who find them enjoyable in an Austin Powers sort of way. Fans have come to enjoy the campy atmosphere and the musical segments that features Elvis, and in the case of Speedway Nancy Sinatra’s singing, lip-synching his heart out. Of course I learned a long time ago to never go into an Elvis movie expecting anything more than well – nothing and true to form Speedway does not disappoint because there is nothing here. Does anyone care whether Steve is able to pay off the IRS? Does Steve get the girl? Does anything bad happen to Steve? It is safe to say that you know the answer to all of these and that is what an Elvis movie is all about. You are there just to see Elvis and enjoy the musical numbers.
Elvis is likable and so is Bill Bixby and in fact Bill is the highlight of this movie but he is only there to to listen to Elvis say cute things and be a backdrop to Elvis and Nancy’s romantic shenanigans. The chemistry between the two lovers is pretty decent and according to rumors was real so that could be why it comes across believable on the screen.
If you go into Speedway expecting nothing more than pretty shots of a sexy man you won’t be disappointed because let’s face it Elvis has the goods in the looks department and that is about all I can say about this movie.
Elvis is the total package baby! No extras except a montage of trailers showing a slew of embarrassing movies starring Elvis. The cover art is a 1960’s glamour shot of Elvis and Nancy in tight fitting clothes posing.
4.0 out of 10