I love Elvis movies. I love the cheesiest of them, like Blue Hawaii, and the more serious of them, like this week’s Blu-ray release for Love Me Tender. The first film that Elvis appeared in, Love Me Tender jumpstarted The King’s movie career and solidified him as a bonafide movie star. Oddly enough, it is probably the best acting he ever did, and the film only contained a few song performances, choosing instead to focus on the story and characters.
Elvis plays Clint Reno, the youngest of four brothers on a farm during the Civil War. While Clint’s older brothers, Vance, Brett and Ray, are off fighting for the Confederate Army, the family is falsely informed of Vance’s death. After four years away, all three brothers return to the homestead alive and well to find Clint has married Vance’s girlfriend Cathy. The Reno family tries to get back to a normal everyday life, but with tensions high and a train robbery at the end of the war coming back to haunt them, the Reno brothers must not only face their demons, but each other.
Elvis movie aside, Love Me Tender is a pretty darn good little movie. A great story of brothers and what they will do for each other and to each other is well scripted and well executed. Elvis is really great here as the innocent youngest brother that eventually turns bitter and jealous, pitting him against his own kin. The songs are great, as you would expect, but it really is the story of the family ties that keeps this film afloat.
The Blu-ray from Fox is a vast improvement over previous releases, but still tends to be a little soft in some places. Clarity and detail are greatly improved and the sound is cleaned up well, it just seems like it could have used that extra boost to push the transfer over the top. Regardless, it is still a very desirable transfer of a classic Elvis Presley movie, of which there are very few in hi def. Definitely recommended.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.