Girl Happy- MGM 1965
By: For Elvis Fans Only
Elvis Presley's seventeenth film was the
1965 MGM movie "Girl Happy," whose
setting was the annual spring break
festivities on the beaches of Fort
Elvis reported to Radio Recorders in
Hollywood on June 10, 1964 for
soundtrack recordings. On June 11th,
after 36 frustrating takes on the song
"Do Not Disturb," Elvis left the studio
disillusioned about the quality of the
music. After these sessions he would not
record again for eight months.
"Girl Happy" was produced by Joe
Pasternak, who had started his career as
a studio food service worker. Working
his way up to producer, he received
three Academy Award nominations and 10
Golden Laurel nominations. He had made
the beach film "Where The Boys Are"
about Ft. Lauderdale, FL and wanted the
same setting for an Elvis movie.
Harvey Bullock and R. S. Allen were the
screen writing team. Together they had
written for TV comedy series such as
"The Andy Griffith Show," "The Dick Van
Dyke Show" and "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C."
The director was three-time Emmy nominee
Boris Sagal. Much of his career was
spent working in television. He was
killed in 1982 in a helicopter accident
while working on the TV film "World War
The choreographer David Winters had
worked on "Viva Las Vegas" and was asked
to choreograph a dance to the song "Do
The Clam." During this time period in
American music "dance songs" were very
popular. There had been dances invented
such as The Twist, The Mashed Potato,
The Pony, The Jerk, The S-W-I-M, The
Freddie, The Bird and The Monkey to name
a few. RCA and MGM were hoping to start
a new dance craze with The Clam, but it
didn't go over. The song "Do the Clam"
was on the charts for 8 weeks, peaking
at #21, and the dance never caught on.
Shelley Fabares & Elvis Presley
in Girl Happy.
This was the first of three Elvis films
in which Shelley Fabares
would play Elvis's leading lady. The two
follow-ups, "Spinout" and "Clambake,"
came soon after. She had been a regular
as the daughter on the popular TV series
"The Donna Reed Show" and had recorded
the hit record "Johnny Angel," which was
knocked out of the #1 spot in 1962 by
Elvis's "Good Luck Charm." She went on
to appear in many films and TV series,
most notably co-staring in the 1990s TV
series "Coach," for which she received
two Emmy Award nominations. She is
married to actor Mike Farrell and has
been battling an auto-immune disease,
for which she received a lifesaving
liver transplant in 2000.
Emmy nominee Harold Stone, played Big
Frank. He had worked in the films
"Spartacus" and "The Greatest Story
Every Told" among others. He continued
to work through out the 80s in films and
on such TV series as "I Spy," "Bridget
Loves Bernie" and "The Wild McCullochs."
Gary Crosby, son of
legendary singer Bing Crosby, played
Andy. He was named after his father's
friend, actor Gary Cooper. He went on to
work in a number of TV shows including
"Adam-12," and he wrote a tell-all book
about life in the Crosby home, which, by
his account, wasn't as idyllic as the
public had believed. He died of lung
cancer in 1995.
Jimmy Hawkins played
Doc in "Girl Happy" and worked again
with Elvis and Shelley Fabares in
"Spinout." Hawkins began his career as a
child actor. He was in the classic 1946
film "It's A Wonderful Life," starring
James Stewart and Donna Reed, playing
the role of their son Tommy. Later, he
was a regular on "The Donna Reed Show,"
playing Shelley Fabares's boyfriend. He
also had regular roles on the TV series
"Annie Oakley" "The Adventures of Ozzie
and Harriet." He has gone on to
producing while continuing to act. He
also authored two books on the film
"It's A Wonderful Life."
Mary Ann Mobley & Elvis Presley
in Girl Happy.
Mobley played Deena. She also
co-starred with Elvis as the princess in
"Harum Scarum." The former Miss America
(1959) won a Golden Globe Award in 1965
for Most Promising Newcomer and
throughout the 60s and 70s appeared on
many popular TV shows. Married to
performer Gary Collins since 1967, they
have often worked together on stage and
TV. A sufferer of Crohn's Disease, she
is a tireless advocate for this and many
other humanitarian causes.
Former child star Jackie Coogan played
Sgt. Benson in "Girl Happy." Born into a
vaudeville family, he began performing
at age 4. After being discovered by
Charlie Chaplin, he became one of the
highest paid actors in Hollywood during
his childhood. As an adult he sued his
mother and stepfather for the $4 million
he had earned as a child but had not
received due to his parents' control of
his income. After Coogan was awarded a
mere $126,000, California passed The
Child Actors Bill to protect the rights
and earnings of child actors. As an
adult his career waned until he was cast
as Uncle Fester on "The Addams Family,"
and from then until his death in 1984 he
worked steadily in film and television.
Elvis Presley in Girl Happy.
John Fiedler played Mr. Penchill.
Throughout his long career as a
character actor he has had roles in many
films, including "12 Angry Men," "A
Raisin In The Sun," "That Touch of Mink"
and "The World of Henry Orient," as well
as roles in such TV series as "The Odd
Couple" and "The Bob Newhart Show" to
name just a few. However. it may be for
his voice that he is most recognized.
Since 1968 he has provided the voice of
Piglet in Disney's animated "Winnie the
Florida-born Chris Noel played Betsy.
Her career progressed as that of many
blonde beauties in show business of the
1960s - cheerleader, model and beauty
queen turned "beach party" movie
actress. Avisit to a veterans hospital
in 1965 changed her life forever. She
soon auditioned for the Armed Forces
Radio Network and became America's
answer to "Hanoi Hanna" during the
Vietnam War with her popular show "A
Date With Chris." Twice, her helicopter
was shot down while touring to entertain
the troops and she received the
Distinguished Vietnam Veteran award from
the Veterans Network in 1984. Today, she
runs a shelter for homeless veterans in
Joby Baker played Wilbur. At one time
he was married to Joan Blackman, who was
Elvis's leading lady in "Blue Hawaii"
and "Kid Galahad."
Gail Gilmore played Nancy and was also
Sapphire in "Harum Scarum."
Bevery Adams played an uncredited extra
and she was Cora in "Roustabout". She
was at one time married famed
hairdresser Vidal Sassoon.
George Cisar played the bartender at the
Kit Kat Club. He also had roles in
"Jailhouse Rock," "It Happened at The
World's Fair," "Viva Las Vegas" and
Mike De Anda played the bartender at the
Sandbar Club and he was a guard at La
Perla in "Fun In Acapulco."
Nancy Czar was a blonde on the beach and
also played a beauty queen in "Spinout."
Tommy Farrell, son of Glenda Farrell (Ma
Tatum in "Kissin' Cousins"), played
Louie. In "Kissin' Cousins" Tommy played
MSgt. William George Bailey.
Norman Grabowski played 'Wolf Call'
O'Brien. Earlier, he was Sam in
"Roustabout." He is an award winning
custom car designer.
Dan Haggerty, who became famous in the
1970s for his title role in the "Grizzly
Adams" TV series, played Charlie. He
began his acting career with the role of
a bodybuilder in the film "Muscle Beach
Party." He has worked as an animal
trainer, stunt man, custom motorcycle
builder and restaurateur.
Hank Jones played an uncredited role in
"Girl Happy." His movie career in the
60s and 70s included a number of Disney
films. Today, he is a much published
world renowned genealogist specializing
in the Irish-German Palatine Families.
This was the last of four Elvis films in
which actor Kent McCord had uncredited
roles as an extra. He became famous
after being cast as a lead in the
"Adam-12" television series. He has been
actively involved in, and served on the
board of directors of, The Screen Actors
Richard Reeves, the ever patient Officer
Wilkins, also had roles in the Elvis
films "Tickle Me," "Harum Scarum,"
"Frankie and Johnny" and, perhaps most
notably, as the soulful harmonica
playing convict in "Blue Hawaii."
Principal photography began on June 22,
1964 and visitors to the set included
George Hamilton and his then girlfriend
Lynda Bird Johnson, daughter of
President Lyndon Johnson. George
Hamilton had just finished shooting
"Your Cheating Heart" a movie about Hank
On the June 23, 1964 there was an early
celebration on the set for Colonel
Parker's 55th birthday, which was June
26, 1964. The party was attended by
actor Nick Adams among others.
Principal photography wrapped on August
3, 1964 and the studio released Elvis on
August 12, 1964. The movie opened in
April 1965 and ranked #25 for the year.
The soundtrack LP peaked at #8 on the
- Girl Happy
� Spring Fever
� Fort Lauderdale Chamber Of Commerce
- Startin� Tonight
� Wolf Call
� Do Not Disturb
� Cross My Heart And Hope To Die
� The Meanest Girl In Town
� Do The Clam
� Puppet On A String
� I�ve Got To Find My Baby
Recorders Studios, 7000, Santa Monica
Boulevard, Hollywood. March 1964.
Elvis Presley (vocals), Scotty Moore,
Tiny Timbrell, Tommy Tedesco (guitars),
Bob Moore (bass), D.J. Fontana, Buddy
Harman, Frank Carlson (drums), Floyd
Cramer, (piano), Boots Randolph, (sax),
the Jordinaires, the Jubilee Four and
the Carole Lombard Trio (vocals)
Writing Credits: Harvey Bullock,
Music: George Stoll
Vocal Backgrounds by: The
Art Director: George W Davies and
Assistant Director: Jack Alworth
Technical Advisor: Colonel Tom
Make Up Supervisor: William
Hair Styles: Sydney Guilaroff
Recording Supervisor: Franklin
Panavision and Metrocolor
Elvis Presley .... Rusty Wells, Shelley
Fabares .... Valerie Frank, Harold Stone
.... Big Frank, Gary Crosby .... Andy,
Joby Baker .... Wilbur, Nita Talbot ....
Sunny Daze, Mary Ann Mobley .... Deena,
Fabrizio Mioni .... Romano, Jimmy
Hawkins .... Doc, Jackie Coogan ....
Sergeant Benson, Peter Brooks ....
Brentwood von Durgenfeld, John Fiedler
.... Mr. Penchill, Chris Noel ....
Betsy, Lyn Edgington .... Laurie, Gale
Gilmore .... Nancy.