(1966)2Craig ButlerOne is very tempted to call Paradise, Hawaiian Style a retread of Blue Hawaii, but that doesn't really state the case. It is more accurate to refer to Paradise as a very tired retread of Blue. Everything about Paradise has a "been there, done that" feeling to it, down to and including the occupation cooked up for Elvis Presley. (Ferrying tourists and other passengers around is pretty much the same whether it's on the ground as in the earlier film or by helicopter as here). Yes, Paradise does have its share of pretty scenery, but it's not captured as well as was the scenery in Blue. And Paradise does of course have its fair share of comely young maidens on hand, but it also has the presence of Donna Butterworth, a much too young maided -- by which I mean that putting a cute kid into an Elvis movie is bound to upset the works, and that's what happens here. More damaging, however, is the fact that Elvis himself is far from at his best. He's noticeably put on weight, and his heart really isn't in the picture. Yes, his charm is still there, but it's at half its usual wattage, and even his vocal magic isn't quite the same -- although this is at least partially due to the poor material he's working with. Diehard fans of Elvis won't really care and will likely find Paradise amply rewarding simply for its scenery, its girls, and the King himself; but those who are not loyalists should give it a skip.
Rick Richards (Elvis Presley) is a helicopter pilot who is grounded when his chopper runs federal aviation official Donald Beldon (John Doucette) off the road in Paradise, Hawaiian Style. Already suspended as a airline pilot, he and partner Danny Kohana (James Shigeta) struggle to keep their business flying. Suzanna Leigh plays the pretty secretary, but Elvis does not limit his affections to just one girl. Technical credits and locations scenes of the beautiful islands are the highlight of the film. Presley warbles his usual slew of songs, but most are unremarkable.