Nine of Elvis Presley’s films had Norman Taurog as the director. Live a Little, Love a Little was Taurog’s last film before he went blind after the production. In this musical comedy, Elvis shares the screen with Rudy Vallee a fellow legendary musician. However, Vallee didn’t do any singing in this film.
The film features the song A Little Less Conversation, which has him wooing Celeste Yarnall on screen. Live a Little, Love a Little was based on Dan Greenburg’s 1965 novel. It was a departure from the usual films of Elvis that came out during those days.
Celeste Yarnall’s role and her thoughts on Elvis
Celeste Yarnall plays the character named Ellen in this film. She recalled some wonderful moments that she spent with Elvis during the film’s making. Celeste said that he immediately put her at ease when they met for the first time. They had a kissing scene in the film and neither of them heard the word “cut” from the director. She said that it was love at first kiss for her.
A newspaper photographer, Greg Nolan leads a carefree life. He meets Bernice on the beach who is a lovelorn and eccentric woman. She often changes names and personalities. Although she is Alice to Greg, she is Betty to the milkman and Susie to the grocery boy. She has her dog chase Greg into the water for insulting her after their kiss.
He then receives an invitation from Bernice to stay at her home, which is located on the beachfront. She becomes a reason behind Greg getting fired from his job and evicted from his apartment. She has drugged him and he falls in a deep sleep for days.
Bernice manages to find another house for Greg. He grabs two jobs as a full-time photographer so that he could repay her. As these two jobs are in the same building, he is forced to juggle between the two. While dealing with Bernice’s eccentric ways, he finally falls in love with her.
Four songs of the film had their recording at Western Recorders in Hollywood. The producer in charge of the recording session was Billy Strange. He was aware of the current trends in popular music and brought in a group of musicians. Their arrangements were different from Presley’s usual sound.
Among the tracks that gained immense popularity were A Little Less Conversation and Almost in Love. The remixed version of A Little Less Conversation became a global hit over three decades after the original’s release.
Some interesting facts
For this movie, Elvis Presley received a significant sum and a 50% share in profits. Many of his previous films involved scenes that were shot against a backdrop. In this film, he appeared in more real location scenes. They were filmed along the coast of Malibu, at Marineland, Los Angeles Music Center, and Hollywood. Along with Michele Carey, his co-stars were Dick Sargent, Don Porter, Rudy Vallee, and Celeste Yarnall.
Presley’s father had a cameo in this film. Some of the friends from his group also had their appearance in the film. Upon its release, the film didn’t impress most of the critics. It also performed poorly in the United States.