ON THIS DAY: Rock 'n' roll idol Elvis Presley becomes silver screen icon

Sixty years ago today the world witnessed The King's first foray into film.

Tuesday, 15th November 2016, 11:13 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:33 pm
Cowboy King: Elvis Presley's Love Me Tender movie debut

November 15 1956 saw Elvis the Pelvis make his screen debut in Love Me Tender's New York premiere.

The black and white celluloid smash, costing $1,250,000 to produce, netted $4.5 million at the box office.

Career steer: Horseback Presley's first film foray in musical western

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The musical western, named after the song, was only time in Elvis's acting career he didn't receive top billing.

Originally titled The Reno Brothers, its name was changed to match his single after achieving record million-plus advance sales.

Playing youngest brother Clint, who (spoiler alert!) dies during final shoot-out tragedy, it signaled a dream come true for the formative cinema usher who idolised James Dean, Marlon Brando and Tony Curtis.

But boss Colonel Tom Parker thwarted his wish to become a serious straight actor, cross-promoting Presley's films with soundtracks such as this film's four-track EP.

Career steer: Horseback Presley's first film foray in musical western

Screen-testing over three days, drama coach Charlotte Clary declared him "a natural born actor". In little more than a month he recorded all songs and finished filming scenes.

The Paramount Theater premiere prompted 20th Century Fox's release of unprecedented 575 movie prints. Generally well received, The Los Angeles Times wrote: "Elvis can act. The boy's real good, even when he isn't singing."

Six decades after its release, the 89-minute film remains a favourite among Elvis followers but the man himself regretted cinema reaction that saw, and moreover heard, female fans' screams drown his dialogue.