A ribbon of highway with a fire engine red sports car moving along—Presley in his turbocharged Texas bomb. An airboat in the adjacent swamp parallels his course.
At a hypostatically bright gas station his problem is revealed more extensively. In cowboy threads from a Texas tailor (cream with fine embroidery) and a black hat to boot, he cuts a striking figure even in Florida—The Happy State. So he trades places with Will Hutchins, who gets to play millionaire.
Back on the road, they sing “Who Needs Money?” The hotel has plenty of girls, girls, girls, and especially Shelley Fabares, who sets her cap with unflinching accuracy. Presley pictures her in “A House That Has Everything (Everything But Love)”, and she’s touched by this.
Fabares’ role has a transformation that’s quite impressive and difficult. Water-skiing behind Presley’s boat she goes into the water and loses her top, her makeup, and her impressive hairstyle. She looks like a little girl, and suave Bill Bixby rescues her.
This might have been a Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire film (with Henry Fonda). Presley sings a song about “Confidence” (it sounds like “High Hopes”) amongst a flock of children in the hotel playground, to encourage a little girl who’s afraid. Together they all play cowboys and Indians, and Nadel tosses in some cavalry footage. The whole scene is a gentle parody of a musical number, with a nice jest at Busby Berkeley.
The ski & scuba shop is a fine decor in primary colors with black, white and chrome, and some significant background modulations. It’s the aesthetic of the sculptor John Chamberlain, you might say. The oil company executive office has an interesting architecture of modular columns, almost Dalinian.
Great number when the girls go-go in to help Presley spruce up the speedboat, really the high point of the piece.
James Gregory breezes into the lobby, chats up the cigarette girl, gets the whole story, holds out a stack of wazoo, crumples up a small bill, tosses it aside (she watches it go and looks at him), blinks his face in a “natch” look and hands her a suitable gratuity.
In Bixby’s gleaming suite, Fabares is overmatched (he plays it like Tom Ewell’s fantasy in The Seven Year Itch), and Presley arrives in the nick of time.
The speedboat race is exciting. Presley’s boat is named Raw-Hide, the salt spray splashes the clear plastic bubble visor on his orange crash helmet and his orange life jacket and orange racing suit, he and Bixby go hell for leather skimming over the water, etc.
On the highway in Presley’s red turbocar, Fabares’s face expresses the considerable experience of the film, and he pops the traffic-stopping question.