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Showbiz Cheat Sheet
5 Best Uses of Elvis Presley Songs in Movies
By Ross Tanenbaum,
Elvis was a box office hit in 2022, but the king of rock has impacted the movie industry for decades. Elvis Presley was a Hollywood star, starring in over 30 movies that incorporated his music with comedy and romance. The Memphis singer continues to influence the film industry as his hit songs have been used to enhance memorable moments in movies.
Here are 5 of the best uses of Elvis Presley songs in movies
‘A Little Less Conversation’ – Ocean’s Eleven
Ocean’s Eleven is a heist thriller starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, and Andy Garcia. “A Little Less Conversation” is used over various shots of Las Vegas before the crew meets to discuss the heist. However, the song’s use gave it new life, and it was later remixed by Junkie XL, who got the 1968 song on the Billboard charts in the early 2000s.
‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ – Crazy Rich Asians
“Can’t Help Falling in Love” is one of Elvis’ most beautiful love songs. It’s been used plenty of times over romantic moments in movies, including Blue Hawaii, where it debuted. It’s still a meaningful song decades later and was utilized perfectly in Crazy Rich Asians .
Kina Grannis performs the song at the wedding ceremony, and it’s not only a perfect wedding song but a loving moment for Henry Golding and Constance Wu’s characters. Elvis’ music is multi-generational and still effective when performed well by other singers.
‘Devil in Disguise’ – Lilo and Stitch
Several Elvis Presley songs could have been selected here, including “Stuck on You” and “Burning Love.” Lilo and Stitch features a great collection of Elvis songs, but “Devil in Disguise” is best utilized since it matches the movie’s theme. It’s about being fooled by someone who’s beautiful on the outside, and Stitch manages to fool everyone with his adorable nature, but he also destroys everything he touches.
In the scene it’s used, Nani is trying to find a job to support Lilo but is continuously plagued by Stitch, who causes a scene at every location. Fortunately, Stitch changed his ways later but still had not overcome his worst tendencies.
‘Hound Dog’ – Forrest Gump
Throughout Forrest Gump , the titular character bumps into many historical figures, including John Lennon and Richard Nixon. Early in the movie, a young Forrest is dancing around with someone playing the guitar. It turns out to be Elvis Presley, and Forrest’s dance moves inspired the iconic way Elvis moved his legs. Audiences also hear Elvis playing an early version of “Hound Dog,” giving an early glimpse of one of his earliest hits.
The Blues Brothers has an excellent soundtrack, topped off with a performance of “Jailhouse Rock”. After finally being captured by the police, The Blues Brothers entertain the whole prison with a rendition of this Elvis classic.
What also makes this scene iconic is cameos from four music legends who appeared in the movie: Ray Charles, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Cab Calloway. It’s a fantastic moment that now serves as a tribute to several music legends.