Elvis “Colonel” Parker was banned from filming in Acapulco

MEXICO CITY (proceso.com.mx).- The year 1963 started tasty for Elvis Presley: he had the expectation of shooting the movie “Fun in Acapulco” in his beautiful and beloved Mexico.

That port of Guerrero had an international touristic and filmic charm, to say that at the end of that year for the III World Film Review the Italian actresses Rosana Podestá and Sandra Milo attended, as well as the Hindu figure Merle Oberon, plus the actors Robert Stack, Robert Wagner and producer Joseph Von Stenberg as guests of honor.

However, as soon as it became known in our country that “The King of Rock & Roll” would film in Acapulco, the radio revived a story from years ago attributing to Elvis the apocryphal statement in Tijuana that he “preferred to kiss three black women instead of one Mexican”…

Elvis would never set foot on the land of the cactus and therefore, he never crossed the Californian border from Hollywood nor was he in Tijuana. Collect Wikipedia:

“Acapulco location filming took place in January 1963. A stunt double was used in place of Elvis, whose shots would be completed in March at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. Presley was unable to travel to Mexico as he had been declared persona non grata by local authorities after two violent riots at the [entonces] famous Las Américas cinema in Mexico City, during the premieres in [mayo de] 1959 of [las películas] ‘King Creole’ [El rey criollo] and in 1961 from ‘GI Blues’.

“In truth, the ban had started since 1957, when the most important newspaper in Mexico, ‘Excélsior,’ gave air to the article by gossip columnist Federico de León, who falsely wrote that he had interviewed Elvis in Tijuana […] where he had allegedly declared that ‘he was not attracted to singing in Mexico because it was a country that he did not like and that in fact he preferred to kiss three African-American girls instead of a single Mexican girl’ [sic]. This caused outrage among the youth which gave free rein to his anger on two occasions. A hundred boys were imprisoned because of the slack in the performance of ‘El rey criollo’ and because Presley’s songs had stopped playing on the radio since 1957, by the time ‘Fun in Acapulco’ was screened [finales de 1963] there was a burning of his records in the highest square of the capital El Zócalo that year, although as was said that veto was reinforced since 1959”.

The protagonist of “Fun in Acapulco” is (of course) Elvis, impersonating Mike Windgren, who overturns his “enemy” Paul Lukas (Maximilian Dauphinal in the film), with the exuberant Úrsula Andress playing the seductive role of the gringa Margarita Dauphin. . Elvis is attracted to the green-eyed Tijuana actress Elsa Cárdenas (the popular bullfighter Dolores Gómez from the feature film), who years later would admit to having had an affair with the rock idol; but he “was engaged to Priscilla and that complicated things.”

As was the case with the King’s girls, Elsa said that eventually “they became good friends” and that he would not have declared anything-but-nothing against Mexico (what!, if he “spoke champurrado Spanish” and “loved everything Mexican ”). She even accused manager Tom Parker — played by Tom Hanks from the biopic “Elvis,” currently on the bill — for not letting him or moving his little finger. (https://youtu.be/JMGlCdECi3w)

Recounts Peter Guralnick, Elvis’s biographer:

“Elvis was in the middle of filming when she [Priscilla Beaulieau, de entonces 17 años] arrival [de Alemania]. Since he read the argument [de “Fun in Acapulco”] He was excited to go abroad to film and began to practice his Spanish for the recording of the songs for the film, saying that he would walk around the house with a cape to prepare for a musical scene of the bullfight. From the beginning the places in Mexico where he was going to film were planned, but in the end Colonel [Tom Parker] he ruined everything, justifying security problems and saying that ‘there is too much relaxation down there’.” (https://youtu.be/LqHdH87pNvQ)

And it is true that Parker ruined everything, since Elvis could show off his performance more if he had filmed in Acapulco. Biographer Peter Guralnick took the details of this information from a memorandum that the aforementioned “Colonel” Parker (who was neither called Tom nor was he a Colonel) sent to Hall Wallis, film producer of “Fun in Acapulco.” (https://youtu.be/oSFpLe-6F_A)

Denying Elvis the opportunity to work outside the United States was a systematic move by Tom Parker in self-defense, beginning with his opposition in 1963 to shooting “Fun in Acapulco” here. And the guy was a Dutch illegal immigrant named Andreas Cornelis. [Dries] van Kuijk, without a US passport, so he feared deportation if authorities discovered he had no legal papers to work on Uncle Sam’s land and earn millions.

Actually Tom Parker had many more dark things to hide, but that will be the subject of another note… Here we will only continue saying that “Sur Acapulco” published the following opinion of the journalist Anituy Rebolledo:

“There will be no shortage, in this tournament of heights, of those who affirm that President Adolfo Ruiz Cortines had agreed to women’s suffrage to make amends to Mexican women for the ordinariness of Elvis Presley (“I prefer to kiss three black women than a Mexican woman”). But the ability of women to vote and be voted would have been recognized in 1955.

According to Wikipedia, a “Mexican big shot” spread such a rumor: “Decades later, it came to light that Presley’s false statements were engineered by Ernesto P. Uruchurtu, a powerful politician who was the regent [“de hierro”] in Mexico City. Supposedly, Uruchurtu sent a blank check to Presley at his Los Angeles offices in early 1957 for Elvis to sing at the fifteenth birthday of a daughter of a certain powerful media mogul, a friend of Uruchurtu’s.

“The invitation was declined and the check returned, despite the fact that the tycoon had already begun to publicly boast that Elvis would perform on his daughter’s birthday. The news in ‘Excélsior’ (“I prefer to kiss three black women than a Mexican woman”) was then planned as a form of revenge and as a way to explain why Elvis did not go to sing. Those incidents were documented by Parménides García Saldaña in his book ‘Rey Criollo’, and by Eric Zolov in ‘Refried Elvis: The Rise of the Mexican Counterculture’”.

The source of that ugly rumor came from Herbe Pompeyo, a music producer who died in 2009. No Elvis Presley churro lost money and “Fun in Acapulco” grossed more than three million dollars in Canada and the United States. To say that it was the best-selling film that year in the United States, which is why Paramount helped a stellar constellation of Hollywood in 1963. A funny curiosity is that in comedy, when the hero Elvis “the Acapulqueños” take him out of La Quebrada carrying him on a litter, some extra vivales who carried him on their shoulders was homosexual and as he got his hands on the King of Rock & Roll, he made the seasoned director Richard Thorpe repeat the take until Elvis was satisfied.

But what is intriguing at this point in the game is not so much that Uruchurtu could have almost presidential power to “get revenge” on Elvis through an apocryphal rumor, but the fact that why Elvis did not rebel against the prohibition of his manager “Colonel” Parker. As we said, Acapulco was a very famous port for filming movies in 1962, the year when Marilyn Monroe (February) and President Kennedy visited our country with his wife Jackie (June). Elvis was able to look great here as an actor, in addition to “cleaning” his name by kissing as many Mexicans as he wanted. He was the King of Rock, wasn’t he? But he could never break his professional cord with Parker. And it’s a shame, because he died at the age of 44 exploited by that false “colonel” and frustrated for never offering concerts beyond the limits of Gringolandia…

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