Follow That Dream

For the Elvis Presley collector's reissue imprint, see Follow That Dream Records. For the Dutch pop band, see Follow That Dream (band).
Follow That Dream

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gordon Douglas
Produced by David Weisbart
Screenplay by Charles Lederer
Based on Pioneer, Go Home!
by Richard P. Powell
Music by Hans J. Salter
Cinematography Leo Tover
Edited by William B. Murphy
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • April 11, 1962 (1962-04-11) (USA)
Running time
110 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Follow That Dream is a 1962 American musical film starring Elvis Presley made by Mirisch Productions. The movie was based on the 1959 novel Pioneer, Go Home! by Richard P. Powell. Producer Walter Mirisch liked the song Follow that Dream and retitled the picture.[1] The movie reached #5 on the Variety weekly Box Office Survey, staying on the chart for three weeks, and finishing at #33 on the year end list of the top-grossing movies of 1962.


A vagabond family composed of Pop Kwimper (Arthur O'Connell), his son Toby (Elvis Presley), and various "adopted" children, including nineteen-year-old Holly Jones (Anne Helm), is traveling in Florida when Pop drives onto an as-yet-unopened section of highway. When the car runs out of gas, Holly persuades Toby to persuade Pop to take up residence on the land next to the road. A chance encounter with an avid fisherman (Herbert Rudley) gives Holly an idea. They build a thriving business catering to sports fishermen.

Trouble soon follows. Toby rejects the advances of amorous social worker Alisha Claypoole (Joanna Moore), who goes to court to have the children taken away in revenge. Also, her government official boyfriend considers the squatters' home to be an eyesore and wants to evict them. Finally, since the area is outside the jurisdiction of any law enforcement, two gamblers (Jack Kruschen and Simon Oakland) soon set up a casino in a trailer, and Toby has to deal with their armed thugs.

In the end, Toby's earthy wits win over the judge and the family returns to its new land and home. Holly also gets Toby to recognize that she is a grown woman.



The title Follow That Dream was chosen, allegedly, because the songwriters could not find a rhyme for "pioneer".[2] At first, Powell was unhappy that Presley had been chosen for the role,[2] but after seeing the finished film he thought Presley had done a good job.[2]

Filming began July 6, 1961 in the summer heat of Florida. It was filmed in Citrus, Marion, and Levy Counties, specifically Inverness, Ocala, Inglis and Yankeetown. The courtroom scene took place in the 1912 Citrus County Old Courthouse in Inverness which has been restored and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Part of the courtroom restoration can be directly attributed to the film in that it was the only record of the original courtroom configuration. Yankeetown memorializes his stay in the form of their major highway, Follow That Dream Parkway. The parkway was named because of the efforts of four Elvis fans. After months of meetings, the parkway had a grand opening under its new name, Follow That Dream Parkway, on July 27, 1996. The dedication and celebration was held in Inglis Florida. The bank scene was filmed in Ocala, Florida at a bank on Silver Springs Boulevard.

During filming, Elvis met Tom Petty, who was only 11 years old at the time. Petty's uncle was involved in the production of the movie.[3] Shortly afterwards, Petty swapped his slingshot for a friend's collection of Elvis records.[3]


Follow That Dream
EP by Elvis Presley
Released April 1962
Recorded July 2, 1961
Genre Soundtrack
Length 8:36
Label RCA Records
Producer Hans Salter
Elvis Presley chronology
Elvis By Request
'Follow That Dream
Kid Galahad

Recording sessions took place on July 5, 1961, at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee. Six songs were recorded for the film, and a distressed Presley insisted that the worst song, "Sound Advice," be omitted from release when it came time to assemble a soundtrack.[4] "Sound Advice" would be placed on the compilation Elvis for Everyone, and a sixth soundtrack song, "A Whistling Tune," would be saved for the next film Kid Galahad, the version recorded at these sessions later released on Collectors Gold in 1991.[5] Presley sang a few lines of "On Top of Old Smokey" in the film, but the recording was made on the movie set. The issue of quality would continue to be a sore point in his soundtrack material for the remainder of his film career.

Issued as an extended play record, the Follow That Dream soundtrack EP was released in April 1962 to coincide with the film's premiere. The record sold very well, especially for an EP in the Sixties. The title song received Top 40 radio air-play and reached #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. It became a platinum record. The extended play record was the number-one EP in the UK for 20 weeks. [6]


Track listing

Side one
No. TitleWriter(s)Recording date Length
1. "Follow That Dream"  Fred Wise and Ben WeismanJuly 2, 1961 1:39
2. "Angel"  Roy C. Bennett and Sid TepperJuly 2, 1961 2:39
Side two
No. TitleWriter(s)Recording date Length
1. "What a Wonderful Life"  Sid Wayne and Jerry LivingstonJuly 2, 1961 2:27
2. "I'm Not the Marrying Kind"  Sherman Edwards and Mack DavidJuly 2, 1961 1:51

See also


  1. pp. 146-147 Mirisch, Walter I Thought We Were Making Movies, Not History Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2008
  2. 1 2 3 Victor, p.169
  3. 1 2 Wallechinsky, David (2009). The Book of Lists. USA: Canongate Books. p. 480. ISBN 1847676677.
  4. Jorgensen, Ernst. Elvis Presley A Life in Music: The Complete Recording Sessions. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998; p. 160.
  5. Jorgensen, op. cit., p. 159.
  6. Jorgensen, op. cit., p. 414.

External links

DVD Reviews

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