Follow That Dream
|Follow That Dream
Theatrical release poster
Pioneer, Go Home!
by Richard P. Powell
|Hans J. Salter
|William B. Murphy
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. 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.
- Elvis Presley as Toby
- Anne Helm as Holly
- Arthur O'Connell as Pop
- Joanna Moore as Alisha
- Jack Kruschen as Carmine
- Simon Oakland as Nick
- Roland Winters as Judge
- Alan Hewitt as H. Arthur King
- Howard McNear as George
- Frank DeKova as Jack
- Herbert Rudley as Endicott
- Gavin Koon as Eddy
- Robin Koon as Teddy
The title Follow That Dream was chosen, allegedly, because the songwriters could not find a rhyme for "pioneer". At first, Powell was unhappy that Presley had been chosen for the role, but after seeing the finished film he thought Presley had done a good job.
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. Shortly afterwards, Petty swapped his slingshot for a friend's collection of Elvis records.
|Follow That Dream
|EP by Elvis Presley
|July 2, 1961
|Elvis Presley chronology
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. "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. 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.
- Elvis Presley - vocals
- The Jordanaires - background vocals
- Millie Kirkham - background vocals
- Boots Randolph - saxophone
- Scotty Moore, Hank Garland - electric guitar
- Neal Matthews, Jr. - acoustic guitar
- Floyd Cramer - piano
- Bob Moore - double bass
- D.J. Fontana, Buddy Harman - drums
- pp. 146-147 Mirisch, Walter I Thought We Were Making Movies, Not History Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2008
- Victor, p.169
- Wallechinsky, David (2009). The Book of Lists. USA: Canongate Books. p. 480. ISBN 1847676677.
- Jorgensen, Ernst. Elvis Presley A Life in Music: The Complete Recording Sessions. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998; p. 160.
- Jorgensen, op. cit., p. 159.
- Jorgensen, op. cit., p. 414.
- Follow That Dream at the Internet Movie Database
- Follow That Dream at AllMovie
- Follow That Dream at the TCM Movie Database
- Review of the movie collection "Elvis: MGM Movie Legends Collection (Follow That Dream, Kid Galahad, Frankie and Johnny, Clambake) by Paul Mavis at DVD Talk, July 24, 2007.
- Review by Stuart Galbraith IV at DVD Talk, May 25, 2004.