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DVD Review: Spinout

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Written by General Jabbo

In Spinout, Elvis Presley plays a singing racecar driver named Mike McCoy. While this isn’t much different than the typical 60’s Elvis movie fare, the film is more fun and Presley seems to be enjoying himself. As the movie begins, McCoy takes his racecar out for a spin only to get run off the road by a crazed fan. Undeterred, he makes it to his gig on time where his band performs “Adam and Evil” and “Stop Look and Listen.” These songs, along with the title track, “All That I Am” and “I’ll Be Back” formed the basis of one of Presley’s strongest soundtracks in sometime and his enthusiasm for the songs comes out in the performances.

While at the club, he meets author Diana St. Clair (Diane McBain) who wants him to be the subject of her book about the perfect American male. She wants to marry him and won’t take no for an answer. McCoy then meets Howard Foxhugh (Carl Betz), a rich automobile executive who offers McCoy and his band $5,000 to sing one song at his daughter’s birthday party. McCoy refuses the offer though, telling him to have her catch them at the clubs and Foxhugh uses his political influence to get the band’s tour canceled. McCoy has no other choice but to play the party and he soon learns that Foxhugh’s daughter Cynthia (Shelley Fabares) is the same fan who ran him off the road to get his attention. Cynthia is a spoiled rich girl who is used to getting what she wants or having daddy pay for it if necessary and this time she wants to marry McCoy. Foxhugh does not want Cynthia to marry McCoy though, but he does want him to drive his new racecar, the Foxhugh Five. Sensing a way to get close to McCoy, Cynthia offers to help get him to driver her father’s car.

McCoy test drives Foxhugh’s car and seems interested until Foxhugh informs him he is not to marry his daughter. McCoy refuses to drive for him saying if he’s not good enough for her, he’s not good enough for him and vows to beat his driver in the race. During this time, McCoy’s drummer Les (Deborah Walley) also reveals her crush on McCoy. He had been oblivious to her advances even though she was always cooking for him and getting mad when other women chased after him. In a running joke throughout the film, everyone keeps mistaking Les for a boy because of her name and her short hair. Walley delivers a fun performance and looks convincing enough on the drums.

Three women, all with marriage on their mind are seemingly after McCoy. Who does he pick? The ending may surprise you. Part of the Elvis: 75th Anniversary DVD Collection, Spinout features a more-focused Presley, better songs a fun script and a fun cast. After some forgettable films, Spinout is a winner.

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