On This Day, November 23

On November 23, 1966, Elvis Presley’s 22nd film, a rock ‘n’ roll musical called “Spinout” in which Elvis played a singing race car driver, opens in theaters across the U.S. The movie was the year’s 57th highest-grossing film. Presley’s films are rarely noteworthy for their writing or their acting, but many people think that “Spinout” was better than average: The songs were catchy, and the racing scenes were comparatively exciting. Even some critics genuinely enjoyed the film. “Unusual for an Elvis comedy,” one wrote, “‘Spinout’ is actually funny. Intentionally.” The film is harmless enough,” another said, “if about as deep as the stream Presley crashes his jaunty sports car into during the opening sequence.” (On the other hand, the film was included in the book “The Fifty Worst Films of All Time (And How They Got That Way),” so it’s clear that not everyone shares this point of view.) There have been Elvis sightings at the library, on hoopla, near OverDrive and on Freegal.

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