Here's the alpha point of Elvis Presley's film career, the introduction of the raw-boned Mississippi boy into Hollywood pictures. E.P. takes a supporting role, and his entrance is delayed for nearly 20 minutes: 'Love Me Tender' is the touching tale of brotherly love, and the after effects of war. It is also the film that introduces Elvis to us as an actor. Although not his best screen work (he gets better in later films), it's very much worth the view, just to be serenaded by him throughout the film, and his moving rendition of 'Love Me Tender' will put a lump in your throat and have you humming it for days after.
Richard Egan, William Campbell, and James Drury are the three older Reno Brothers who have been off fighting in the Civil War for four years. They are fighting for the Confederates, and not knowing the war has ended, have robbed the Northern Army's payroll, with all intentions of turning it over to the cause of the South. When they find out the war is over, they earnestly figure it is the 'spoils of war' and divvy it up with the other men in their group. They happily return home, and Vance (Egan) is especially anticipating reuniting with the girl he left behind, the beautiful Kathy (Debra Paget). Things go downhill from there ... Everyone thought Vance had been killed in the war, his younger brother Clint (Elvis), has married his girl, and the law is after the brothers for the payroll money they stole. Vance loves his younger brother and tries to live with this turn of events, but things go from bad to worse as he tries to make things right with everyone.
Elvis performs several musical numbers throughout the film, including 'We're Gonna Move' and the toe tappin 'Poor Boy'. And as I said above, these performances, make this film well worth the view. They're pure Elvis.
From 1956, in Black and White, it's a musical Western, a story of a brother's love, action, romance and ELVIS!
And a review from a 'non' fan
By Peter Ingemi VINE VOICE
Ok I'm no big fan of Elvis, I know his music, (an American can't help but know it.) Its good music, but I don't own a song of his. I don't claim to be a follower of his movies either, but this one is a western and I AM a follower of westerns and Civil War movies and this passes well.
This movie brings it highs and lows. A trio of brothers fresh from a raid of a Union payroll find out that the war is over on their way to turn in the money to their General with the unit. Their commander Vance (the eldest brother) decides there is no Confederate Government to turn the cash in to. They split the dough and head home. The family gets a shock that they are alive when they were told they were dead, while he gets a shock which the girl we was to marry is wed to his younger brother (Elvis).
The plot twists when the Union army decides that to come after the former raiders, causing splits among the raiders and increasing the tension between the brothers. The movie is more than passable (should likely be 3 3/4 stars vs 4's) and the acting is pretty good and the story moves along well.
As far as Elvis goes, this movie proves he can act.