Roger Ebert Felt Elvis and Nancy Sinatra Weren’t Sexy in a Movie Together

Roger Ebert said an Elvis Presley movie with Nancy Sinatra would become fodder for insomniacs. He compared it to the sitcom ‘The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet’.

Nancy Sinatra co-starred in one of Elvis Presley‘s movies. Superstar film critic Roger Ebert wasn’t impressed with either of their performances. Despite this, Elvis released two hit songs from the movie’s soundtrack.

Roger Ebert felt 1 of Elvis Presley’s movies captured none of his early charisma

In a 1988 interview published on, Ebert discussed Elvis’ movie Speedway. “Speedway is the late show of 20 years from now, I suppose,” he said. “What will it tell the insomniacs of 1988 about our society?

“For one thing, they will probably wonder why we considered Elvis a sex symbol,” he said.” He is as respectable on the screen as Dick Powell ever was, and his recent movies hold no hint of the swivel hips my generation remembers from the Ed Sullivan shows of 1956.” For context, Elvis’ dancing on The Ed Sullivan Show was considered risque at the time.

Roger Ebert felt Elvis Presley and Nancy Sinatra were too coy in ‘Speedway’

Ebert also felt the movie was pretty chaste. “Speedway also reflects the ground rules of courtship established in old Ozzie and Harriet shows,” he opined. “Elvis is excessively proper in behavior with his various dates (one of whom is Beverly Hills, the Hollywood stripper whose charms rival Brigitte Bardot’s, and another of whom is Nancy Sinatra, whose charms do not).” Considering Sinatra’s song “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” made her an international celebrity sex symbol, Ebert’s critique is cutting.

Ebert also criticized the movie for being coy. “There is a lot of coyness,” he said. “‘You locked us in here on purpose,’ Nancy pouts, and Elvis gets his extra key to prove he didn’t mean to. Meanwhile, Nancy climbs out the trailer’s window, which seems excessive under the circumstances. But maybe not.”

The impact of film’s soundtrack at the time and in retrospect

The soundtrack for Speedway reached No. 82 on the Billboard 200. It spent a total of 13 weeks on the chart. While the Speedway soundtrack wasn’t exactly a flop, it shows that Elvis wasn’t at the top of his game in 1968 before his comeback special.

Two of the songs from Speedway charted. “Your Time Hasn’t Come Yet, Baby,” a song with some questionable lyrics, reached No. 72 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the chart for seven weeks. Meanwhile, the far superior “Let Yourself Go” peaked at No. 71 on the Billboard Hot 100 and lasted on the chart for five weeks.

Some of Elvis’ songs, including tunes that were not particularly popular at first, became standards. Despite this, neither “Your Time Hasn’t Come Yet, Baby” nor “Let Yourself Go” have not been saved from the sands of time.

Speedway is not one of the most beloved Elvis movies and Ebert’s review probably only hurt its reputation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mick Jagger John & Yoko’s Elvis Presley & Priscilla Presley