FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS
Love Me Tender is a 1956 American musical Western film directed by Robert D. Webb, and released by 20th Century Fox on November 15, 1956. The film, named after the song, stars Richard Egan, Debra Paget, and Elvis Presley in his acting debut. As Presley’s movie debut, it was the only time in his acting career that he did not receive top billing.
Love Me Tender was originally to be titled The Reno Brothers, but when advanced sales of Presley’s “Love Me Tender” single passed one million—a first for a single—the film’s title was changed to match. This was the only time that Presley played a historical figure.
Presley plays Clint Reno, the youngest of the four Reno brothers, who stays home to take care of his mother and the family farm as older brothers Vance, Brett and Ray fight in the American Civil War for the Confederate Army. The family is mistakenly informed that eldest brother Vance has been killed on the battlefield. After four years of war, the brothers return home and find that Vance’s former girlfriend Cathy has married Clint. Although Vance accepts this wholeheartedly (“We always wanted Cathy in the family”), the family has to struggle to reach stability with this issue. The subplot of unresolved passion carries the film; it is made clear from the outset upon the Reno brothers’ return home that Cathy still loves Vance, although she is true to the younger Clint. Honor prevails for Vance, but jealousy leads Clint into irrational rivalry for the Cathy’s love.
In the film’s opening scenes, the three Reno brothers, serving as Confederate cavalrymen, attack a Union train carrying a federal payroll of $12,000, not knowing that the war had ended only a day before. The Confederates come to a decision to keep the money as spoils of war, an issue that will come back into the plot after the Reno brothers return home. A conflict of interest ensues when Vance tries to return the money against the wishes of some of his fellow Confederates, all of whom are being sought by the U.S. Government for robbery. The film reaches its tragic climax with Clint’s death during a final shootout. In the end, the money is returned, the Reno brothers are released, the other three ex-Confederates are arrested, and Clint is laid to rest at the family farm.
- BORN 1881: FRANKLIN PIERCE ADAMS (NEWSPAPER COLUMNIST)
- BORN 1882: FELIX FRANKFURTER (U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE)
- BORN 1887: MARIANNE MOORE (POET)
- BORN 1887: GEORGIA O’KEEFFE (PAINTER)
- BORN 1940: SAM WATERSTON (ACTOR)
- 1948: FIRST GAS-TURBINE ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE IN THE UNITED STATES WAS TRACK-TESTED, ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA
- DIED 1954: LIONEL BARRYMORE (ACTOR)
- 1956: ELVIS PRESLEY’S FIRST MOVIE, LOVE ME TENDER, PREMIERED
- BORN 1957: KEVIN EUBANKS (MUSICIAN & THE TONIGHT SHOW BANDLEADER)