The 30th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley came and went last Thursday without much stir on this end. And for good reason — the metaphor of his film career is more than a little painful to contemplate. For a guy who began making movies with the dream of emulating the pathos of James Dean, Presley’s celluloid history is probably the saddest in motion picture history.

He made 27 stinkers in a row after Don Siegel‘s Flaming Star, his last reasonably decent programmer. I was going to say something about the three or four that are half-palatable — Robert D. Webb‘s Love Me Tender, Richard Thorpe’s Jailhouse Rock, Michael Curtiz‘s King Creole and Flaming Star. But even these are mixed- bag affairs.

27 depressingly slick and shallow films in a row is just staggering — a metaphor for the most appalling commercial sell-out in history.