A theatrically released film called "Kid Galahad" came out in 1937, based on a Frances Wallace story and directed by Michael Curtiz (who later directed the Elvis film "King Creole" in 1958). "Kid Galahad" starred Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart. Wayne Morris played the role of Ward "Kid Galahad" Guisenberry a bellhop who unintentionally becomes a boxer and falls in love with his promoter's sister. When this movie aired on TV it was renamed "Battling Bellhop" to avoid confusion with the 1962 film "Kid Galahad" starring Elvis Presley.
Elvis' tenth movie was "Kid Galahad", filmed in 1962 for United Artists. The basic concept of the Wallace story was kept, but there were some alterations, such as changing the name and pre-boxing occupation of the title character. In this version he's Walter Gulick, a mechanic newly home from military service.
David Weisbart produced the film. He had previously produced films such as "Rebel Without A Cause" and "April Love", as well as three Elvis films: "Love Me Tender", "Flaming Star" and "Follow That Dream". Weisbart went on to produce "The Pleasure Seekers" and "Valley of the Dolls".
"Kid Galahad" was directed by Phil Karlson, who was a young law student when he got a job as a prop man at Universal Pictures. He soon took to the film business and pursued directing in such low budget projects as films starring the Bowery Boys, Charlie Chan and the comedy team of Abbott & Costello. He also directed "Hell to Eternity", "The Young Doctors", "Ben", and "Walking Tall". He won a Directors Guild of America award in 1960 for his work on the TV film "The Scarface Mob".
Gig Young played the fight promoter. Born Byron Barr, he developed a love of acting while growing up in his native Minnesota. He worked in such films as "Desk Set", "That Touch of Mink" and "Strange Bedfellows". He received Academy Award nominations as Best Supporting Actor for his work in the films "Come Fill the Cup" and "Teacher's Pet". He won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 1969 film "They Shoot Horses Don't They?". He was nominated for an Emmy Award for the 1970 TV production "The Neon Ceiling".
Lola Albright played Dolly Fletcher, the promoter's girlfriend. She is probably best known for her Emmy nominated role of singer Edie Hart on the TV series "Peter Gunn". She acted in such films as "Easter Parade" and "Champion" and has numerous guest TV guest appearances among her credits.
Joan Blackman played Elvis' love interest Rose Grogan, sister of the promoter. She and Elvis had worked together the year before in "Blue Hawaii". Blackman's other credits include the films "Moonrunners" and "Macon County Line" and a number of TV guest appearances.
Charles Bronson played trainer Lew Nyack in "Kid Galahad". Bronson was born Charles Buchinsky in Pennsylvania in 1921, one of 15 children born to Lithuanian immigrant parents. The only member of his family to complete high school, he worked the coal mines to help support his family. During World War II he served in the U.S. Army and afterwards used his G.I. Bill to study acting. His credits include hundreds of movies and TV programs as supporting actor and headlining star - usually in a craggy, tough guy role. His films include "The Magnificent Seven", "The Dirty Dozen", "The Valachi Papers", "Mr. Majestyk" and "Death Wish" (I, II, III, IV & V). He was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1961 for Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role for his work in television's G.E. Theatre presentation "Memory in White". In 1972 he received a Golden Globe Award for Favorite Male World Film Actor. His most recent work has been a series of TV movies called "Family of Cops".
Filming for Elvis' tenth movie,"Kid Galahad" was October 23, 1961 until December 20, 1961.
Elvis had just acquired Scatter, a pet chimpanzee that amused Elvis and his entourage with his antics. Scatter often traveled to California with them and visited the set of Elvis' movies. This was Scatter's first trip to Hollywood.
In "Kid Galahad" the story called for the fighters training camp to be set in the Catskills of New York in the summertime. However, the movie was filmed in the fall/winter season in Idlywild, California, a resort east of Los Angeles. In this higher elevation it was getting colder as winter temperatures do, even in sunny California. The actors have recalled having to wear summer wardrobe and smile while in fact they were freezing cold and trying not to have their breath show up on camera.
"Kid Galahad" was released in August 1962 and reached #9 on Variety's list of top-grossing films for that week. It was ranked at #37 for the year.
David Lewis played Otto Danzig in "Kid Galahad". He also worked in such films as "The Apartment", "The Absent-Minded Professor" and "The Boston Strangler". However, he might be more recognized for his long running later role as the original Edward Quartermaine in the TV soap opera "General Hospital". Mr. Lewis was nominated five times for an Emmy Award for this role, winning one in 1982.
Long time character actor Robert Emhardt played Maynard the cook, known for his corned beef. Mr. Emhardt often played sinister types in his movie career. You can also see him as the banker in Elvis' 1969 movie "Change of Habit".
Ned Glass, another well known character actor, played Max Lieberman, owner of the Shangri-La where the film's character named Dolly used to sing. You might have recognized him from Elvis' 1958 movie "King Creole" in which he played a hotel desk clerk. Mr. Lieberman was nominated for an Emmy in 1969 for his work in the TV series "Julia".
Ed Asner played assistant district attorney Frank Gerson. It was only Mr. Asner's second movie role, having debuted just before "Kid Galahad" in the movie "The Murder Men". Later, he played a small role in the 1969 movie "Change of Habit", starring Elvis and Mary Tyler Moore. Soon after that, stardom came to Asner through television. He is best known for his long-running role as Lou Grant in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and the spin-off series "Lou Grant". Other TV credits include the mini-series "Roots" and "Rich Man, Poor Man". His accolades include 15 Emmy nominations (7 wins), 11 Golden Globe nominations (5 wins), and the2002 presentation of the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.
Mushy Callahan, world champion junior welterweight boxer, served as Elvis' boxing coach for his boxing scenes. Mr. Callahan also served as technical adviser/fight choreographer on such films as "Gentleman Jim", "From Here To Eternity" and "The Great White Hope". He was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1989.
Also making the fight scenes more authentic was Orlando do la Fuente who played Sugarboy Romero. At the time he was an undefeated welterweight boxer.
Jimmy Lennon, the fight announcer from the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, added his voice as the fight announcer for "Kid Galahad". Mr. Lennon played the fight announcer in a number of other movies including "Raging Bull" and "Rocky III".