9 April 2018

O'ahu HI, USA

Elvis Presley made three films on Hawaii, Girls! Girls! Girls! in 1962 and Paradise, Hawaiian Style in 1966, the first one was BLUE HAWAII. The movie was filmed on two islands, the first part takes place on O'ahu and the second part on Kaua'i.

Blue Hawaii, 1:36:35
On March 25, 1961, Elvis Presley arrived in Honolulu to give a concert to benefit the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor (seen in the Hawaii Five-0 opening titles). The proceeds were over $ 54,000. He recorded the 14 songs for the film, including "Can’t help falling in love" and "Rock-a-hula baby", in Hollywood in just three days, from March 21 until March 24. The location shoot started on March 27 and lasted until April 17, after which production moved to the Paramount Studios.
The film opens with the return of Chad Gates (Elvis Presley) to Hawaii after he has completed his military service. He is met at the airport by his girlfriend Maile Duval (Joan Blackman). In reality, Elvis was welcomed by hundreds of fans. Over the years, Honolulu International Airport has changed and grown. In April 2017, the airport was named after Senator Daniel K. Inouye, the first Hawaiian member of the House of Representatives.

Blue Hawaii, 0:04:01
Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, Honolulu, 14 June 2017

On his way to his parental home, Chad and Maile pass the Diamond Head lighthouse, built in 1899. The current construction dates from 1917, so during our visit and it was 100 years old. From the road the lighthouse is less visible than during filming, the trees surrounding the building seem to be the same and have grown much bigger. In 2007 the lighthouse was featured on a stamp. Elvis Presley liked the car, a red MG roadster, so much that he bought it after filming was completed. The car is now on display at the Automobile Museum of Graceland.
Blue Hawaii, 0:07:25
Diamond Head lighthouse, O'ahu, 11 June 2017
Diamond Head lighthouse, O'ahu, 11 June 2017

Chad and Maile stop at a small house on the beach of Hanauma Bay. This natural pool was formed in a volcanic crater. Since 1967 it is a protected nature reserve, visitors first have to watch a film about the vulnerability of the ecosystem before they can go to the beach.

Blue Hawaii, 0:09:56
Hanauma Bay, O'ahu, 11 June 2017
Blue Hawaii, 0:10:21
Hanauma Bay, O'ahu, 11 June 2017
Blue Hawaii, 0:12:32
Hanauma Bay, O'ahu, 11 June 2017

In the film Chad and Maile have the beach almost entirely for themselves. There are two children, and a few friends from Chad arrive by boat. Especially for them he sings "No more". During our visit it was very busy, both on the beach and in the water. Sea turtles often visit the bay.
Blue Hawaii, 0:12:48
Hanauma Bay, O'ahu, 11 June 2017
Blue Hawaii, 0:18:27
Hanauma Bay, O'ahu, 11 June 2017

Chad invites Maile for a picnic. They drive to Tantalus Lookout, a viewpoint overlooking Honolulu and the volcano crater Diamond Head. In the early 60s, there were hardly any high-rise buildings, now the coast and downtown Honolulu are filled with hotels and apartment buildings.

Blue Hawaii, 0:32:24
Tantalus Lookout, Honolulu, 10 June 2017
Blue Hawaii, 0:32:30
Tantalus Lookout, Honolulu, 10 June 2017
Blue Hawaii, 0:32:57
Tantalus Lookout, Honolulu, 10 June 2017

Against the will of his parents, Chad starts working as a tourist guide. He picks up a group of girls at their hotel, the Hilton Hawaiian Village. This hotel complex has changed beyond recognition. During the filming, Elvis Presley stayed at this resort, in a suite on the 14th floor of the Ocean Tower which was also completely renovated.
Blue Hawaii, 0:37:42
Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, 9 June 2017

Waikiki Beach can be seen several times in the film, starting with the opening credits, with Diamond Head in the background. The beach is not a natural environment but was constructed at the end of the 19th century when Honolulu became a popular holiday destination. Due to erosion, washed away sand must be replaced on occasion.
Blue Hawaii, 0:00:09
Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, 9 June 2017
Blue Hawaii, 0:38:37
Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, 10 June 2017
Blue Hawaii, 1:14:31
Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, 11 June 2017

Screenshots © Paramount Pictures