Blu-ray Review: Follow That Dream - Twilight Time Limited Edition

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A bit of an obscurity, known well primarily to the hardest core Elvis Presley fans, Follow That Dream makes it Blu-ray debut as part of Twilight Time’s Limited Edition series. With only 3,000 total copies available, fans of the King will want to snatch one of these up. Released in the spring of 1962, Follow That Dream is a strange little film in which Presley stars as Toby, the son of would-be homesteader Pop Kwimper (Arthur O'Connell). Pop travels with a clan of semi-adopted children, including the beautiful Holly (Anne Helm). They’re essentially homeless, but stake a claim to a patch of unincorporated waterfront property directly off a Florida highway.

Follow that Dream cover (168x220).jpgFollow That Dream charts the struggles faced by the Kwimper family as they try to retain their rights to live on this abruptly-claimed homestead. One county official asks Toby, “Do you own this property?” His innocent, yet somewhat dopey, reply is, “We own the john. And the house we built for it.” (Pops recently installed an outhouse.) Social workers wonder if this living situation is suitable for young twins Eddy and Teddy (Gavin and Robin Koon). Monetary sustenance comes from a commercial fishing business the family undertakes. Not yet out of her teens, Holly has been living with the Kwimper’s since her parents died. Though Toby supposedly tries not to notice, Holly has developed into quite a fetching young woman. Despite their claims to be like “brother and sister,” it’s no surprise when they pair reveal mutually romantic feelings (though it is a bit unsettling in a way).

Follow that Dream 2 (380x299).jpgLet’s face it, we wouldn’t be talking about this movie over 50 years after its release were it not for the fact that it stars Elvis. He delivers an amiable, laidback performance. He almost comes across like a Forrest Gump precursor of sorts, with his simple, straightforward world view and unaffected attitude. It’s a decidedly passive role for Presley, playing a character who reacts to everything going on around him without too much philosophical reflection. There aren’t any classic tunes here. In fact, the “soundtrack album” was just a four-song EP. The title track was a minor hit, but none of the tunes are likely to linger in the mind once the credits roll. It’s interesting to note that while the family earns money fishing, no one seems especially interested in the smoky, pitch-perfect voice of Toby and the ways they could potentially exploit his talent for financial gain.

Follow that Dream 3 (380x296).jpgThe Blu-ray presentation carries on Twilight Time’s usual, reliable standard. Natural grain has not been scrubbed out of the image, which is clean and crisp throughout. The sun-baked Florida locations are surprisingly vivid in color (the stills included in this review are promotional in nature, not reflective of the Blu-ray’s 1080p presentation). The audio is lossless DTS-HD MA 1.0 mono. Keep in mind this isn’t really a musical, so with only a few musical performances throughout the 109-minute running time there not much need for the mix to open up. Those wishing to hear the music, including Hans J. Salter’s score, can listen to the DTS-HD MA mono isolated music and effects track.

As with anything Elvis-related, there’s a built-in market for Follow That Dream on Blu-ray. Interested parties should proceed to Twilight Time’s distributor, Screen Archives, for ordering information.

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Chaz Lipp is a Seattle-based freelance writer whose focus is music and film. As “The Other Chad,” he has written for the online magazine Blogcritics since 2008. When he’s not writing, Chaz can be found trolling jazz clubs, attempting to find somewhere to play his sax (whether anyone wants to hear…

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