A Predictable Race
What is there to say about Elvis Presley's "Speedway" other than it is another one of those formula driven movies which dominated his acting career. As such whilst we have Elvis starring as a racing driver with tax problems what we get is Elvis playing the big hearted hero, an attractive woman to try and win over and all the other obligatory elements which went into the Elvis formula including the cute kids. It isn't bad but it is a no brainer movie which is all about Elvis, the songs and the woman.
Speedway driver Steve Grayson (Elvis Presley - Spinout) is not only a success on the track but also a success with women able to charm them with his looks and singing. But Steve finds out that his lifelong friend and manager Kenny (Bill Bixby - Clambake) has not done a good job of taking care of business and he owes a lot of money in back taxes. Steve also has a problem thanks to the attractive blonde he finds in his trailer as he tries to charm her completely unaware that the beauty who goes by the name of Susan is in fact an IRS agent assigned to keep an eye on him.
The easiest way to review "Speedway" is really just mention all the bits that work because to sound like a broken record it is formula driven. So the first thing which works is the comedy partnership of Billy Bixby and Elvis Presley as they spark off of each other to deliver some of the movies best moments in fact Elvis looks like he is enjoying the movie especially the scenes with Bixby. On the subject of Bixby he has plenty of funny moments all of his own none more so than the gadgets he has for trying to seduce women from the fake wild animal recordings to frighten them into his arms to the remote control clock. But that is pretty much it because there is nothing which makes this movie stand out from the crowd.
Now in fairness there is also the negatives and the most obvious one is that whilst yet again Elvis sounds great the various songs he sings are all utterly forgettable. Then there is the chemistry or distinct lack of it between Elvis and Nancy Sinatra who when in scenes together look like they are just going through the paces. And considering we have some scenes of speedway action they are not the most exciting you will see.
What this all boils down to is that "Speedway" is just another middle of the road Elvis Presley movie built to the formula which served the studios well but not Elvis.