I was a keen movie fan as a teenager, and subscribed to the weekly magazine "Picturegoer," full of stories about the latest movies and their stars, and pop stars. Amongst its regular reviewers was Margaret Hinxman, arguably the most influential critic of her day. She was bemused when rock'n'roll made its appearance in the mid-50s, and by no means enamoured of it. Her favourite genres had been the Hollywood musical and traditional gangster movies.
She reported on the Elvis Presley phenomenon in 1956, saying, "Look out, girls. The cat is here," pouring scorn on his singing and decrying his taste for pink Cadillacs. At the year's end, the magazine ran a feature entitled "I'm sorry I said that," in which its writers could regret errors they had made. Hinxman chose to regret her introduction of "the cat," but not because she was admitting any errors. On the contrary, her regret was that "someone with so little talent should scoop so many of the prizes of show business."
She reviewed Presley's first movie, "Love Me Tender," in which a small part had hastily been written for Presley in a near-finished Western. She described it as "a crashing bore," saying that because it featured Presley, it gave the fans "long, lingering close-ups that sadly show up his ineptness." To be fair, it was the studio bosses her fire was mainly directed at, for exploiting Presley. I myself didn't think much of Presley's string of movies. They seemed to be vehicles to showcase the star, and had little in the way of script, acting or plot. I wonder if Hinxman, who died last year aged 94, ever regretted her initial disdain of Elvis. I suspect not.