“HOW do you marry God after you’ve kissed the King?”
NY Times/ Where the Boys Aren’t
“When I met Elvis, I met a very sweet and very courteous young man who jumped to his feet and said ‘Hello,’ and ‘ How do you do, Miss Dolores?’ I was very touched by his courtesy and honesty, and I thought immediately I would like this fellow.”
A spiritual documentary about a 73-year-old nun living in a rural Benedictine monastery/farm in Bethlehem, Connecticut might not seem like the easiest route to take to the Oscars, but it worked for God Is the Bigger Elvis—the story of former a Hollywood actress who once kissed Elvis Presley in a movie.
The 35-minute film directed by Rebecca Cammisa centers around the life of Chicago-born Dolores Hart who starred in the 1960 Ft. Lauderdale spring break flick Where the Boys Are and was in the cast with Elvis in King Creole (1958) before giving up a career in movies to lead a simple spiritual life. (The film was nominated in the 2012 Academy Awards for Documentary Short where it lost to Saving Face.)
How does a documentary like God Is the Bigger Elvis get produced? According to the NY Times, Sheila Nevis, president of HBO Documentary Film, has a weekend home near Bethlehem and thought it would make a good film, and serves as the executive producer on God Is the Bigger Elvis.
I couldn’t find a preview of the HBO documentary, but here’s an old 20/20 program that features Reverend Mother Dolores Hart, followed by an ABC link to here being at the 2012 Academy Awards.
By the way, I don’t think you would have had any problems convincing Elvis that God was bigger than him. He reportedly once said in a concert, “There’s only one king and that’s Jesus Christ.” He was baptized in the First Assembly of God in East Tupelo, Mississippi. Billy Graham said that he expected to see Elvis in heaven, and Elvis recorded many gospel songs including How Great Thou Art.
P.S. My extremely loose connection to Dolores Hart is according to an article by Thema Adams Hart mentions studying acting with Jeff Corey. She didn’t care for his style and quit studying all together. When I first moved to LA in the early 80s, I called Mr. Corey because I knew Jack Nicholson had studied with him. Corey’s acting workshops were based in Malibu and when I told him I lived in Burbank he basically said, “find someone in the valley” and hung-up. He was a gifted actor and teacher (on top of being a combat photographer during WWII) who trained many Hollywood actors and directors. He died in 2002.