Directed by Michael Curtiz 
Produced by Hal B. Wallis 
Screenplay by Herbert Baker
Michael V. Gazzo
Based on A Stone for Danny Fisher 
by Harold Robbins 
Music by Walter Scharf 
Cinematography Russell Harlan 
Editing by Warren Low 
Studio Hal Wallis Productions 
Distributed by Paramount Pictures 
Release date(s) July 2, 1958 (1958-07-02) (USA)
Running time 116 minutes 
Country United States 
Language English


Nineteen-year-old high school student Danny Fisher works before and after school in order to support his father and sister Mimi. After Danny's mother died, his grieving father lost his job as a pharmacist, and moved his impoverished family to the French Quarter in New Orleans.

Danny protects Ronnie from one of Maxie Field's customersAt work one morning, Danny rescues Ronnie from her abusive date. After a taxi ride to Danny's high school, she kisses him. Danny responds to some schoolmates' teasing by kissing Ronnie back and then punching one of them in the face. That earns him a trip to the principal's office. Miss Pearson, his teacher, tells Danny that he will not graduate. Principal Mr. Evans is sympathetic, but powerless to help, so Danny decides to drop out of school.

When he leaves the school grounds, three young men take him into an alley. Their leader, Shark (Vic Morrow), wants revenge for Danny hitting his brother. Danny defends himself so well that Shark invites him to join them. Later, Mr. Fisher tries to convince his son to stay in school. Instead he helps Shark's gang shoplift at a "five-and-dime" by singing "Lover Doll" to distract the customers and staff.

Nellie confesses to Danny that she is willing to see him againOnly Nellie, working at the snack bar, notices his complicity in the theft, but she does not turn him in. Danny invites Nellie to a fictitious party in a hotel room; finding nobody else there, she starts crying and leaves after admitting that she still wants to see him again, but not under those conditions.

That night, Danny meets Ronnie again at "The Blue Shade" night club, where he is working. At first, she pretends not to know him, as she is accompanied by her boyfriend and the club's owner, Maxie Fields, aka "The Pig". When Maxie does not believe her, she claims she heard Danny sing once. Maxie insists that Danny prove he can sing. His rendition of "Trouble" impresses Charlie LeGrand , the honest owner of the "King Creole" club, the only nightspot in the area not owned by Maxie; he offers Danny a job as a singer.

Meanwhile, Mr. Fisher gets work as a pharmacist in a drug store, but his boss, Mr. Primont, is constantly demeaning him, much to Danny's embarrassment. That makes it easier for Danny to go against his father's wishes and take Charlie's offer. When Danny is a hit, Maxie tries to hire him. Danny declines his offer out of loyalty to Charlie.

Shark, now working for Maxie, suggests to Danny they beat up Primont to help his father. When Mr. Fisher leaves the store dressed in Primont's hat and coat (lent due to a rainstorm), Shark recognizes him, but decides to mug him anyway, as that would be even better for Maxie's purposes. Danny's father is so badly injured, he needs an expensive operation; Maxie pays for a specialist to perform it. Maxie later blackmails Danny into signing with him by threatening to tell his father about his involvement in the mugging, then does it anyway. Danny pummels Maxie for the betrayal and helps Ronnie leave him.

Maxie sends his henchmen after Danny. Shark and another gang member trap him in an alley. Danny knocks out one of his pursuers. Then Shark stabs Danny, but is himself killed. Ronnie finds Danny and takes him to her house on a bayou to recover. She asks him to forget her sordid past and pretend to love her. Danny replies that it would not be difficult and kisses her. Maxie drives up, accompanied by Dummy (Jack Grinnage), a member of Danny's former gang. Maxie fatally shoots Ronnie. Dummy, who had been befriended by Danny, grapples with Maxie; the gun goes off, killing its owner.

Danny returns to the "King Creole". He sings the lines "Let's think of the future, forget the past, you're not my first love, but you're my last" to Nellie in the audience. Mr Fisher shows up to listen to his son sing.


Elvis Presley as Danny Fisher
Carolyn Jones as Ronnie, Maxie's mistress
Walter Matthau as Maxie Fields
Dolores Hart as Nellie
Dean Jagger as Mr. Fisher
Liliane Montevecchi as Forty Nina, a stripper at the club
Vic Morrow as Shark
Paul Stewart as Charlie LeGrand
Jan Shepard as Mimi Fisher
Brian G. Hutton as Sal, a member of Shark's gang
Jack Grinnage as Dummy, a mute member of Shark's gang
Dick Winslow as Eddie Burton
Raymond Bailey as Mr. Evans, the school principal


Written by Fred Wise & Ben Weisman
Performed by Elvis Presley and Kitty White

Steadfast, Loyal And True
Written by Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller
Performed by Elvis Presley

Lover Doll
Written by Sid Wayne & Abner Silver
Performed by Elvis Presley

Written by Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller
Performed by Elvis Presley

Dixieland Rock
Written by Aaron Schröder & Beverly Ross (as Rachel Frank)
Performed by Elvis Presley

Young Dreams
Written by Aaron Schröder & Martin Kalmanoff
Performed by Elvis Presley

New Orleans
Written by Sid Tepper & Roy C. Bennett
Performed by Elvis Presley

Hard Headed Woman
Written by Claude Demetri
Performed by Elvis Presley

King Creole
Written by Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller
Performed by Elvis Presley

Don't Ask Me Why
Written by Fred Wise & Ben Weisman
Performed by Elvis Presley

As Long As I Have You
Written by Fred Wise & Ben Weisman
Performed by Elvis Presley

Performed by Liliane Montevecchi

Written by Fred Wise & Ben Weisman
Performed by Elvis Presley
(Written for movie but not used)

King Creole is a 1958 American musical drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Elvis Presley, Carolyn Jones, and Walter Matthau. Produced by Hal B. Wallis and based on the 1952 novel A Stone for Danny Fisher by Harold Robbins, the film is about a nineteen-year-old who gets mixed up with crooks and involved with two women.

Presley later indicated that of all the characters he portrayed throughout his acting career, the role of Danny Fisher in King Creole was his favorite. To make the film, Presley was granted a 60-day deferment from January to March 1958 for beginning his military service. Location shooting in New Orleans was delayed several times by crowds of fans attracted by the stars, particularly Presley.

The film was released by Paramount Pictures on July 2, 1958, to both critical and commercial success. The critics were unanimous in their praise of Presley's performance. King Creole peaked at number five on the Variety box office earnings charts.

The soundtrack song "Hard-Headed Woman" reached number one on the Billboard pop singles chart, number two on the R&B chart, and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), while the soundtrack album peaked at number 2.