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Stay Away, Joe (1968)

A mixed race American Indian rodeo champ returns to the reservation to help his people out.


Peter Tewksbury


Dan Cushman (novel), Michael A. Hoey

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Elvis Presley ... Joe Lightcloud
Burgess Meredith ... Charlie Lightcloud
Joan Blondell ... Glenda Callahan
Katy Jurado ... Annie Lightcloud
Thomas Gomez ... Grandpa
Henry Jones ... Hy Slager
L.Q. Jones ... Bronc Hoverty
Quentin Dean ... Mamie Callahan
Anne Seymour ... Mrs. Hawkins
Douglas Henderson Douglas Henderson ... Congressman Morrissey
Angus Duncan Angus Duncan ... Lorne Hawkins
Mike Lane ... Frank Hawk (as Michael Lane)
Susan Trustman Susan Trustman ... Mary Lightcloud
Warren Vanders Warren Vanders ... Hike Bowers
Buck Kartalian ... Bull Shortgun


A mixed race American Indian rodeo champ returns to the reservation to help his people out.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Elvis goes West...and the West goes wild! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild sensuality, language and comic violence | See all certifications »





English | Spanish

Release Date:

8 March 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Born Rich See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


During the fight scene at the party, Elvis Presley goes outside to tell the band to play something slow. He and his friend Charlie Hodge, who has a bit role in the film as a guitar player in the band, start cracking up during Elvis' line. Charlie later said the reason for the laughter was that it was cold outside and Elvis' nose was running. See more »


Mary Lightcloud: Come on, Lorne, let's go meet the rest of the tribe.
See more »


Featured in Elvis in the Movies (1990) See more »


All I Needed Was the Rain
Written by Fred Wise & Ben Weisman
Performed and Sung by Elvis Presley
See more »

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User Reviews

Stay Awake, Joe
28 December 2016 | by jdsuggsSee all my reviews

They wanted to make a good Elvis film. They wanted to bring his screen image up to date. They just didn't have the commitment to do what it took, as evidenced by a gun-slinging Joan Blondell (I love her anyway) and the almost unbelievable decision to let Elvis act near a comic bull, to or about which he will inevitably sing, with tragic results.

The film they wanted to make here, more or less, in my opinion, is "The Rounders" (1965): a bawdy, modern western with a smallish feeling, driven by life-sized characters and the fringe world they inhabit. Good idea. And there are a lot of things going for "Stay Away": the location shooting, an excellent cast; and even the meandering plot serves the film well, to a point. Elvis is clearly on board this time with his unapologetically horny, scheming, and semi-corrupt character- a much needed change of pace.

But they just can't get Elvis off of "Gilligan's Island". "Stay Away, Joe" is defeated by a number of things, ranging from the decision to let Elvis sing "diagetically" (i.e., in the film rather than over it), a make-up job on Burgess Meredith (who is completely wasted) that would make Bozo blush, and most especially, the overly broad comedy.

Broad comedy is a nice fit for this film. But in one of several fight sequences, they push through a progression of painful cartoonish clichés that starts with timpani and slide-whistles and degenerates into the old favorites- someone gets something over the head and goes cross-eyed, little guy's punches bounce off big guy, etc. If that really makes you laugh, I beg your pardon, I guess. Joan Blondell chasing Elvis around with a gun and actually shooting at him while friends and family stand by and chuckle further erode the sense that we're in a more believable world than Hope and Crosby or Martin and Lewis inhabit. Blondell's daughter is one of the saddest clichés: the exploitable sexpot with a small child's mind. It all just doesn't fit.

So unless you love Elvis and Elvis films as much as I do, stay away- Joe

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