Change of Habit

Change of Habit
Directed by William A. Graham
Produced by Joe Connelly
Written by Eric Bercovici
John Joseph
James Lee
Richard Morris
S.S. Schweitzer
Starring Elvis Presley
Mary Tyler Moore
Music by Billy Goldenberg
Buddy Kaye
Ben Weisman
Cinematography Russell Metty
Editing by Douglas Stewart
Distributed by MCA / Universal Pictures
Release date(s) November 10, 1969 (1969-11-10)
Running time 93 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Change of Habit is a 1969 musical drama film starring Elvis Presley and Mary Tyler Moore. It was Presley's 31st and final film acting role; his remaining two film appearances were concert documentaries. It was also Moore's fourth and final film under her brief Universal Pictures contract; she would not appear in another theatrical movie until Ordinary People in 1980. The film peaked at #17 at the box office.



Dr. John Carpenter is a physician in a ghetto clinic who falls for a co-worker, Michelle Gallagher, unaware that she is a nun.

Elvis stars as a professional man for the first time in his career. Dr. Carpenter heads a ghetto clinic in a major metropolis. He is surprised to be offered assistance by three women. Unknown to him, the three are nuns in street clothing who want to aid the community but are afraid the local residents might be reluctant to seek help if their true identities were known.

Carpenter falls in love with Sister Michelle Gallagher, played by wholesome Mary Tyler Moore, but Sister Michelle's true vocation remains unknown to Dr. Carpenter. She also has feelings for the doctor but is reluctant to leave the order. The film concludes with Sister Michelle entering a church to pray for guidance to make her choice.


Behind the scenes

By 1969, Presley's future in Hollywood was under threat. Although still financially successful, mainly due to the "make 'em quick, make 'em cheap" attitude of Presley's manager Colonel Tom Parker, Presley's films had been making less profit in recent years.[1] When Parker had struggled to find any studio willing to pay Presley's usual $1 million fee, he struck a deal with NBC to produce one feature film, and a TV Special entitled 'Elvis'. NBC would pay Presley $1.25 million for both features, and Parker was happy in the knowledge that he was still able to earn $1 million for his client.[2]

The film Change of Habit had been announced in 1967, with Mary Tyler Moore signing up in October 1968. [3] It was considered a Moore vehicle until January 1969 when Presley signed on to take the lead role.[3]

The film was shot in the Los Angeles area and at the Universal Studios during March and April 1969. It was released nationwide in the United States on November 10, 1969 and spent four weeks on the Variety Box Office Survey, peaking at #17.[3]

Mary Tyler Moore and Edward Asner would soon become co-stars of her self-named The Mary Tyler Moore Show, one of television's enduring hits from 1970-77. In Change of Habit, however, they shared no scenes together.[4]


When Presley entered Decca Universal Studio on March 5, 1969, for two days to record his final dramatic motion picture soundtrack, what would come to be known as the comeback television special had already been broadcast, its attendant album had been his first top ten LP in four years, and he had just finished the sessions at American Sound Studio yielding From Elvis in Memphis and the top ten singles "In the Ghetto" and "Suspicious Minds" that would cement his resurgence as a force in American popular music.[5] He had a month-long engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas lined up in August, his first live performances in eight years, and clearly now had turned his career around.[6]

A song recorded at American, "Rubberneckin'," would be used in the film and subsequently issued as the b-side of RCA single 47-9768 "Don't Cry Daddy" in conjunction with the movie premiere.[7] Four songs would be recorded at the soundtrack sessions, of which "Let's Be Friends" would not be used in the film. The four songs would be released commercially on budget albums, "Let's Be Friends," the title track "Change of Habit," and "Have A Happy" on Let's Be Friends the following year, with "Let Us Pray" issued on the 1971 album You'll Never Walk Alone.[8]

Some reference sources erroneously list an outtake from the earlier Presley film, Charro!, "Let's Forget About the Stars" (a song also released on the Let's Be Friends album), as being a song recorded for Change of Habit.[9]


Film music track listing

  1. "Change of Habit" (Buddy Kaye and Ben Weisman)
  2. "Let's Be Friends" (Chris Arnold, David Martin, Geoffrey Morrow)
  3. "Let Us Pray" (Buddy Kaye and Ben Weisman)
  4. "Have A Happy" (Buddy Kaye, Dolores Fuller, Ben Weisman)

See also


  1. ^ Down at the End of Lonely Street: The Life and Death of Elvis Presley. Arrow. 1998. pp. 328. 
  2. ^ Guralnick/Jorgensen (1999). Elvis Day by Day. Ballantine Books. pp. 237. ISBN 978-0345420893. 
  3. ^ a b c Worth, Fred. Elvis: His Life from A To Z. pp. 303–304. 
  4. ^ Adam Victor. The Elvis Encyclopedia. Overlook, 2008.
  5. ^ Jorgensen, Ernst. Elvis Presley A Life in Music: The Complete Recording Sessions. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998; pp. 263-265.
  6. ^ Jorgensen, op. cit., pp. 154, 282.
  7. ^ Jorgensen, op. cit., pp. 265, 271.
  8. ^ Jorgensen, op. cit., p. 279.
  9. ^ Roy Carr and Mick Farren, Elvis: The Illustrated Record. New York: Harmony Books, 1982; p. 133.

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Change Of Habit — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel: Ein himmlischer Schwindel Originaltitel: Change of Habit Produktionsland: USA Erscheinungsjahr: 1969 Länge: 93 Minuten Originalsprache: Englisch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Change of Habit (song) — Change of Habit Song by Elvis Presley from the album Let s Be Friends Released April 1970 Length 03:18 Writer Ben Weisman, Buddy Kaye …   Wikipedia

  • habit — hab|it W3S3 [ˈhæbıt] n ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(usual/regular)¦ 2¦(drugs)¦ 3 not make a habit of (doing) something 4 I m not in the habit of doing something 5 have a habit of doing something 6 old habits die hard 7 habit of thought/mind 8¦(clothing)¦ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • habit — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ annoying, antisocial (BrE), bad, dangerous, destructive, dirty, disconcerting (BrE), disgusting, filthy, horrible …   Collocations dictionary

  • Habit — • Habit is an effect of repeated acts and an aptitude to reproduce them, and may be defined as a quality difficult to change, whereby an agent whose nature it is to work one way or another indeterminately, is disposed easily and readily at will… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • habit — [ abi ] n. m. • XIIe; lat. habitus « manière d être », « costume » 1 ♦ Sing. Vieilli Pièce d habillement. ⇒ costume, vêtement. L étoffe d un habit. Habit de velours. 2 ♦ Plur. LES HABITS : l ensemble des pièces composant l habillement. ⇒ affaires …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • habit — n 1 Habit, habitude, practice, usage, custom, use, wont are comparable when they mean a way of behaving, doing, or proceeding that has become fixed by constant repetition. These words may be used also as collective or abstract nouns denoting… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • change — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun 1 becoming/making sb/sth different ADJECTIVE ▪ big, considerable, dramatic, drastic, enormous, extensive, far reaching, fundamental, important …   Collocations dictionary

  • habit — noun 1 STH YOU DO REGULARLY (C, U) something that you do regularly, often without thinking about it because you have done it so many times before: Dalton was a man of regular habits. | out of habit/from habit (=because it is a habit): After we… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • habit — hab|it [ hæbıt ] noun *** 1. ) count or uncount something that you do often or regularly, often without thinking about it: healthy eating habits a good/bad habit: Don t pick up any bad habits from your friends. be in the habit of doing something …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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