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Change of Habit is a 1969 musical drama film starring Elvis Presley and Mary Tyler Moore. It was Presley's final acting role; his remaining two film appearances were concert documentaries. It was also Mary's fourth and final film under her brief Universal Pictures contract; she wouldn't appear in another theatrical movie until Ordinary People in 1980.



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

The film was part of the deal that Colonel Parker (Elvis' manager) worked out with NBC for the 1968 NBC TV Special entitled 'Elvis'. The film was shot in the Los Angeles area and at the Universal Studios during March and April of 1969. It was released nationwide on November 10, 1969 and spent four weeks on the Variety Box Office Survey, peaking at #17.

Moore and Asner would soon become co-stars of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, one of television's enduring hits.


Track listing

  1. "Let Us Pray" (arranged by Elvis Presley)
  2. "Change of Habit" (Ben Weisman, Florence Kaye)
  3. "Rubberneckin'" (Bunny Warren, Corey Jones)
  4. "Have a Happy" (Ben Weisman, Dolores Fuller, Florence Kaye)
  5. "Let's Be Friends" (Chris Arnold, David Martin, Geoffrey Morrow) (not in film)

Recording musicians

Rubberneckin' cover
The soundtrack song "Rubberneckin'" was recorded at American Sound Studios in Memphis, Tennesseemarker in January of 1969, during the midst of the sessions that resulted in Presley's "comeback" album, From Elvis in Memphis. The remainder of the songs were recorded at Recording Studios in Universal City, Los Angeles, Californiamarker between March 5-7, 1969. Only "Rubberneckin'" was released to tie-in with the film (as the B-side of "Don't Cry Daddy"), with "Change of Habit", and "Have a Happy" appearing on the 1970 compilation album, Let's Be Friends and "Let Us Pray" not appearing until the 1971 compilation You'll Never Walk Alone. An additional song recorded for but not used in the film, "Let's Be Friends", appeared on the album of the same title. "Rubberneckin'" is also the only song from this film (or, indeed, any of Presley's recent films) that the singer agreed to perform in concert during his return to live performances that occurred around the time of the film's release. Some sources, such as Elvis: The Illustrated Record by Roy Carr and Mick Farren (Harmony Books, 1982) erroneously list "Let's Forget About the Stars" as a recording from Change of Habit; it was, in fact, recorded for a previous film, Charro!. Discounting songs later recorded for television and documentary productions, "Have a Happy" has the distinction of being the final soundtrack recording Presley made.

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