Though several actors portray Elvis Presley at different stages of his life, this documentary is comprised mostly of actual performance footage and interviews with Elvis, his fans and those... See full summary »
Paul Boensch III
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Principal photography began the 2nd week of July 1970, during rehearsals at MGM. Shows at the International Hotel were filmed in August. Photography was completed on September 9th with the concert in Phoenix, Az at the Veteran's Memorial Coliseum. See more »
Fascinating and memorable - even for general music fans.
Elvis rehearses/jokes with his pickup band and then hits the low rise super club stage in Las Vegas. This review refers to the re-cut version (a big improvement), although I have seen both.
Since America revoked its monarchist past and went republican they have had only one "King." Rightly put there by popular demand rather than by being born in the right bed. Maybe the only democratically elected king of all time!
It would be foolish to try and summate the man, but chew on this - he made more people dip in to their pocket and pay for his recordings/products/museum and home than any other artist in the history the world. No critic, however skilled, can take that away from him.
(That is not to agree with some of them that his films were bad and at times so camp that only a dyed-in-the-wool fan could sit through them.)
In reply to other reviews - Elvis's weight yo-yoed throughout his life. Between movies/tours he blow up and he went on crash diets aided by more of those strange pills. Here - in 1970 - he looks slim enough and young enough to be of sexual interest to any woman of any age (although the surgeons knife had already helped), although good natured and warm he never looks "straight" for a second.
The early rehearsals are worthwhile in that he knows what he wants, although his guitar doesn't seen to switched on (although it is plugged in). He is backed by talented musicians, but they are still - when all is said and done - only session men. Capable of playing anything, but probably couldn't come up with a song of their own. The musical 9 to 5'er. Not that anybody could take the limelight away from the king.
(The backing singers are too many in number and could almost take the gig over if Elvis passed out on stage.)
The audience is older too - some middle-aged - with lots of collars and ties. In the main, the usual Vegas mug punter minus their cup of dimes. The place didn't really have the resident population it has now. The theatre is large and the seats well padded - but would you really want to eat a full meal before Elvis? I couldn't or wouldn't. He even play two shows a night - two shows! Amazing really.
The tunes are well known and all inclusive - from his early hits (cut short) to the hit pop songs of the day. Even Bridge Over Troubled Water. They play - on film - better than you might think because Elvis made every tune his own: although he was a strange singer, ad-libbing and often stopping to kiss the girls and take gifts. A moment to remember all your life for those on the receiving end - tedious to us watching. Never mind the diseases you can pick up from sticking your tongue (and he is clearly is!) down the throat of a complete stranger. Even in 1970!
You can't live your life like Elvis did and live long. Food, drugs and hangers-on were soon to get the better of the guy and he lay in his grave at the age of 42. A stupid age to leave, but the product of stupid living. "No one said 'no" to Elvis", said wife Priscilla once. I couldn't say "no" to walking down a time tunnel and seeing all this in the flesh myself - even if it did cost an arm and a leg.
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