MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 2,603 this week

Elvis: That's the Way It Is (1970)

8.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 1,532 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 27 critic

Concert footage and backstage documentary of singer Elvis Presley.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Fall TV Premiere Week

Many of your favorite shows are coming back, along with plenty of series premieres. Here's a list of the shows premiering between Sunday, September 21 and Friday, September 26.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 31 titles
created 16 May 2011
 
a list of 46 titles
created 24 Sep 2011
 
a list of 356 titles
created 02 Jan 2012
 
a list of 32 titles
created 14 Feb 2013
 
a list of 145 titles
created 21 Jun 2013
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Elvis: That's the Way It Is (1970)

Elvis: That's the Way It Is (1970) on IMDb 8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Elvis: That's the Way It Is.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Elvis on Tour (1972)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Concert footage and offstage documentary of singer Elvis Presley.

Directors: Robert Abel, Pierre Adidge
Stars: Elvis Presley, Bill Baize, Estell Brown
Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii (TV Special 1973)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A 1973 concert by Elvis Presley taped at the Convention Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. This was the first program to ever be beamed around the world by satellite.

Director: Marty Pasetta
Stars: Elvis Presley, James Burton, Jerry Scheff
Elvis (TV Movie 1968)
Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Director: Steve Binder
Stars: Elvis Presley, Buddy Arett, Barbara Burgess
This Is Elvis (1981)
Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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 »

Directors: Malcolm Leo, Andrew Solt
Stars: Elvis Presley, David Scott, Paul Boensch III
Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Directors: Marty Pasetta, Gary Hovey, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Elvis Presley, Bill Baize, Estell Brown
Drama | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After serving time for manslaughter, young Vince Everett becomes a teenage rock star.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Elvis Presley, Judy Tyler, Mickey Shaughnessy
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Race car driver Lucky Jackson goes to Las Vegas to earn money to pay for a new engine for his motor car. Working as a waiter, he still finds the time to court young Rusty Martin.

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Elvis Presley, Ann-Margret, Cesare Danova
Loving You (1957)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Deke Rivers is a delivery man who is discovered by publicist Glenda Markle and country-western musician Tex Warner who want to promote the talented newcomer to fame and fortune, giving him ... See full summary »

Director: Hal Kanter
Stars: Elvis Presley, Lizabeth Scott, Wendell Corey
King Creole (1958)
Crime | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Having flunked graduation for a second time and needing cash to support his crabby (and thus unemployed) father, Danny Fisher takes a job as a singer in the King Creole nightclub - about ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Elvis Presley, Carolyn Jones, Walter Matthau
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When the Kwimper family car runs out of gas on a new Florida highway and an officous state supervisor tries to run them off, Pop Kwimper digs in his heels and decides to do a little ... See full summary »

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Elvis Presley, Arthur O'Connell, Anne Helm
Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Mike works on a boat in Acapulco. When the bratty daughter of the boat owner gets him fired, Mike must find new work. Little boy Rauol helps him get a job as a lifeguard and singer at a ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Elvis Presley, Ursula Andress, Elsa Cárdenas
Elvis in Concert (TV Special 1977)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Television special featuring Elvis Presley's last tour before his death.

Director: Dwight Hemion
Stars: Elvis Presley, Estell Brown, James Burton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself
...
Himself - Musician
Glen D. Hardin ...
Himself - Musician (as Glen Hardin)
Charlie Hodge ...
Himself - Musician (as Charley Hodge)
Jerry Scheff ...
Himself - Musician
Ronnie Tutt ...
Himself - Musician
John Wilkinson ...
Himself - Musician
Millie Kirkham ...
Herself - Background Vocalist
Estell Brown ...
Herself - Background Vocalist (as The Sweet Inspirations)
Sylvia Shemmell ...
Herself - Background Vocalist (as The Sweet Inspirations)
Ann Williams ...
Herself - Background Vocalist (as The Sweet Inspirations)
Roger Wiles ...
Himself - Background Vocalist (as The Imperials)
Jim Murray ...
Himself - Background Vocalist (as The Imperials)
Joe Moscheo ...
Himself - Background Vocalist (as The Imperials)
Armando Morales ...
Himself - Background Vocalist (as The Imperials)
Edit

Storyline

Concert footage and backstage documentary of singer Elvis Presley.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 November 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Elvis: That's the Way It Was  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (special edition)

Sound Mix:

(special edition)| (special edition)| (special edition)| (original version)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

2001 special edition premiered before 2,500 Elvis fans during Elvis Week 2000. See more »

Quotes

Elvis Presley: Uh, and the title song to the movie went like this.
[James Burton plays "Love Me Tender."]
Elvis Presley: [Elvis Presley stops it] That's how it went. Just right downhill, boy.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Aloha from Sweden (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Mary In the Morning
Written by Mike Lendell & Johnny Cymbal
Performed by Elvis Presley
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Yes, he was really THAT cool
5 December 2003 | by (Greenwich, CT United States) – See all my reviews

Filmgoers were treated to two rockumentaries in 1970. The first, "Let It Be," shows the greatest rock n' roll band ever, The Beatles, struggling unsuccessfully to get out of its first and only decade of existence. The second, "That's The Way It Is," shows the greatest rock n' roll singer ever, Elvis Presley, entering his third decade of stardom lean, mean, and taking no prisoners.

The form of both is almost identical. You see rehearsal footage in a studio, some backstage chatter, and then a live performance before an enthused crowd. But while "Let It Be" is more interesting as a historical document than entertainment, "That's The Way It Is" is a powerful, galvanizing performance piece that stands up as well now as it did in 1970.

Even better than in 1970, many would say, because the version we have now is heavily re-edited, using unused footage from the original filming, mostly focused on Elvis, and discarding other bits showing interviews with fans. (You can see the seams, though, as many of the patched-in bits have a washed-out color scheme immediately apparent when contrasted with the vibrant Lucien Ballard photography of the original film.)

I'm not sure I like the idea of tampering with the record, but it's hard to bicker with results. The new "Way It Is" has a power and freshness that makes you feel the vitality of Elvis, who by 1970 was at least a half-step behind the fashion of the times but a better performer than ever. Since the film features Elvis in a series of Vegas shows (six filmed over three days in August, 1970, just seven years before his death) it's not unnatural to expect a bloated rhinestone-encrusted drug addict with velcro sideburns performing hokey schmaltz, as the myth perpetuated by his detractors would have it. But 1970 was a very good year for the King. He was not only in fine physical shape, he had matured into a vocalist who had married his awesome power with subtlety and finesse, and found his voice in a series of country-tinged rock songs that complemented him nicely even if they never achieved the pop status of his earlier hits. Songs like "Patch It Up," "Just Pretend," "Twenty Days And Twenty Nights" and "Tiger Man" (seen in a killer title sequence juxtaposed with Elvis's standard show-opener "Mystery Train") are thrilling, classic-sounding numbers not burdened today by overplay on oldies radio stations. Even his outfits were in surprisingly good taste for the period, at times even casual and comfortable-looking.

In rehearsal and on stage, Elvis works in his biggest hits of yore, which he seems almost embarrassed by and trots out almost perfunctorily, then throws in newer songs recorded by other artists, like the Bee Gees' "Words" and The Righteous Brothers "You've Lost That Loving Feeling," that he invests with real conviction and passion. He was a real artist, always moving forward, finding brilliance in the work of others, and believing in the power of song.

There are many highlights in this film. Elvis throws himself into each number he performs on stage like its his last moment on earth, even his older hits once he warms up to them. His "Love Me Tender" sends him into the audience for a lengthy series of kisses with delighted female audience members, and what blows you away is not so much the serial smooching but the way Elvis makes an effort to offer serious eye contact to everyone who approaches him, and thanks them sincerely when he returns to the safety of the stage. "Sorry I couldn't make it up there," he yells to the people in the balcony, and I think he meant it.

I especially appreciated the chance to see Elvis's interaction with his bandmates, a killer ensemble led by guitarist extraordinaire James Burton and drummer Ronnie Tutt, who was probably the only guy in 1970 who could have given Keith Moon a run for his money in a "Wipeout" faceoff. "The backbone of my whole show," he calls his musicians in a typical moment of humility. Elvis is also accompanied by the playful and vibrant Sweet Inspirations and the Imperials, male back-up singers who resemble Elvis impersonators before their time.

Elvis comes across as genuinely decent and sweet, but doesn't let you into his world too much. That's just as well when you get a load of his unctuous retinue, the Memphis Mafia, a squalid band of freeloaders and enablers who sped the King to his sordid doom. They giggle and interfere a bit, enough to remind you of the dark side of Elvis's celebrity, but in the end what you have is a prime slice of music greatness, the greatest vocalist of his day finding new power in his reinvention as rock's elder statesman and most accomplished showman, plowing through songs like "Polk Salad Annie" and "I Can't Stop Loving You" like he was plugged into God's private frequency.

I'd never say the Beatles were a shabby second to Elvis, but it's hard not to see them falling short in the rockumentary department. Elvis even delivers a better version of "Get Back" (though he seems to think the title is "Take It Back.") This is a film you will want to see at least once, just to get a sense of who Elvis was just before the money-changers moved into the temple and the man was hijacked by the legend.


18 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Elvis, That's the Way It Is...the Out-Takes tfpizza91
Baheega? becca2686
For Those Who Have Seen The Original clownundermybedx
Cinematography mikeg19_82
bass drum logo chris_bodkin
Joyce Brazil? danward84
Discuss Elvis: That's the Way It Is (1970) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page