The true story of Elvis' first fiancee, June Juanico. This documentary featuries the oldest home movie of Elvis in a private setting...on vacation in Biloxi, Mississippi with June in the summer of 1956.
Stuart A. Goldman
Edward J. Bellman
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There is one sequence in the film where the producers chose to show a segment of Elvis performing live READY TEDDY at a Ed Sullivan Show in 1956. Elvis's manager tried hard to convince them not to use this segment as he didn't want Elvis to appear as a nostalgia act. He explained them that Elvis was a modern performer and they didn't have to show this 1956 performance. The producers left the segment in the film and it was released like this. See more »
[introducing band members to audience]
"... and the guy that gives me my water and my scarves and so forth, his name is Charlie Hodge."
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I mean, it's always an either/or situation when it comes to Elvis Presley: either you subscribe to a fanatical worship of him, going so far as to calling him the King, or you attack him with a generous portion of cynicism, remarking more about his capes, kung fu and his weight than about his music. Well, for me, it's always about the music. His music is what lives on. And the music is what works best in this film. Being able to watch him rehearse with band mates while backstage was an amazing 'fly on the wall' experience. Elvis had a love for music that was inspiring, and as you can see on the film, even his band members shared in the love for music and were very much in awe of him and his musical abilities. I guess that's what I take away from the film most, his love for music, whether it's country, blues, gospel or rock and roll, Elvis loved music. It was also a great thrill to see his band working out through their first live rendition of 'Burning Love' or to hear his dramatic rendition of 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'. These moments are definitive proof of Elvis' ability to captivate an audience, just stunning.
However, I could have done without the cheesy '2001' intro, but you must remember, it was the 70's and who knows, you may get a perverse chuckle from hearing it. The 'Love Me Tender' film montage left me feeling sad in a number of ways. 1) In the clips we see Elvis as a young man, fit and charismatic, brimming over with so much promise. Then to cut back to see the current Elvis on stage in his capes. Just depressing.
2) The film images for the montage were taken from all of those films he made when he should have been concentrating on his music. Ironicly, the films kept him from making great music for a long period of time. Given the choice, I would rather he made music instead of 'Girls Girls Girls' or 'Viva Las Vegas' or any movie. It almost gives credence to something that is said in the film, in a totally non related way, when a loud speaker declares, "The Elvis Presley Show is a complete sell out".
All in all.....fans will loooooove the movie. People who can take or leave Elvis will deal with the movie and appreciate his talents, or at least they should. Those who are not fans will laugh at his costumes, his posse and his sides....hairy and otherwise. And you know, that's just not a good enough reason.
Me? I guess I lean more towards the 'either'.7/10.
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