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This Is Elvis (1981)

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 »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
David Scott ...
Johnny Harra ...
Lawrence Koller ...
Rhonda Lyn ...
Debbie Edge ...
Larry Raspberry ...
Furry Lewis ...
Liz Robinson ...
Dana MacKay ...
Knox Phillips ...
Cheryl Needham ...
Andrea Cyrill ...
Ginger Alden
Jerry Phillips ...
Emory Smith ...


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 close to him. His arrival on the national scene ,in 1956, is highlighted by clips from "Stage Show", "The Milton Berle Show" and "The Ed Sullivan Show". Scenes from several of his 33 films are highlighted including his screen debut in "Love Me Tender" (1956) and the critically acclaimed "King "Creole"(1958), his last film prior to a 2 year hitch in the military. From 1960-68 he kept busy by making films and soundtrack albums, as well as some Gospal albums. After an absence of almost 9 years from live performing, Elvis returned in 1968 to do a TV Special titled "Elvis" and in 1969 performed in Las Vegas for the first time since 1956. His Vegas appearances, along with his nation wide concert tours, continued for the remainder of his career. A clip from his 1973 TV Special,"Elvis Aloa", is featured. ... Written by efffee@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This is the sound he created and performed. The rare personal films never before seen by the public. The private moments. The public triumphs. Intimate memories and reflections in his own words. See more »


Biography | Music


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 April 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Life of Elvis Presley  »

Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (video)

Sound Mix:


| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In 1961 Ral Donner, who is the voice of a "retrospective" Elvis Presley in this film, covered an Elvis song, "The Girl of My Best Friend", with some chart success. See more »


When Elvis pulls up to the house in the beginning his girlfriend gets out of the car wearing a maroon pantsuit; when he opens the door and they enter the house she is wearing blue shorts and a blue workout suit jacket - this will be due to scenes that were not used in the film as in this scene it also shows Elvis going in the front door then the next scene it shows him coming through Graceland from the back entrance, passing the front door from the inside before heading upstairs. This can be explained by taking note of Elvis' last hours. He came home, played racket ball in the racket ball building before entering Graceland from the rear entrance and then retreating to his room. This will explain the different clothes that the Ginger Alden character wears. See more »


Pauline Nicholson: [Elvis and Ginger prepare to go upstairs to his bedroom, passing the kitchen doorway, where Pauline is seated at the table] Mr. P, can I get you some sandwiches?
Elvis at 42: [waves] That'd be fine, Pauline.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Certain sequences in this film were recreated. See more »


Features King Creole (1958) See more »


American Trilogy
Arranged by Mickey Newbury
Acuff-Rose Publications
See more »

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User Reviews

"The King" as a human being...
9 September 1999 | by (Culpeper, VA) – See all my reviews

I remember when this film first appeared on HBO in the early eighties. I was never a huge Elvis fan, but found myself watching this film every time it came on. It is a fascinating portrait of a man thrust into overwhelming fame and fabulous wealth and how it eventually destroys him. The "recreations" are very well done and the film as a whole is very balanced in it's view of Elvis' life. It neither canonizes nor trashes him, but shows him as an ordinary guy dealing with extraordinary fame. The longer version now available on video is nice, but I miss the late concert performance where Elvis, sick, overweight, and bathed in sweat, forgets the lyrics of "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" and nervously "wings it". Maybe that was too much truth, even for this documentary.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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