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This Is Elvis (1981)

PG  |   |  Biography, Music  |  4 April 1981 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 750 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 15 critic

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

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

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

Taglines:

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 »

Genres:

Biography | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 April 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Life of Elvis Presley  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video)

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joe Esposito, a friend of Elvis Presley, was cast to play himself. See more »

Goofs

In this film, teaming up with Frank Sinatra, Elvis sings the Sinatra hit, "Withcraft", Written by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh. However in the closing credits,another "Witchcraft" mistakenly credited in its' place, is the B side of Elvis' 1963 hit , "Bosa Nova Baby" , also titled "Withcraft", a different song that does not appear in this film. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Features Charro! (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Too Much Monkey Business
By Chuck Berry
Arc Music Corp.
Performed by Elvis Presley (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This Is Elvis (1981) ***1/2
17 August 2007 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Very good documentary from Malcolm Leo and Andrew Solt on Elvis Presley's life, as "narrated" by Presley from beyond, in the voice of sound-alike impersonator Ral Donner (who doesn't sound exactly like Elvis if you're someone who's really become familiarized with Presley's speaking voice). Anyway, this is essential viewing for fans, naturally, but even for those who aren't big followers of Elvis. It shows the rise and fall of a music legend, and along the way are a plethora of choice musical performance clips, interviews, home movies, and montages.

The one thing that has always bugged me slightly about this film are the occasional "faked" interviews supposedly done with fans at various times over the years, like the segment after Elvis and Priscilla got married in 1967. This was completely unnecessary, and some of the re-enactments with a phony Presley supposedly walking around his hospital with his current girlfriend Ginger are equally silly and not needed. The movie hit theaters in 1981 at around 100 minutes, but for home video in 1983 there were an additional 40 or so minutes of performance clips added, which is the version I watched, and is the one this review is based on. In the theatrical version, an original line is left intact during a backstage Elvis exchange where he says that the girl he had the other night "gave great head"; on the extended version, this is overdubbed into "could raise the dead". Another change regards a song switch during Elvis' final 1977 concert... originally, the film had him singing "Are You Lonesome Tonight" where he's nervously laughing and screwing up the lyrics; in this edition it is changed to the less embarrassing "Love Me". Perhaps the shorter theatrical edition might work even better, since the 144 minute cut does feel occasionally padded in the earlier years. Whatever the cut chosen, it's still an important and vital piece of music history. ***1/2 out of ****


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