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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

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Scott ...
...
Johnny Harra ...
Lawrence Koller ...
Rhonda Lyn ...
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:

10 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

In a scene, shown here, from Loving You, when Deke Rivers (Elvis) fights with a heckler in front of a juke box, we hear Elvis singing "Mean Woman Blues, written by Roy Orbison and later singing "Trouble", in the background. "Trouble" was first performed by Elvis in King Creole, one year later. In the actual film "Loving You", the juke box was playing only "Mean Woman Blues". 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 Elvis in Concert (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

That's When Your Heartaches Begin
Music by Fred Fisher
Words by William Raskin & George R. Brown (as George Brown)
Fisher Music Corp.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well intentioned but flawed
15 March 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

A reasonably accurate and sympathetic portrayal, sadly undermined by a few glaring clangers..

At one point, the film attempts to use the Aloha From Hawaii concert to emphasise the widening gulf between the triumph of Elvis' professional life and his increasingly sad and lonely existence off stage.

A camera in the limo supposedly shows Elvis and a members of the inner Memphis Mafia departing the Honolulu International Centre following the show, as the narrating actor (as Elvis) laments, "If only I could have seen what was happening to me..".. Unfortunately, a clumsily overdubbed comment ("Man can Hawaii get sticky") didn't hide the fact that Elvis had already commented that it was a "hot time in Florida", another occupant pointed out the Gator Bowl in the distance, bright sunshine was evident (Aloha was filmed after midnight) and Joe Esposito (long serving Road manager) said with a sense of relief "The last matinée of the tour". This footage had been taken from a Florida concert filmed for "Elvis On Tour" a year previously, which also explains the fact that Presley was actually wearing a different stage costume in the Limo to the famous "American Eagle" suit worn for the Aloha show, and that the boys were discussing Florida landmarks and previous tour experiences at the Gator Bowl as they left the stadium.

Later, during a press conference in which ex bodyguards Sonny West and Dave Hebler attempt to justify writing the tell-all, "Elvis What Happened?" there is an enormous double take by a reporter, supposedly, over Presley's use of Demerol. "You actually saw him take (The name of the drug is edited) .?" "Yes".. Sonny goes on to explain that his cousin (and co author) Red West had threatened to "break up" the supplier but had relented when Elvis assured him, "I need it, man"..Demerol, a prescription painkiller, had already been alluded to as one of Presley's drugs of choice earlier in the interview. No one would have been surprised to hear that Sonny had witnessed Elvis taking Demerol, which was being prescribed (rightly or wrongly) by his doctor. The real question actually referred to cocaine, which explains the press reaction when Sonny said, "yes" as this allegation (true or false) was far more explosive.

Despite some ill-used dramatic licence, "This Is Elvis" is an interesting introduction to the Presley phenomenon, but a long way from the definitive account.


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