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This Is Elvis (1981)

The life and career of Elvis Presley are chronicled in home movies, concert footage, and dramatizations. Subjects include early performances, army service, Ed Sullivan Show appearance, marriage, 1968 comeback, health decline and death.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Scott ...
Elvis - Age 18
...
Elvis - Age 10
Johnny Harra ...
Lawrence Koller ...
Vernon Presley
Rhonda Lyn ...
Priscilla Presley
Debbie Edge ...
Gladys Presley
Larry Raspberry ...
Dewey Phillips
Furry Lewis ...
Bluesman
Liz Robinson ...
Minnie Mae Presley
Dana MacKay ...
Elvis - Age 35
Knox Phillips ...
Sam Phillips
Cheryl Needham ...
Linda Thompson
Andrea Cyrill ...
Ginger Alden
Jerry Phillips ...
Bill Black
Emory Smith ...
Scotty Moore
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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 Gospel 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 nationwide concert tours, continued for the remainder of his career. A clip from his 1973 TV Special, "Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii", ... 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)

Opening Weekend:

$429,146 (USA) (12 April 1981)

Gross:

$2,028,612 (USA)
 »

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

The expanded home video version contains rare footage such as the "Sagebrush Presley" comedy skit from The Steve Allen Show (1951) and Elvis Presley's compelling 1956 performance of a The Four Aces-style ballad, "I Was The One", which hinted an appeal to a wider audience or another musical direction even then. 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 Live a Little, Love a Little (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock-A-Hula Baby
(uncredited)
Written by Fred Wise, Ben Weisman, Dolores Fuller
Performed by Elvis Presley
(extended video version only)
See more »

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User Reviews

Odd Docu-Something Hybrid
25 August 2001 | by (Mebane, NC) – See all my reviews

"This is Elvis" is one of the oddest "documentaries" I've ever seen. Using extensive archival footage, mixed with recreations shot to look like archival footage, the film looks at the rise of fall of Elvis.

The problem is that the recreation footage comes off as bad TV movie of the week, standing in stark contrast to the original, compelling material presented in the piece.

The success of "This is Elvis" was the impetus behind the current style of historical documentaries that attempt to recreate drama where no original footage exists to illustrate it. In that sense, "This is Elvis" looks a bit embarrassing at times, since it doesn't have the slickness of more contemporary "docu-drama-documentaries" in the genre.

What I'm waiting for is an Elvis documentary done with the taste and skillfullness of the "Beatles: Anthology" mini-series aired on ABC.


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