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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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Elvis Presley has now been out for making movies for many years, now he makes a comeback in 1968.

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Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii (TV Special 1973)
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A 1973 concert by Elvis Presley taped at the Convention Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. This was the first program to ever be beamed around the world by satellite.

Director: Marty Pasetta
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A troubled young man discovers that he has a knack for writing when a counselor encourages him to pursue a literary career.

Director: Philip Dunne
Stars: Elvis Presley, Hope Lange, Tuesday Weld
Comedy | Musical | Romance
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Mike and Danny fly a crop duster, but because of Danny's gambling debts, a local sheriff seizes it. Trying to earn money, they hitch-hike to the World's Fair in Seattle. While Danny tries ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Taurog
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A Chicago mobster hires a rock and roll singer and his band to keep an eye on his daughter during Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Director: Boris Sagal
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Biographical movie about the famous rock singer Elvis Presley.

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An Army officer returns to the Smoky Mountains tries to convince his kinfolk to allow the Army to build a missile site on their land. Once he gets there, he discovers he has a lookalike cousin.

Director: Gene Nelson
Stars: Elvis Presley, Arthur O'Connell, Glenda Farrell
Loving You (1957)
Drama | Musical
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A musician and a publicist help a delivery man achieve stardom.

Director: Hal Kanter
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Charro! (1969)
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Jess Wade is falsely accused of having stolen a cannon from the Mexican revolutionary forces. He tries to find the real culprits, a gang of criminals.

Director: Charles Marquis Warren
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Kid Galahad (1962)
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After completing his military service, Walter Gulick takes a job as a sparring partner at a gym, the owner of which sees potential in Walter as a professional fighter and takes him under his wing.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: Elvis Presley, Gig Young, Lola Albright


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 ...
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


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


The rare personal films never before seen by the public. 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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$429,146, 12 April 1981, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


| (video)

Sound Mix:


| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Paul Boensh lll's mother, Jean Boyd, was a nurse-companion to Minnie-Mae Presley(Elvis' paternal grandmother). In 1970 Jean took 2 1/2 year old Paul to meet Elvis. Elvis remarked on how Paul looked like him See more »


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 »


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 Blue Hawaii (1961) See more »


As Long As I Have You
Written by Fred Wise and Ben Weisman
Performed by Elvis Presley
(extended video version only)
See more »

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User Reviews

This Is Elvis (1981) ***1/2
17 August 2007 | by 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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