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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 760 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 ...
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:

The rare personal films never before seen by the public. 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

The expanded home video version contains rare footage such as the "Sagebrush Presley" comedy skit from The Steve Allen Show (1950) 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 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. "Troubl3" 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

Spoofed in This Is Spinal Tap (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

American Trilogy
Arranged by Mickey Newbury
Acuff-Rose Publications
Performed by Elvis Presley (uncredited)
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.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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