Television special featuring Elvis Presley's last tour before his death.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Estell Brown ...
Herself (as Estelle Brown)
...
Himself
Ed Enoch ...
Himself
Joe Guercio ...
Himself
Charlie Hodge ...
Himself - Stage Assistant / Guitarist / Vocalist
Vernon Presley ...
Himself
Jerry Scheff ...
Himself
Sylvia Shemmell ...
Herself (as Sylvia Shemwell)
Myrna Smith ...
Herself
J.D. Sumner ...
Himself
Ronnie Tutt ...
Himself
Kathy Westmoreland ...
Herself
John Wilkinson ...
Himself
Annett Wolf ...
Herself - Interviewer
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Television special featuring Elvis Presley's last tour before his death.

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Genres:

Documentary | Music

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Release Date:

3 October 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Elvis en concierto  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The singer's father, Vernon Presley, made a brief appearance at the end of the program to thank fans who sent letters and postcards of condolences regarding Elvis' death. See more »

Quotes

Elvis Presley: [last words from Elvis on the concert before closing song] 'Til we meet you again. May God bless you. Adios.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Elvis Presley: Love Me Tender (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Teddy Bear
Written by Kal Mann, Bernie Lowe
Performed by Elvis Presley
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User Reviews

 
This is the end
16 November 2008 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

I rate Elvis in Concert a 10 for the simple fact that, by complete accident, it captured the single greatest entertainer in music history in his final concert tour. The footage has thus achieved a resonance and importance it didn't really deserve. Indeed, if the rumours are right, the producers of the TV special had decided in early August 1977 to shelve the material and wait for a better concert. Of course, there were no more concerts, so a compilation of two shows from the June 1977 tour were shown on CBS in October of that year as the last testament of Elvis Aron Presley.

To this day, EIC remains the only official Presley product to not have been released on VHS or DVD in its' complete form. Why? Well, the reason is painfully obvious to those of us who have seen off-air recordings of the special, or the various DVD/VCD bootlegs. Years of drug abuse and an appalling diet largely consisting of junk food had, by, mid-77, wrought havoc on Presley's system, and it shows in the TV special. The once-stunning rock god, handsomer than a Greek statue and capable of belting out 90 minutes of stage magic without breaking a sweat, was by the time of EIC an overweight, chronically stoned parody of himself. Presley is more or less out on his feet for the special. His voice remains powerful, though it is no longer daring, but the man himself is virtually immobile for the duration. Static, somnolent, sometimes literally clinging to the mike, sweat running off his bloated face in sheets, Presley in EIC is ripped out of his mind and terribly ill. Lyrics are slurred, stage movements are beyond minimal, and the rambling conversations with the audience and band (seen in outtakes, but cut from the special for the most part) got longer and more disjointed as the final end approached. All but one performance in the special is taken from the June 21st gig in Rapid City, with 'My Way' edited in from a show two days earlier in Omaha. Neither show is good, and it is baffling why the oft-bootlegged and easily superior June 26 tour-closer concert in Indianapolis was not filmed.

Even though the Rapid City show is at best lacklustre, it was a towering triumph compared to Omaha. The bootleg of the uncut Omaha show is painful to watch - the man is clearly blasted out of his mind on Dilaudid and Seconal, disoriented, immobile, barely conscious. The sole highlight of this show, chosen for the special, has seen release on official products - and I am curious as to why everyone seems to think that showing a live take of Presley delivering a song he'd been singing for years *with the lyric sheet held in front of him* was a good move.

Anyway, the special itself. The June 21st show is a fair example of his final tour, Elvis delivering sometimes good but mostly cookie-cutter versions of his old and new favourites, taking time out to wander slowly around the stage to do the inevitable scarf-dispensing. Albert Goldman and others have heaped scorn on EIC, describing how poor Presley looks and how wasted he seems. I have no reason to stand up for Elvis, not any desire to do so, but come onnnnnnnn, he's NOWHERE NEAR as bad physically and musically as those hacks would have you believe. But that is not to say that EIC is some kind of neglected gem. The man is very obviously in poor shape, the singing and stage presence are not remotely close to his usual standard, and it is only on tracks like Hurt, the gospel tracks (E dearly loved the old religious tunes, and it shows) and Unchained Melody that we get anything approaching the old magic. The man *did* had magic, once; in fact, he still had it not so long before this special. John Lennon was right in saying that before Presley, there was nothing. And now, in the last weeks of his life, the tank has, regrettably, almost run dry. We see in EIC the last flicker before the death on the toilet and the return to that nothing that preceded him. And in the case of Unchained Melody, it is quite sad to see a sweat-drenched Presley crouched at the piano, using the very last of his fading strength to belt out the lyrics. You don't feel like laughing at 'Fat Elvis' when you watch EIC, or at least you don't if you have any human feelings. You feel what I felt - sympathy. For God's sake, E, take a year off, get clean from the pills, and just REST.

A strange experience, Elvis In Concert. A must for the fans, a curio for those fascinated by the late 70s music scene. This is the end, dear friends.

And just as a closer, I am not a fan of his music. At all.


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