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Elvis: That's the Way It Is (1970)

2:09 | Trailer
After years of making movies, the King made a triumphant return to the stage in 1970. Now, see the backstage footage from rehearsals to relaxing at the hotel and the performances in one of the most intimate looks at Elvis captured on film.


Denis Sanders





Cast overview, first billed only:
Elvis Presley ... Self
James Burton ... Self - Musician
Glen D. Hardin Glen D. Hardin ... Self - Musician (as Glen Hardin)
Charlie Hodge Charlie Hodge ... Self - Musician (as Charley Hodge)
Jerry Scheff Jerry Scheff ... Self - Musician
Ronnie Tutt Ronnie Tutt ... Self - Musician
John Wilkinson John Wilkinson ... Self - Musician
Millie Kirkham Millie Kirkham ... Self - Background Vocalist
Estell Brown Estell Brown ... Self - Background Vocalist (as The Sweet Inspirations)
Sylvia Shemmell Sylvia Shemmell ... Self - Background Vocalist (as The Sweet Inspirations)
Ann Williams Ann Williams ... Self - Background Vocalist (as The Sweet Inspirations)
Roger Wiles Roger Wiles ... Self - Background Vocalist (as The Imperials)
Jim Murray Jim Murray ... Self - Background Vocalist (as The Imperials)
Joe Moscheo Joe Moscheo ... Self - Background Vocalist (as The Imperials)
Armando Morales Armando Morales ... Self - Background Vocalist (as The Imperials)


On July 31, 1969, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Elvis Presley staged a triumphant return to the concert stage from which he had been absent for almost a decade. His series of concerts broke all box office records and completely re-energized the career of the King of Rock 'n' Roll. This feature-length concert film crosses the footlights, revealing the legendary singer as a man preparing for an emotional career comeback, the fans who traveled from all over the world for this history-making event - and the electrifying live performance of the man who gave us rock 'n' roll.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Backstage, before the concert, Elvis is nervous about remembering the words of his new song "I Just Can't Help Believin'". He starts singing the song. One of his band mates tries to reassure him, telling him that's the first verse. Elvis responds, positively, if he can remember the first lines, he'll be fine and remember the rest of the song. However, the lines Elvis was singing to remember the song were actually the third and fourth lines of the first verse - not the lines at the beginning of the song. See more »


Elvis Presley: [During rehearsals] We could do a yodel? I-de-yo-lodel-lodel-lodel-lodel-lodel...
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 2001, a new version of That's the Way it Is was compiled. The new version eliminated much of the documentary and non-Elvis content of the original in favor of adding additional performances of Elvis rehearsing and in concert. The final film runs 12 minutes shorter than the original, but contains more music, although several performances included in the original film are omitted (most notably the concert performance of "I Just Can't Help Believin'", even though the new version of the film features footage of Presley rehearsing the song and being concerned about remembering its lyrics on stage). The special edition was released on January 19, 2001, when this new version made its worldwide debut on the cable network Turner Classic Movies, and was produced by award-winning producer Rick Schmidlin. In August 2007 a two-disc DVD "special edition" was released by Warner/Turner that has both the reworked version plus the original cut. The original, however, has only a mono soundtrack (it was made with four-track stereo). The DVD also includes approximately 35 minutes of additional performances and other footage that was not included in either edition. See more »


Written by Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb & Robin Gibb
Performed by Elvis Presley
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User Reviews

Re-vamped 2001 edition is good...
3 March 2001 | by gazzo-2See all my reviews

They cleaned up the print and soundtrack, got ridda interviews with the Velvet Elvis fan-clubs(the types who claim their Cats listen to the King), the array of Sammy Davis Jr. types in attendence, and put in more lost footage of Elvis jamming/rehearsing in LA with the band. There is a version of 'Get Back' that has to be heard-it medleys into 'Little Sister' and works great.

As for the Hotel Casino concert that follows-it's great, of course. He trots out the expected hits-'Heartbreak Hotel', 'Can't Help Falling in Love', 'Suspicious Minds', etc. the last a highlight along with 'In the Ghetto' and 'Polk Salad Annie'.

He is great form, both vocally, in front of the audience and with the band. Enjoyable also is the interplay between Elvis and Hardin, Scheff and Burton, a primo guitarist if there ever was one. You can also see Cissy Houston(Whitney's mom) as one of the Sweet Inspirations backing him up.

Too often Elvis the musician, singer and regular guy-as reg as he could ever be-gets shoved aside by the nightmarish late period stereotype we all know and dread. This goes a good deal towards correcting that.

*** outta ****-good show.

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Official Sites:

Official site | Warner Bros.





Release Date:

11 November 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Elvis: Thats the Way It Is - Special Edition See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (special edition)

Sound Mix:

SDDS (special edition)| DTS (special edition)| Dolby Digital (special edition)| 4-Track Stereo (original version)


Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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