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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.

Directors:

Malcolm Leo, Andrew Solt
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Scott David Scott ... Elvis - Age 18
Paul Boensch III ... Elvis - Age 10
Johnny Harra Johnny Harra ... Elvis - Age 42
Lawrence Koller Lawrence Koller ... Vernon Presley
Rhonda Lyn Rhonda Lyn ... Priscilla Presley
Debbie Edge Debbie Edge ... Gladys Presley
Larry Raspberry Larry Raspberry ... Dewey Phillips
Furry Lewis Furry Lewis ... Bluesman
Liz Robinson Liz Robinson ... Minnie Mae Presley
Dana MacKay Dana MacKay ... Elvis - Age 35
Knox Phillips Knox Phillips ... Sam Phillips
Cheryl Needham Cheryl Needham ... Linda Thompson
Andrea Cyrill Andrea Cyrill ... Ginger Alden
Jerry Phillips Jerry Phillips ... Bill Black
Emory Smith 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:

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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 April 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Life of Elvis Presley See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$429,146, 12 April 1981

Gross USA:

$2,028,612

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,028,612
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Black and White | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the time of its release the film included lots of very rare and never-before-seen footage of Elvis Presley. 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. "Trouble" 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 »

Alternate Versions

NBC edited 5 minutes from this film for its 1983 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Features King Creole (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Too Much Monkey Business
By Chuck Berry
Arc Music Corp.
See more »

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User Reviews

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