×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

This Is Elvis

A real curiosity item, This Is Elvis is a fast-paced gloss on Presley's life and career packed with enough fine music and unusual footage to satisfy anyone with an Interest in the late singing idol. An imaginative combination of docu-footage, home movies and docu-drama recreations of more private moments has been bolstered with a double album's worth of top tunes to good effect.

With:
Johnny Harra David Scott Paul Boensch III Lawrence Koller Rhonda Lyn

A real curiosity item, This Is Elvis is a fast-paced gloss on Presley’s life and career packed with enough fine music and unusual footage to satisfy anyone with an Interest in the late singing idol. An imaginative combination of docu-footage, home movies and docu-drama recreations of more private moments has been bolstered with a double album’s worth of top tunes to good effect.

Pic opens with day of Presley’s death at 42 and subsequent funeral mob scene, and is thereafter narrated by uncanny Elvis sound-alike Ral Donner in fashion of William Holden telling tale of Sunset Boulevard, even though character is dead.

Much of the docu-material has been kept under wraps by Col Tom Parker for years only to be released here through his participation as technical adviser.

Included are glimpses of the 1950s sensation in his earliest television appearance, some previously unseen press conference footage, harsh, often racist, anti-rock ‘n’ roll diatribes by bluenoses of the period, the celebrated Ed Sullivan performance, extensive coverage of his army indoctrination and stint in Germany, comeback appearance with Frank Sinatra, clips of a few feature films and a look at his smash 1968 TV special.

Elvis’ bloated condition by 1977 is genuinely shocking, effect being akin to seeing Robert De Niro in middle-age in Raging Bull. Narration has Elvis from above intoning, ‘If only I coulda seen what was happening to me, I mighta done something about it.’

This Is Elvis

Production: Warner. Director Malcolm Leo, Andrew Solt; Producer Malcolm Leo, Andrew Solt; Screenplay Malcolm Leo, Andrew Solt; Camera Gil Hubbs; Editor Bud Friedgen, Glenn Farr; Music Walter Scharf; Art Director Charles Hughes

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1981. Running time: 88 MIN.

With: Johnny Harra David Scott Paul Boensch III Lawrence Koller Rhonda Lyn

More Film

  • Donald Trump Chucky Childs Play

    'Child's Play' Stars on New Chucky's 'Creepy' Resemblance to Donald Trump

    At Wednesday night’s world premiere of the “Child’s Play” remake, it was obvious that evil doll Chucky — the star of seven films over three decades — had a little work done. And now he bears a striking resemblance to Donald Trump. “Oh, you caught that?” Aubrey Plaza asked Variety on the black carpet outside [...]

  • Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Opening

    Academy Museum Opening Delayed Again to 2020

    The opening date of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has been delayed again, this time to an unspecified date in 2020. The museum, now under construction at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, has long been beset by delays and cost overruns. In December 2018, the Academy announced that it would open [...]

  • Bradley Cooper speaks at the 30th

    Producers Guild Shifts 2020 Awards Show to Hollywood Palladium

    The Producers Guild of America will hold its 31st Annual Producers Guild Awards at the Hollywood Palladium, shifting the site from the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The PGA had already announced that the show would take place on Jan. 18. The organization, which represents more than 8,000 producers, announced Thursday that it has launched a new [...]

  • Adam Driver appears in The Report

    Amazon’s ‘The Report’ Gets U.K. Theatrical Release Ahead of Streaming Launch

    Amazon Studio’s “The Report” will be released theatrically in the U.K. three weeks before it lands on the Prime Video streaming service. The Scott Z. Burns film tells the story of Daniel J. Jones, a U.S. Senate staffer who worked to reveal that truth about an “enhanced interrogation” program run by the CIA in the [...]

  • Elton John performing at Earls Court,

    Elton John Has a Message for Struggling LGBTQ Youth: 'Be Proud of Who You Are'

    Elton John isn’t at a loss for words when asked if he has a message for young LGBTQ people who are struggling with their sexuality or gender identity. In an exclusive interview with Variety at last month’s Cannes Film Festival, just hours before the world premiere of his long-in-the-works biopic “Rocketman,” John spoke candidly about the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content