This is Elvis

This was the first serious attempt at a documentary about Elvis – in 1980/1981

It followed on the heels on the Dick Clark produced Elvis (1979) starring Kurt Russell – who we first saw on film:


It Happened at the World’s Fair 1963

Kurt went on to to make several Disney movies – including The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes – and his performance as Elvis – launched him into an adult career – Escape from New York and The Thing cemented that.

While Kurt was the first to play Elvis in a biographical picture – it would be 30 years of Elvis biopics before we actually got to hear Elvis own singing…

Kurt Russel - the Jesse nonsense

The idea that Elvis talked to his deceased twin brother came from this movie, since that’s a way to get across character information, more by telling than showing.




the majority of Elvis was actual footage of Elvis with recreations of key moments by three actors

the 3 Elvii

David Scott

David Scott, Canadian

Paul Boensch III is Elvis at 10, David Scott is Elvis at 18, Dana MacKay is Elvis at 35 and  Johnny Harra is Elvis at 42. In addition, a fifth actor, Ral Donner, is heard as Elvis, narrating the whole affair.

Ral Donner was an early 1960’s singer and Elvis sound alike – he had a hit with “Girl of my Best Friend” which Elvis also recorded for Elvis is Back.



the problem with Elvis biographical images is that they are structured more as a collection of Important Moments – rather than having a sense of continuous story – things happen and causes choices and options – which lead to other things


I think this is partly because so many fans view Elvis as a person that things happened to rather than realize how much he actually directed and took charge.

Not many Elvis books focus on Tupelo

But when Elvis was a kid, he sang on the local radio show on Sundays – Old Shep – on the Mississipi Slim WELO radio station.

As a teen in Memphis, he carried his guitar and played it on the street corner, anywhere he could be listened to.


He didn’t record for his Mother’s birthday – her birthday was months away – and he didn’t take the record home – he gave it to the pal who loaned him the money to make it. It’s how the disc surfaced in the early 1990s


Elvis was a hustler and he hustled – until Tom Parker took over and Elvis become content at first to not manage any business and that became his downfall.

Despite his occasional use of his celebrity, Elvis was not a diva.

His contract rider for concerts was a case of bottle water from a Tennessee company.


This the the best Elvis biopic – it focusses on an event – three days in his life – and it’s very telling


in 2005 a tv miniseries starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers – and when I watched Bend it Like Beckham, my only thought was omg he’s perfect to play Elvis – and a short while later – he did


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3 Responses to This is Elvis

  1. Pingback: Re-Imaging Presley Pictures: From Camp to Creepy | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

  2. Pingback: Agoraphobic Outing! | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

  3. Pingback: The Day Elvis did LSD | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

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