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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

Paul Boensh lll's mother, Jean Boyd, was a nurse-companion to Minnie-Mae Presley(Elvis' paternal grandmother). In 1970 Jean took 2 1/2 year old Paul to meet Elvis. Elvis remarked on how Paul looked like him See more »

Goofs

In this film, teaming up with Frank Sinatra, Elvis sings the Sinatra hit, "Withcraft", Written by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh. However in the closing credits,another "Witchcraft" mistakenly credited in its' place, is the B side of Elvis' 1963 hit , "Bosa Nova Baby" , also titled "Withcraft", a different song that does not appear in this film. 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 Elvis: The Comeback Special (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Well intentioned but flawed
15 March 2005 | by robin-290See all my reviews

A reasonably accurate and sympathetic portrayal, sadly undermined by a few glaring clangers..

At one point, the film attempts to use the Aloha From Hawaii concert to emphasise the widening gulf between the triumph of Elvis' professional life and his increasingly sad and lonely existence off stage.

A camera in the limo supposedly shows Elvis and a members of the inner Memphis Mafia departing the Honolulu International Centre following the show, as the narrating actor (as Elvis) laments, "If only I could have seen what was happening to me..".. Unfortunately, a clumsily overdubbed comment ("Man can Hawaii get sticky") didn't hide the fact that Elvis had already commented that it was a "hot time in Florida", another occupant pointed out the Gator Bowl in the distance, bright sunshine was evident (Aloha was filmed after midnight) and Joe Esposito (long serving Road manager) said with a sense of relief "The last matinée of the tour". This footage had been taken from a Florida concert filmed for "Elvis On Tour" a year previously, which also explains the fact that Presley was actually wearing a different stage costume in the Limo to the famous "American Eagle" suit worn for the Aloha show, and that the boys were discussing Florida landmarks and previous tour experiences at the Gator Bowl as they left the stadium.

Later, during a press conference in which ex bodyguards Sonny West and Dave Hebler attempt to justify writing the tell-all, "Elvis What Happened?" there is an enormous double take by a reporter, supposedly, over Presley's use of Demerol. "You actually saw him take (The name of the drug is edited) .?" "Yes".. Sonny goes on to explain that his cousin (and co author) Red West had threatened to "break up" the supplier but had relented when Elvis assured him, "I need it, man"..Demerol, a prescription painkiller, had already been alluded to as one of Presley's drugs of choice earlier in the interview. No one would have been surprised to hear that Sonny had witnessed Elvis taking Demerol, which was being prescribed (rightly or wrongly) by his doctor. The real question actually referred to cocaine, which explains the press reaction when Sonny said, "yes" as this allegation (true or false) was far more explosive.

Despite some ill-used dramatic licence, "This Is Elvis" is an interesting introduction to the Presley phenomenon, but a long way from the definitive account.


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