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This Is Elvis

Elvis Presley , David Scott , Andrew Solt , Malcolm Leo    Unrated   VHS Tape
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Product Description

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 Gospal 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 nation wide concert tours, continued for the remainder of his career. A clip from his 1973 TV Special,"Elvis Aloa", is featured. Telecast from Hawaii, it was the first concert to be televised live by satellite around the world.We also see footage from his last TV Special, "Elvis in Concert", which was taken from his final 1977 tour.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Biography for Fans of the Art of Elvis July 26 2002
By Mateo
Format:VHS Tape
As an Elvis worshipper and musician, I rate this video five stars. Among all of the documentaries on Elvis, this video is unique for its emphasis on actual performance footage and outstanding performances rather than hackneyed, misinformed, or irrelevant commentary/opinions on Elvis by Elvis experts/friends/family. I urge fans--especially newer fans--to check out this video for its singularly coherent and complete overview of the art of Elvis.
As an Elvis worshipper with an interest in history, on the other hand, I rate the video four stars. The art of Elvis does not tell the whole Elvis story. While the video does reference a bit of the biographical and cultural context of Elvis's early years, the video disregards almost completely the tragic decline and demise of Elvis. Ironically, by perpetuating the historical tradition of not dealing with Elvis's end, the video serves as an unexpected historical document in its own right.
In conclusion, this video is an artistically satisfying but historically incomplete account of Elvis Presley. If you don't yet own the new comprehensive DVD boxed set--or a DVD player, for that matter--this video will probably inspire you to buy both.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Documentary Oct. 20 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This video has Elvis singing 2 songs from his last tour when he was fat from the CBS TV special done 2 weeks or so before he died. This is rare footage. He actually does an inspired performance of "My Way". He was truly "facing the final curtain" as the words to that song say. This is probably one of the best documentaries available. It's interesting though. I saw this movie when it came out in the theatre in 1981. This movie has been edited to cut out dirty words Elvis used during the filming of some of the concert tour footage from 1972. Most notably in the back of a limo, Elvis in unaware that a microphone is on during filming. He tells Joe Esposito he didn't see the launch of the Apollo space craft because he was busy doing something with some lady at the hotel that night. What he really said was scrubbed and new words were dubbed over his voice making him appear to say something completely different or really toned down at least. Also, arriving at another coliseum he jokes with his body guards about what he was doing with a lady the night before at the hotel. Once again in this video, his original real words are scrubbed out and a voice double is used to put other words in Elvis's mouth which I guess are supposed to be less offensive. What he originally said might not even rate a PG rating but it's interesting to note that someone thought it better to edit out the truth and replace it with a lie apparently to make Elvis appear less... I don't know what. The new words kind of say the same thing but in much toned way which only comes out kind of weird though. The story of his life. Like Elvis says in one interview, "The image is one thing and the human being is another." Yea, even in death. If you want a good summary of the Life Of Elvis with some decent concert footage thrown in, this can work for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely introduction to Elvis. Dec 15 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I am a new Elvis fan, having only discovered the King about four months ago, and only much more recently did I become curious about his life. I purchased _This is Elvis_ four days ago and have watched it no fewer than eight times since then.
Much has been said here already about this film, so I will focus on two much-maligned aspects of the film--the dramatic reenactments and the voiceovers.
The first moments of the film are dramatic reenactments. We open with a reenactment of Elvis's loved ones finding his body at Graceland, and then we have reenactments of scenes from Elvis's childhood growing up in Tupelo and then, Memphis. While the phrase "dramatic reenactment" can immediately bring to mind fears of copious cheese, this need not be the case here. These portions of the film are tastefully done and decently acted and directed. Most importantly, they are crucial to the structure of the film. It would have been odd, indeed, for a film claiming to be a definitive portrait of Elvis to pick up when he's nineteen or so and cutting records. We need a vision of his earlier life. Since there is no video record of that time, the dramatic reenactments are necessary to fill the void. At any rate, these only take up about the first ten or so minutes of the film.
Some have also criticized the use of narration, in general, and the first-person narration of the Elvis impressionist, in particular. First of all, without narration, this film would be nothing more than a collection of video clips strung together. Narration is called for to give this collection the shape of a narrative (as the term "narration," of course, suggests). That said, one might still ask, why first-person narration? Personally, I find the use of first-person narration here to be inspired.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For the price, A must own. Dec 15 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Inspired by Gary's review below, I purchased this video through an Amazon seller expecting that anything so cheap would have to be utter rubbish. I'm pleased to report that this video is most decidedly not utter rubbish. At over 140 minutes of run time it is chockablock full of enough Elvis material to make any Elvis fan happy.
The premise of this video is to document the life of the 'King' from childhood to overnight sensationalia through military, marriage and moviestardom and finally to decline and ultimate demise. The director's conceit is to use actors to portray phases of his life as a set up for the plot and then to use actual film footage of subsequent events to flesh out the story. In addition, we are guided by narrations from 'Elvis,' 'Priscilla,' his 'Mom' and others all with suitably hill billy accents, where appropriate. In my opinion this departure from straight documentary hurts the film and I found my mind wandering from bits because they seemed bothersome and artificial. In addition, I believe that the story was poorly told in any event because the video comprised more than two hours of material (some of which was not on the big screen release), and still did an inadequate job of covering many of the many issues the story raised. For instance, we are shown a gathering of Elvis impersonators and Teddy Boys in Liverpool England which, apart from the spectacle, had absolutely nothing to do with the film. It was almost as if someone wanted to do a section on the spawn of Elvis kitsch, clubs, and impersonators but then begged off, and forgot to cut this clip. Also, a section is given over to a revelatory book written by his former body guards and mention is made of law suits, but with no other information.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie
Published 1 month ago by frank valente
4.0 out of 5 stars Two discs, both similar
I love anything to do with Elvis. It was strange though that both discs were similar. I watched the disc 1 ,then disc 2, and there was so much on disc 2 that was repeated. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Compost
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
As with my other Elvis movies, stays sealed for nostaligic purposes and is only opened if someone wants to watch it.
Published on Feb. 9 2012 by K. L.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Documentary For A True Elvis Fan!
If you are a true Elvis fan. This documentary is a must have.
This was in the making while Elvis was alive. And finished after His death. Read more
Published on Aug. 20 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Feelins'
Goodness, there's a lot of Elvis on this week. Did someone die? I've been walking the streets whistling Heartbreak Hotel, so the man had something. "This is Elvis"? Read more
Published on Aug. 16 2002 by Gary
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Elvis Video
This video is a must-have for all Elvis fans. It has clips that I have never seen before. It has some great concert footage clips and songs throughout the video. Read more
Published on April 10 2002 by Carole J. Hicks
5.0 out of 5 stars King of Rock & Roll
This is a moving documentary of the life of the greatest entertainer of all time. I was completely satisfied when I watched it, though I can hardly make it through the ending... Read more
Published on Dec 26 2001 by "rodge247"
4.0 out of 5 stars True blue fans of Elvis Presley will enjoy this biography
I first saw "This is Elvis" in the theatre when it first came out in the late summer of 1981. Read more
Published on Aug. 17 2000 by Joe O'Brien
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent companion -Last Train to Memphis/Careless Love
Brought up on classical, as a teenager I never had any interest in Elvis Presley - his music, films, tours, etc. Then, in 1982, out of curiousity - I rented this video. Read more
Published on June 1 2000 by Shawn & Nancy Mahan
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