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This Is Elvis

This Is Elvis(1981)

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teaser This Is Elvis (1981)

Released four years after Elvis Presley's death, this documentary offers a surprisingly even-handed take on the King's career. Alongside reenactments of scenes from his life, featuring four different actors playing Presley at various ages, are musical performances and interviews tracing his rise from unpromising beginnings in Tennessee to the years of film and recording stardom to his amazing return to live performance in 1969. Even as it traces his rise to stardom, the film also catches the growing drug dependency that would take his life. That makes it even more surprising that the documentary was made with the full cooperation of the King's manager, Col. Tom Parker, who gave them access to rare and previously unseen footage, including Elvis' own home movies. The filmmakers also managed to film within his legendary estate, Graceland. Although the narration seems to be in Elvis' voice, it actually is provided by rock singer and sometime Presley impersonator Ral Donner. Other actors provide the voices of Presley's wife, Priscilla, mother and father. The soundtrack features 29 of the King's classics, including "Heartbreak Hotel," "Hound Dog," "Love Me Tender," "Don't Be Cruel," "Jailhouse Rock," "Viva! Las Vegas," "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" and "My Way."

By Frank Miller

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