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This Is Elvis

Where to Watch This Is Elvis


This Is Elvis is a fascinating hybrid of documentary and dramatized biography released in 1981. Directed by Andrew Solt and Malcolm Leo, it celebrates the extraordinary life and career of the unquestioned King of Rock and Roll - Elvis Presley. The film starred Elvis Presley through archived footage and impersonations by other actors, notably David Scott, Johnny Harra and Paul Boensch III.

The film seamlessly combines actual footage of Presley's life alongside interpretations of key moments, aiming to capture not only the events of his life but also the man's spirit and charisma. Using a combination of Presley's songs, home movies from his early life, news footage of significant events in his career, and reenactments of critical chapters in his life and career, it offers an engrossing and multifaceted look into the life of one of the 20th century's most enduring performers.

Among its most striking features is the unusual narrative voice that alternates between first and third-person perspectives. Though the voice-over is performed by Ral Donner, an American singer who spent his life emulating Elvis, the illusion is convincing enough to draw viewers further into the narrative.

The film starts its portrayal when Presley was a young, exuberant child, living in the family shotgun house in Tupelo, Mississippi. Here, we see how the seeds of his future success were sown, with his big-hearted personality and raw talent evident even in this humble beginning. As a young man, portrayed by David Scott, we are taken through the singer's ascension as the King of Rock and Roll. Scott's convincing bearing captures the youthful vigor of the icon's career, as viewers are given glimpses into Elvis’ initial rise to fame.

Johnny Harra, portraying Elvis Presley in his later years, offers a more somber and poignant look at Elvis' life. This is a journey that includes moments of joy and triumph, but also periods of indulgence, loneliness, and disappointment, presenting Elvis Presley as a complex, multidimensional person who is as intriguing for his flaws as he is for his indisputable talent.

The archived footage is an important part of the film, giving audiences a documentary-style glimpse into actual moments of Presley's life, revealing elements of his public persona, shows, and celebrity life in 1950's and 60's America. The movie includes notable appearances in television programs, concerts, and news clips, effectively capturing the essence of a transformative era in music and American culture.

The film also pulls no punches in showing the darker side of fame. As it moves into his later life, viewers see the toll that incessant media attention, the drain of constant performing, the isolation of fame, and personal travails had on Presley. It honestly portrays his struggles with weight, medications, and the strain on his personal relationships.

While it shines a light on Presley's challenges, the film never loses sight of his status as a cultural icon, with a talent, charisma, and influence that has seldom been matched. It represents Presley's impact, his innovative contribution to music, and his continued importance as a cultural phenomenon, alongside his personal journey with all its inherent highs and lows.

Furthermore, perhaps the most emotional scenes are ones where Elvis interacts with his fans, showing the adulation and love they had for him. Elvis' profound influence and emotional connection with his audience are striking, decades after his death, offering a glimpse of just why this talented performer endures in the public imagination.

Throughout This Is Elvis, the legend's music is the constant heartbeat, punctuating critical moments in his life. Whether joyous or sad, triumphant, or reflective, Presley’s songs create a vivid backdrop and play a defining role in showcasing the development of his career and his life, reflecting the moods, transitions and the unique dynamism of Elvis' journey.

This Is Elvis treats viewers to a comprehensive, moving and compelling exploration of the life of this legendary performer. By blending actual footage with dramatized scenes, directors Solt and Leo offer a richly textured, complex portrayal of Elvis Presley's life, revealing the vulnerable man behind the larger-than-life persona, making this film an interesting watch not only for fans of Presley but also for those interested in popular music history.

This Is Elvis is a Drama, Music, Documentary movie released in 2002. It has a runtime of 101 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.6. It also holds a MetaScore of 71.

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Where can I stream This Is Elvis movie online? This Is Elvis is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at The Roku Channel Free, Tubi TV, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent This Is Elvis for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Malcolm Leo, Andrew Solt
Also directed by Malcolm Leo, Andrew Solt
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