This Is Elvis
This Is Elvis is a 1981 documentary film
Documentary film
Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record...

 directed by Andrew Solt and Malcolm Leo, based on the life of Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

. It combined archival footage with reenactments, and narration by pop singer Ral Donner
Ral Donner
Ral Donner was an early American rock and roll musician. He scored several pop hits in the US in the early 1960s, and had a voice similar to Elvis Presley's. His best known song is his 1961 top ten hit, "You Don't Know What You've Got ".-Biography:Ralph Stuart Donner was born in Chicago, and sang...

. It was screened out of competition at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival
1981 Cannes Film Festival
- Jury :*Jacques Deray *Ellen Burstyn *Jean-Claude Carrière *Robert Chazal *Attilio D'Onofrio *Christian Defaye *Carlos Diegues *Antonio Gala...

. The film grossed $2.0 million at the box office in the U.S./Canada, ranking #92 for 1981.

For the reenactment scenes, Presley was portrayed in the film by four actors:
  • Paul Boensch II as Presley at age 10 (Tupelo, Mississippi
    Tupelo, Mississippi
    Tupelo is the largest city in and the county seat of Lee County, Mississippi, United States. It is the seventh largest city in the state of Mississippi, smaller than Meridian, and larger than Greenville. As of the 2000 United States Census, the city's population was 34,211...

     in 1946)
  • David Scott as Presley at age 18 (Memphis in 1953, singing in high school, and at a Sun
    Sun Records
    Sun Records is a record label founded in Memphis, Tennessee, starting operations on March 27, 1952.Founded by Sam Phillips, Sun Records was known for giving notable musicians such as Elvis Presley , Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and Johnny Cash...

     recording session)
  • Dana MacKay as Presley at age 35
  • Johnny Harra
    Johnny Harra
    Johnny Lee Harra was an American Elvis impersonator. He began impersonating Elvis at the age of 11 and was cast as the 42 year old Elvis in the 1981 docudrama This Is Elvis. Harrra, one of five actors to portray Elvis in the movie, was featured in two scenes from the re-enactment of August 16,...

     as Presley at age 42 (Opening credits, August 16, 1977 death scene from extended version)

Presley receives credit only in the extended version prepared for cable and later home video release.

RCA Records
RCA Records
RCA Records is one of the flagship labels of Sony Music Entertainment. The RCA initials stand for Radio Corporation of America , which was the parent corporation from 1929 to 1985 and a partner from 1985 to 1986.RCA's Canadian unit is Sony's oldest label...

 released a two-disc soundtrack album for the film in 1981 (CPL2 4031), featuring the first official release of several of Presley's 1950s television appearances. The Album was certified Gold on 8/6/2002 by the R.I.A.A.
Recording Industry Association of America
The Recording Industry Association of America is a trade organization that represents the recording industry distributors in the United States...

A two-disc DVD set of the film was released on August 7, 2007 commemorating the 30th anniversary of Presley's death. Disc 1 features the original version shown in theaters, Disc 2 includes the extended version with 45 extra minutes of footage.

This is the only Presley movie produced and released by Warner Brothers as opposed to those now owned by WB through Turner Entertainment
Turner Entertainment
Turner Entertainment Company, Inc. is an American media company founded by Ted Turner. Now owned by Time Warner, the company is largely responsible for overseeing its library for worldwide distribution Turner Entertainment Company, Inc. (commonly known as Turner Entertainment Co.) is an American...

 such as Viva Las Vegas
Viva Las Vegas
Viva Las Vegas is a 1964 American romantic musical movie starring music icon Elvis Presley and actress/dancer Ann-Margret. This movie is regarded by many fans of these actors and by film critics as one of Presley's best movies, and it is noted for the apparent on-screen chemistry between Presley...

, or via WB's acquisition of National General Pictures
National General Pictures
National General Pictures was a Distribution and Film production company which was active between 1967 and 1973. NGP produced nine motion pictures inhouse and was the distributor of eighty films....

, producers of Charro!
Charro! is a 1969 Western film starring Elvis Presley. It was his only role that didn't feature him singing on-screen, and is the only Presley film to feature no songs at all except for the main title theme. It also features a bearded Presley for the first and last time in any of his films.The film...


External links

  • Review by Ian Jane, September 10, 2007.
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