The meteoric rise to fame of Elvis Presley, legendary stage and screen performer, is detailed in this documentary chronicling his 33 film performances. After his big-screen debut in 'Love Me Tender', the King impressed with his dramatic performance in 'Jailhouse Rock', only to appear in a series of lightweight musical comedies at the behest of his manager, 'Colonel' Tom Parker. The final years of Elvis' career saw him using the medium to provide an account of life on the road in 'Elvis on Tour' and 'That's the Way It Is'. Highlights from Elvis' many memorable performances combine here with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with co-stars.
Through photos, stock footage and film trailer clips, Elvis: The Complete Story
offers a chronological survey of the life and movie career of "The King". This is a pretty well-travelled road--so well travelled this disc would be more aptly titled Elvis for Beginners
. There are all the usual landmarks, especially his relationship with his mother, the oppressive influence of his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, the drug use, the Memphis Mafia. One major highlight is Elvis's appearance on The Frank Sinatra Show
, in which the two perform a duet. The disc gets additional credibility from interviews with some of Elvis's co-stars, including Mary Ann Mobley, Francine York, Sue Ann Langdon, Gary Lockwood and Julie Parrish. About half of the narration is presented in "the words of Elvis Presley", though the source of these words is never identified. Still, the actor impersonating the voice of Elvis does a good job with what could have easily turned into silliness. After all, the film would not be "complete" without at least one Elvis impersonator (and this one has two). If this whets your appetite for more Elvis, you will want to turn to the real thing--Elvis: That's the Way It Is
. --Jim Gay, Amazon.com