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Well it took a while!
on 13 August 2007
So finally on the 30th anniversary of Elvis' death the first genuine filmed bio featuring actual Elvis performances hits the DVD shelf,(Elvis The Movie with Kurt Russell had Elvis' music dubbed by Ronnie McDowell) This Is Elvis, originally released in cinemas in 1981 had only been available previously on VHS, it was a pretty lousy transfer, being rather washed out and grainy, so to have the shiny shoes version is a welcome edition to the fans film library,
Since this film was released there have been many more filmed attempts at Elvis' life story, some good and some downright dreadful, in some respects with this film there is a respect(bordering on reverential at times) and naivety apparent, bearing in mind this was produced during Tom Parker's(Elvis' manager) lifetime and so covering some less savoury aspects would have been heavily discouraged, and in truth, this is the case here, Elvis' reliance in his final years on prescription medicine is barely touched but is quickly sidestepped, speaking as a fan I have no real desire to have Elvis' personal problems a subject of focus, preferring instead to enjoy the performances he left behind, still no honest bio-pic could omit the facts,
In summary what we have are some of the best musical and performance highlights in a truly remarkable career, spanning over 20 years, this two disc release has the original cinema version and the later extended version, obviously similar but the extended version has a stronger focus on the live performances, in particular the Aloha From Hawaii show in 1973, it also has Ronnie McDowell (from Elvis The Movie fame), a well known Elvis soundalike, re-dubbing some of the original dialogue as it was a little on the risque side, personally I love the un-edited dialogue as it shows Elvis' wicked and often 'blue' sense of humour, he comes across as all too human instead of the plastic doll image getting wheeled around nowadays, long story short, it's a very worthwhile purchase for longterm or newer fans and now I'm finally able to ditch my worn out VHS copy,