This Is Elvis

This Is Elvis ★★★

A posthumous documentary from Elvis Presley’s estate released just a few years after his death, This Is Elvis is a odd curiosity for being an official product. Quite a decent amount of the runtime is given to scripted re-enactments and a movie-length narration by someone doing a not-that-great Elvis impression and also a few of the facts of his life they get wrong. However, there’s also a treasure trove of footage of the real Elvis and the era around him you won’t see anywhere else (a concert from the 50’s filmed by the police watching him, interviews with racist people who hated him for playing “race music” as it was referred to at the time, the only existing footage of Graceland’s second story level, Elvis in court for punching someone who attacked him at a gas station, and rare behind the scenes footage of Elvis including later footage of him strung out on drugs and tired from his hectic life and tour schedule). It’s not the best Elvis documentary (that would be HBO’s Elvis: The Searcher) but this hard to find documentary is a fascinating watch in its own right for showing the good and bad of Elvis’s life.