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Drama - Musical

Elvis (2022)

Duration2h 39m
RatingsUK: 12A, USA: PG, Denmark 
Source of storyThe life of Elvis Presley and his complex relationship with Col Tom Parker
DirectorBaz Lurhmann
Writers/ScriptBaz Lurhmann, Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce, Jeremy Doner
StarringAustin Butler, Tom Hanks, Olivia DeJonge, Helen Thomson, Kelvin Harrison Jr, Kodi Smit-Mcphee, Alton Mason, 
RatingsIMDb: 7.8/10 by 21,020 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 78% by 312 reviewers. Review2view: 9/10.

Elevator Pitch: Col Tom Parker, in medical gown, is wandering through the deserted fruit machine isles in a casino remembering his life with Elvis.  And so we see how the King was discovered while appearing on a C&W TV show and his early days as he learnt the blues at black music clubs in Beale St, Memphis. He becomes a show stopping singer and is threatened with jail because of his hip movements. By this time he has bought Graceland where he and his parents live. To get him out of trouble Col Parker has him join the army his tour passing of without event other than his meeting and subsequent marriage to Priscilla. In a TV special instead of following the sponsor’s requirement for Christmas songs Presley sings the most popular hits from his catalogue. Col Parker has gambling debts and so persuades the singer to appear in Las Vegas, year after year, where his health deteriorated and his wife divorces him. 

Content: Co Parker narrates. There is no actual sex although the singer’s dalliance with scantily clad lovelies is implied. His early life in Memphis in the thirties is presented, then his visits to the Handy Club in Beale Street, where we see Little Richard perform and other singers present snatches of songs.  The young Elvis is seen on stage wowing the girls. Col Parker is revealed to be an impostor, but tricks Elvis into retaining his management.  The TV special is presented, as is the family in Graceland. Then we get to the Las Vegas specials and the singer’s gradual descent into drug abuse.

A View: I have to admit that as a teenager I went to the cinema to watch Jailhouse Rock to see what this Rock n’ Roll stuff was all about, and came out converted. I once had a set of 29 LPs which contained every song Elvis Presley had ever recorded. But back to this film. It is wonderfully presented giving us snatches of the King’s music to start with and gradually picking up the beat. Not all the songs are presented on chronological order. For instance, “If You’re Looking For Trouble”, actually a song from the film King Creole,  shown as a challenge to the police. But latterly we get to the Las Vegas stuff, and the rehearsal for “Well That’s Alright Mama” was inspired and worth sitting through the whole two and a half hours for. So I used to be a fan. In real life I thought Presley was treated very badly, and this film does a good job of showing that, while being wonderfully entertaining. 

Other musicals reviewed on this site include Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocket Man and Yesterday.   

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels



  1. Pingback: A Man Called Otto (2022) | A MOTION PICTURE LIST - January 1, 2023

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