"Elvis Presley has left the building"

DVD Review

Eternal Flame Productions/Aland Productions/It's Elvis Time, Luxembourg, 2007, PAL Region Free, Running Time: 80 minutes aprox.

Features: Scene Selection; Bonus news report from 1972

16 August 1977.....Elvis Aaron Presley, the King of Rock 'n' Roll died. Aged only 42 years, the news of Elvis' death reverberated around the world, stunning a generation whose identity and purpose had been instrumentally shaped by The King's arrival as the first youth musical hero in the mid 1950's.

Elvis' death was one of the 20th century's biggest media events. The television, print and radio coverage was staggering, lasting not for days, but literally weeks, and in some cases even longer.

The story saw regular television and radio programming rescheduled and occupied the front page of thousands of newspapers and magazines globally.


EIN Note: In August 1977, newspapers and magazines carrying stories on the death of Elvis saw an increase in sales of up to 500%!

TV ratings were also very high, and in the case of CBS, the then highest rating news telecast in America, their decision to not lead with the story saw them beaten in the ratings as viewers quickly switched channels!

Now almost 30 years since Elvis' passing, its stunning impact has been substantially weakened by the passing of time and a lack of substantive video recordings of the vast telelevision news reports and accompanying specials.

For this reason the release of Elvis Presley has left the building is a significant event. It goes a long way towards redressing lost memories of how the electronic media reacted to Elvis' death.

Featuring television news reports from different countries around the world, Elvis Presley has left the building offers a multi-cultural mosaic signifying the enormity of Elvis' death - one which helps us better appreciate the importance and quantum of its media impact...globally.

From the unmistakable voice of controversial television journalist, Geraldo Rivera, to the sometimes non- English speaking reports from EC countries including Holland, Germany and Belgium, our senses are filled by a rare emotional heartache.

The imagery projected on the DVD is compelling, from the hundreds of floral tributes symbolising Elvis' importance, to emotionally distraught fans aged 8 to 80 lining Elvis Presley Boulevard. In one scene, Memphis Mafia member, George Klein, virtually breaks down while being interviewed, so heartbreaking is his emotional distress.

The news reports come from a variety of sources - primary sources to taped from TV. As a result, there is wide variation in the quality of the audio-visual material, but this in no way detracts from its historical significance.

Elvis Presley has left the building is a long overdue complement to "When Elvis Died", the superb written chronicle of global media reaction to Elvis' death by Neal and Janice Gregory.


Death may have captured the heart of rock 'n' roll on 16 August, 1977, an oppressively hot and steamy day in Memphis, Tennessee, but thanks to Elvis Presley has left the building what the world saw at that time and its emotional reaction, is once again available to fans and socio-cultural historians.

This is not just an important DVD release...it is an essential inclusion in the Elvis DVD library of any fan serious about understanding The King's incredible impact on our world, and of the immense emotional outpouring and grief occasioned by his death.


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