unofficial DVD's: Both the TV/cinema version (running
101 minutes) and the longer videocasette version (143
minutes) are available on DVD. There are several "unofficial" releases for each version.
has viewed two different releases for both the long and
short editions and both were of a high standard. Both
editions we watched are Region 0 (all DVD machine compatible)
although watch out as there are also NTSC editions which
may not play in some countries.
Is Elvis (101 minutes)
copies we received came in a full sized DVD case with
the cover shown opposite. This disc was superior to
the longer version release with great picture quality
and audio. A solid TV to DVD transfer that doesn't
8.5+ (out of 10)
9 (nice, clear audio track)
Is Elvis (143 minutes)
with the TV/cinema edition, this release comes in full
size DVD case with color cover. A CD sized edition is
also on the market with color cover.
disc was more than acceptable with very good audio quality
and just minor visual imperfections in the picture. The
video to DVD transfer is good with reasonable color saturation.
The theatrical trailer for This Is Elvis is included.
On some, but not all releases, scene selection is also
available. The copies we viewed did not include scene
completists to note: At least one important scene
in the TV version is not included in the longer release.
Is Elvis - the film: Often referred to as the 34th "Elvis
movie", This Is Elvis remains the most comprehensive
Elvis film bio yet produced. Released in 1981, it combined
documentary footage and staged reproductions of the Elvis
legend and is, as noted by Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video
Guide, "...an insightful portrayal of a tragic legend...".
is a wonderful array of information and scenes in the film....atmospheric
recreations of Depression ravaged Tupelo, a rural but musically
vibrant Memphis in the 1950s and nice footage of a very young
Elvis story is well told throughout the movie and while some
aspects of The King's incredible career probably deserved
more in-depth treatment, it is very difficult to do full justice
to the subject matter in only two to two-and-a-half hours.
its end, This Is Elvis is an emotional rollercoaster of a
ride. Strong dramatisations of Elvis' early years, Presleymania, "lost" years in Hollywood and the incredible comeback
give way to the very sad record of his last concert performances,
performances that strikingly reflect Elvis' physical and emotional
the words to Are You Lonesome Tonight? is well described by
Eric Braun in The Elvis Film Encyclopedia:
was like a man in a nightmare, the strain is painfully apparent
and after getting through what must have been as big an ordeal
for his audience as it was for himself, he was practically
carried off by two helpers."
This Is Elvis, The King is portrayed by four different actors:
age 10: Paul Boensch III
age 18: David Scott
in hospital: Dana Mackay
age 42: Johnny Harra
The "Elvis" narration is provided by noted Elvis sound-a-like,
Is Elvis was filmed using both color and black & white
segments and there is a seamless blend between the two.
Despite rumors last year, news of an official release on DVD
of This Is Elvis is as scarce as the Dodo bird. While we're
waiting, the unofficial releases are a worthwhile addition
to any fan's library.
EIN Note: "This Is Elvis" was officially released on DVD as a 2 disc set in August 2007
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