The Frank Sinatra Show "Welcome Home Elvis",

Quantum Leap, Region 0, B&W, 60 minutes

By: Nigel Patterson

Fresh out of a two-year stint serving his country, Elvis returned to what he did best in 1960. 1960 would be a busy year for Elvis - new recordings, new films and an appearance with another entertainment icon.

EIN takes a look at his welcome home on the popular Frank Sinatra Show, which is now available on DVD. The variety special is an important part of The King's musical record, but is it done justice on this new release?

The Show: the special was Sinatra's last one for his sponsor, Timex. It is an old style variety show with plenty of comedy, music and dancing. Some of the lines are very funny and the comraderie between the regulars on the program is particularly strong. However, Elvis is actually in it for only a small amount of time.

The audience is teased at the beginning of the special as The King sings a couple of lines from "It's Very Nice", and then we have to wait nearly 40 minutes before he reappears. But it's worth the wait with Elvis delivering great, non-lip-synched versions of Fame and Fortune and Stuck On You. The highlight is of course the famous duets between The King and the Chairman of the Board on Sinatra's Witchcraft and Elvis' Love Me Tender. This is a piece of music history!

Elvis' movements during his musical numbers are constricted, symbolic of the strategic move by the Colonel to "tone down" his boy's gyrations for a family audience. In particular his arm and hand movements appear unnatural. However, this doesn't stop a young, predominately female audience from screaming their lungs out at every twitch of Elvis' body.

In total Elvis' involvement in the show is less than 10 minutes. Overall, the special is a good natured, good humored variety show. I suspect many younger fans will find it challenging or alien, as the variety format is virtually non-existent on TV today.

The Extra Features: the extra features are impressive. There are biographies on the stars of the show: Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Nancy Sinatra, Peter Lawford and comedian Joey Bishop. Other features on Elvis and Frank Sinatra are a discography and filmography and there is also a still feature on Elvis memorabilia. A stand-out extra feature is a 'bonus program', the documentary 'The Story of Elvis Presley A Documented Legend', originally released in 1990 by Burbank Video. Containing a lot of historical footage this is a solid examination of Elvis' life and career.

Audio: acceptable without being outstanding. Picture: the straight video to DVD transfer badly shows its age. Digital re-mastering is sorely needed as the picture is pasty with many imperfections.

Scene selection: Yes

Verdict: While it's nice to have this special on DVD, it is a piece of music history badly in need of digital restoration

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