Review - Elvis By The Presleys DVD
Source: Elvis Australia
June 15, 2005
Elvis Reviews, Elvis DVD Reviews
Any Elvis fan will like this DVD, I can assure you that. In my opinion it's the best documentary since This Is Elvis.
We see his explosive entry onto the American scene in the mid-1950s. We witness his return from Army life. We witness his struggle with all the formulaic B-movies the Colonel forced him to make in the 1960s at the expense of making real recordings or far superior films. We see his extraordinary comeback of 1968. And at the end, of course, we see a very unhealthy-looking Elvis in the late spring of 1977 nevertheless giving everything he has left in him onstage, putting his own stamp on 'My Way'.
Both Priscilla and Lisa Marie are very candid but unsensationalistic in the way they describe the problems Elvis had, both with the Colonel's often questionable business decisions (made at the expense of Elvis' health and creativity) and his struggle with prescription medication, a struggle that he sadly lost. But they also hold Elvis in the highest regard, as a great husband and father, and a tireless giver who never stopped giving and who never stopped caring.
I've seen several television specials that ended with an advertisement for the DVD of the show just seen. Seldom, however, do they come as expanded as Elvis By The Presleys. This collection of family photographs, home videos, and rare interview clips narrated by the family and friends of Elvis Presley has a running time of 4 hours and 20 minutes. That's over twice as long as the broadcast! In viewing the chapters myself, I recognized the bits I had seen on television, and the bits that were new to me, but whether the new bits were inserted into the DVD or the television broadcast edited them out (which is more likely) was impossible to tell. The flow of the editing was seemless.
The main menu displays the white piano top with three frames. The pictures within the frame change in and out as Elvis sings the first few strains of "Memories." The options are Play, Setup and Chapter Selections. The Setup submenu of Audio and Subtitles allows the viewer to select either Dolby Stereo or Dolby 5.1, and to turn on subtitles in English, Spanish, French, German and Japanese.
Disc 2 has a similar thematic menu with different pictures and a different song. The same Main Menu options are there, with the additional selection of Special Features. 'Memories' and '45 RPM' are both photo slideshows, the first a set of 25 photographs with captions. Viewers can scroll forward using Up or Left, backward by Down or Right. '45 RPM' is similar in theme and use, only the photos are of 45 RPM singles and sleeves Elvis released. There are 53 total of these, complete with dates and statistics for each one.
Quite possibly the most complete, most accurate, and most intimate biography piece done on the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis By The Presleys is a must-have for any Elvis afficionado.
DVD Track Index
1. Elvis: Meets Priscilla
2. Elvis: Introducing Mrs. Presley
3. Elvis: The Inner Child
4. Elvis: The Generous
5. Elvis: The Seeker
6. Elvis: The King
7. Elvis: After Dark
1. Elvis: On Stage
2. Elvis: Style
3. Elvis Taking Care Of Business
4. Elvis: Forever
1. Elvis: Nixon
2. Photo Gallery
3. 45 RPM
4. Elvis: Karate.
* Running Time: 270 minutes
* DVD Audio: 2.0 Stereo
Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD + 16 page booklet.
Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever.
This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.
The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.