Review | Elvis : Return To Tupelo DVD
Source: Elvis Australia
February 27, 2018
Elvis Reviews, Elvis Articles, Elvis DVD Reviews, Elvis News
I've been a long time Elvis fan, so when I watched this video, I was surprised how much new things I learned about his growing up. It was very interesting and entertaining.
The filmmakers really brought home the conservatism of 'the' America that was in place at the time. The split between the races and the lingering post World War II poverty was all happening at the time. Elvis somehow got through the snares of being beyond impoverished from birth possibly because he knew nothing else save for the love of his tight-knit family anchored by his mother Gladys. He had a gift and all he knew is he loved to sing and share it. The chronicle of his family's rise from being beyond poor to when they were welcomed as the town's pride and joy in his 1956 return is amazing.
I really enjoyed seeing what it was like in a time gone and how awe-inspiring it was to see Elvis rise from his truly humble beginnings. You really get the feeling that Elvis had not just talent but a real heart of gold. The drummer for Elvis in those early days was D.J. Fontana and he says near the end it will probably happen again that someone comes along and turns the world upside down with music as the vehicle, then he adds it won't be anytime soon. I'd say he may be wrong. This was such a simple world compared to today and it's hard to imagine anything remotely like this ever happening again. Because of this I highly recommend anyone who wasn't there, like me, to get an excellent glimpse of a talent and time the world is like to never witness again.
The documentary handles Elvis' youth in Tupelo and Memphis, his rise to stardom until the 1956 Tupelo show, hence the name. The story is narrated by Kris Kristofferson and a lot of known people are interviewed: D.J. Fontana, Gordon Stoker, George Klein, but also childhood friends, historians, journalists and girlfriends like June Juanico, Magdalene Morgan and Dixie Locke. The filming of Elvis related spots has been done very professional and the editing is high class. The story is told in a way that makes you sit out the 90 minutes easily. It gives a perfect view on those days in the 30s, 40s and 50s and it really makes you understand where Elvis was coming from.
Teenagers in the 1950s and '60s turned Elvis Presley into an icon as his shaking hips and snarling lips sent rock 'n' roll shockwaves around the world. His emergence on the scene represented a seismic shift in the culture wars over race, sex and class. The story of Elvis lies at the heart of a struggle that gives birth to a new form of music, rock 'n' roll, and an America that is forever changed.
Understanding the Elvis phenomenon, and his impact on the world, requires going back to his origins in rural Tupelo, Mississippi where he grew up as one of the poorest boys in town. What happened here set the stage for him to become the star that still shines brightly today.
Elvis Australia has watched this DVD and can highly recommend it. It has good quality production and is very good viewing. The documentary is made by Michael Rose, who has made over 200 shows that have aired around the world. A very big pro is that Rose managed to get hold of some pictures we have never seen before.
Kris Kristofferson was asked if he would be interested to narrate this DVD. Kris asked to see the script and he liked it, so he agreed to do it. He's an Elvis fan and after the narration recording session, he said it was 'an honor' to do it. He felt it was respectful. Elvis recorded three of Kris Kristofferson's songs; For The Good Times, Why Me Lord and Help Me Make It Through The Night.
A wonderful insight into the personal life and early life of Elvis Presley.
I would recommend it to anyone that has an interest in Elvis Presley.
Go get it!
Please note that the DVD contains specially licensed footage by Fox.
The DVD is filled with comments of lots of experts and people who where eye witnesses to the events, added with unique and historic footage from the difficult years in the Deep South. This movie is made by professional filmmaker and Elvis fan Michael Rose. It is obvious that this project is made with a heart for the subject.
An extra bonus DVD with 60min of features is added. We already knew the chapter titles, but now that we have seen the disc, we can tell you more about the content.
Elvis week / Elvis festival
Dedicated to us, the Elvis fans, with an overview of the yearly festivities that are held in Memphis and Tupelo.
The Alamo Girls
Seven girlfriends from Alamo, TN are out on an adventure when they travel to Tupelo in September 1956 to see Elvis perform during the fair. The seven teenagers can be seen on almost every footage and picture that is made during the concert. They are all standing on the front row and some of the girls are now telling about their special trip. We also see photos from their private album with pictures they made from the front row.
Sun Records Line up
A brief overview of the other artists that became famous due to Sun Records.
Elvis meets Bill Monroe
Bill Monroe, composer of 'Blue Moon Of Kentucky', met Elvis at the Grand Ol' Opry in Nashville. The audience was not overwhelmed by the way Elvis performed their favourite country waltz.
DJ Fontana: Elvis on TV
Elvis' first drummer recollects some memories about the various TV-appearances at the Milton Berle, Steve Allen and Ed Sullivan shows. He goes in to detail about why Elvis did not like Steve Allen
Sneaking into the Fair
Elvis' childhood friend tells the story about how they sneaked in to the fair because they could not afford a ticket.
Memories of the Colonel
A short portrait of Elvis' 'controversial' manager.
George Klein remembers the Coach
Elvis was a for a short time a member of the Humes High Football team, but he quit because he did not like the coach. George Klein tells the story when Elvis and the coach met each other again when he was already a star.
June Juanico & Dixie Locke: first date
Two of Elvis' first girlfriends share their stories about being Elvis' date.
Magdalene Morgan's Christmas gift
During elementary school, Magdalena was Elvis' little girlfriend. She tells about the Christmas gift she got from him.
Mike Freeman: owning Elvis' house
Mike Freeman bought the house on Audubon drive that once belonged to Elvis in 1988. He tells about how it was to live in Elvis' home.
Debunking the myth that Elvis was a Racist
In the beginning of Elvis' career, a rumour was spread that Elvis was a racist. This came from an article, published in the SEPIA magazine. The JET magazine wrote that the rumour was a lie.
Elvis enters the Army newsreel
Original news broadcast about Elvis entering the army.
Elvis leaves the Army newsreel
Original news broadcast about Elvis leaving the army.
Elvis gets married newsreel
Original news broadcast about Elvis' marriage.
Tupelo tornado newsreel
Very rare footage about the Tupelo tornado disaster in the 40's.
'Washington Merry-Go-Round' Elvis Controversy newsreel
Probably the most interesting chapter on the bonus disc.
The program 'Washington Merry-Go-Round' was all about important political news. This episode however was about the controversies around Elvis.
In this complete 12min show from 1956, Elvis life story until then is told. The program concludes with a 'prediction' about Elvis' career. He is compared with educated and decent artists such as and Frank Sinatra. Elvis is advised to get rid of all the vulgarity if he does not want his star to fall as fast as it came up.
To understand the person behind Elvis, his musical preferences and his choices, it is important to discover the roots of this all. For the first time ever, all these facts are portrayed in such a detailed and interesting way!
Please note that the DVD contains specially licensed footage by Fox.
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Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD Video with Sound.
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. + Plus Bonus DVD Audio.
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.