This Is Elvis

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This Is Elvis
This is elvis.jpg
Directed by Malcolm Leo
Andrew Solt
Produced by David L. Wolper
Written by Malcolm Leo
Andrew Solt
Cinematography Gil Hubbs
Edited by Glenn Farr
Release dates
  • April 4, 1981 (1981-04-04)
Running time
144 minutes
Country United States
Language English

This Is Elvis is a 1981 documentary film directed by Andrew Solt and Malcolm Leo, based on the life of Elvis Presley. It combined archival footage with reenactments, and voice-over narration by pop singer Ral Donner, imitating Presley's speaking voice. It was screened out of competition at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival.[1] The film grossed $2 million at the box office in the U.S./Canada, ranking #92 for 1981.[2]

For the reenactment scenes, Presley was portrayed in the film by four actors:

  • Paul Boensch II as Presley at age 10 (Tupelo, Mississippi, in 1946)
  • David Scott as Presley at age 18 (Memphis in 1953, singing in high school, and at a Sun recording session; vocals by [David Scott])
  • Dana MacKay as Presley at age 35
  • Johnny Harra as Presley at age 42 (Opening credits, August 16, 1977 death scene from extended version)

Other narrators provided voice-over narrations for Vernon Presley, Gladys Presley, and Priscilla Presley. Presley's former road manager Joe Esposito and girlfriend Linda Thompson provided their own narrations. Presley receives credit only in the extended version prepared for cable and later home video release.

RCA Records released a two-disc soundtrack album for the film in 1981, featuring the first official release of several of Presley's 1950s television appearances as well as other previously unreleased performances. The soundtrack was certified Gold on August 6, 2002 by the RIAA.

A two-disc DVD set of the film was released on August 7, 2007 commemorating the 30th anniversary of Presley's death. Disc 1 features the original version shown in theaters, Disc 2 includes the extended version with 45 extra minutes of footage.

This Is Elvis is the only Presley movie produced and released by Warner Brothers. Warner Bros. also currently owns other titles with Presley via purchasing Turner Entertainment, including Presley's Metro Goldwyn Mayer films and National General Pictures' Charro!.


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: This Is Elvis". Retrieved 2009-06-07. 
  2. ^ "Box Office Mojo - This Is Elvis". Retrieved 2010-04-25. 

External links[edit]