Elvis – A 50th Anniversary Celebration
C+ Sound: C Extras: C Program: B-
latest entry in the endless programs on Elvis Presley is Elvis – A 50th Anniversary Celebration (2004), which
does not involve a cake or actual party, but does have interviews with more
name people who knew Elvis. For a
change, there are surprises and some new ideas many may not have heard of
before. This marks the anniversary of
when Elvis cut his first hit record.
story is how singer Tom Jones became very good friends with Elvis, two singers
with some of the bravado, stage presence and masculinity without trying that
put all the current “boy band” types to shame.
Pat Boone offers some funny moments, even if unintended. Suzi Quatro, the former Leather Tuscadero
from TV’s Happy Days, talks about
knowing Elvis. Like Cassandra Peterson,
better known as the comic Horror-styled Elvira, is in the supplement and the
funny thing is how both women talk unusually fondly of Elvis. They talk of missed opportunity and are
trying to each stake their claim to him in some odd way, both haunted by the
specter of the Pricilla Presley of the time.
One is even very explicit about this.
were closest to him in his touri8ng and inner circle get their say, but the
falsest moment is when Ray Manzarek of The Doors just has to compare Elvis with
Jim Morrison. The man can’t help
himself. You can see it coming, as if he
will do anything to promote The Doors as if he is thinking of royalty money
ahead of sincerity. The program only
lasts 52 minutes, has some stock footage, but is only so interesting when all
is said and done.
frame image is all NTSC color videotape, with some occasional monochrome
patches and some older film and tape footage.
It is a bit on the soft side for a recent production, though some of
these interviews are not recent. The
Dolby Digital 2.0 is actually monophonic.
The only extras are brief extra interview pieces with Chris Bearde (who
wrote his comeback special (14 minutes) and the aforementioned Peterson, who
may be giving us more information in her two minutes and essentially give Elvis
credit for Elvira’s existence. The
Presley Estate has not filed a cease & desist order on the matter yet.
- Nicholas Sheffo