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Category:    Home > Reviews > Rock Music > TV Variety Show > Elvis - The Ed Sullivan Show: Classic Performances (Image Entertainment DVD)

Elvis - The Ed Sullivan Show: Classic Performances (Image Entertainment DVD)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Compilation: B-



While the rollout of Beatles material is happening again thanks to the reissue of their music catalog on 9/9/09 and the death of Michael Jackson is leading to issues and reissues of his work in various formats, Elvis Presley is never far behind and this time, Image Entertainment is offering Elvis - The Ed Sullivan Show: Classic Performances on DVD.  The shows were kinescoped, so quality is only going to be so good, but are classic and a welcome release.


Sullivan was never going to have Elvis on his show until The King appeared on a rival series and was beaten in the ratings.  He paid a then-record amount to get Elvis on his show and the result was a huge ratings smash.  Ironically, Sullivan was in a car accident and the great Charles Laughton had to fill in for him that first appearance.  This main part of this disc compiles those appearances, sometimes cutting the actual episodes down of non-Elvis material.


Purists may not like that, but seeing early prime Elvis in action is still something a half-century later and is one of the best releases we have seen on him since Warner issued Blu-rays and HD-DVDs of two of his best films, Jailhouse Rock and Viva Las Vegas.  After all the imitation and pop trivialization, seeing the real man in action is always refreshing and this DVD offers just that.


The 1.33 X 1 image is soft as noted, but they look about as good as can be expected for their age and the capturing format.  Kinescopes filmed picture tubes as a TV frame rate; think the Lost Honeymooners shows.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is better and as clean as an old TV recording of the time could be expected to be.  Extras include previews and promos for the Sullivan shows, John Byner doing Elvis, interviews with Sam Phillips, Wink Martindale and others about the events and rare 8/7/55 home movie footage of Elvis in action.


For more Elvis, start at this link:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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