Posts Tagged ‘Elvis’

Elvis ‘68 Comeback Special (2018) ***

Dir.: Steve Binder; Documentary with Elvis Presley; USA 1968/2018, 105 min.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this legendary Elvis Presley Comeback Show, originally filmed in the NBC studios in June 1968, director Steve Binder and Priscilla Presley shed light on the details of the recordings; followed bya 90-minute special cut of the original 440- minute DVD. The Special Edition will be shown in cinemas on August the 16th, the 41th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death.

Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker, who had pushed the singer into a mediocre Hollywood career after his return from Military Service, originally wanted the first public appearance of Presley for seven years as a Christmas Special, but when ‘Hullabaloo’ producer/director Steve Binder came on board everything changed, though Parker church a hope that at least the final song would be a festive one for the screening in December of that year. But Binder sent Presley away to slim down, and for the start of the recordings on June 17th in the NBC studios, he re-united Presley with his original musicians Fontana and Scotty Moore, later adding Mike Deasey and Hal Blaine to support the star. Presley was a little shy at first, but soon started goofing around on and off the little stage, which looked “like an open boxing ring”. And he certainly looks terrific in a swanky black leather outfit and his signature slicked back hairdo. More sexually alluring but with the same dry sense of humour as The Beatles, who had made their own tour of the US two years earlier.

For the planned Gospel medley recordings on June 27th, Parker had given out tickets mainly to NBC security guards, and Binder personally went to ‘Bob’s Big Boy’ to get a much different age group to attend. Whilst classics like “Guitar Man”, “That’s alright” and “Heartbreak Hotel” make us remember how great Presley was creatively and physically (only nine years before his death), Binder cut the infamous ‘Bordello’ sequence. A week after shooting ended, Presley started the Western Charro. As Blaine said “Everybody was on Cloud Nine” – but Presley would never be the same, even in his third, ‘Las Vegas’ re-incarnation. This release is bound to be a hit with fans of the star and may even garner some new interest from the current millennial generation. AS


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