This listing is for Elvis 56 VHS Video Tape 1987.
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Wonderfully narrated by Levon Helm of the Band, this remarkable film documents the one year that made the difference in the life and career of Elvis--and in the culture of the U.S.A. and the world. Robust with period-evoking footage of the King's concerts and TV appearances, with numerous still photos taken offstage, on trains, etc., the film chronicles our man's transition from regional fringe player to breakout superstar the likes of which the world had never known. It's a gem from start to finish. It makes a fine companion piece to Peter Guralnick's biography, Last Train to Memphis.
As an American raised in the second half of the 20th Century, I have been steeped in the legend of Elvis throughout my entire life. Prior to seeing "Elvis '56" on TV, I had seen footage of his early performances that I thought demonstrated a degree of brilliance. That being said, I must state, emphatically, that this brilliant film, which encapsulates his meteoric rise to fame, has made me a fan forever of this remarkable American artist. We can all go on to note how, after 1956, Elvis became a "boy in a bubble" and the sad effect that had on his personality and music. But this film is the unadulturated 100% pure Elvis Presley of which the legend is made. It's not just the music - which is incredible - but this fascinating young man himself, that makes this video so rewarding. And, finally, I have seldom seen a film - documentary or fiction - that so vividly rekindles the look and feel of an era. If you lived through 1956, this will take you back. If you didn't, watch this and you'll know what it was like.
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