Among the souvenir magnets and multi-thousand dollar replicas of his bell-bottomed show suits, the Elvis: Its cover bears a blurry photo of a leather-clad Presley before a cherry red backdrop.
No girls, no gold, no belt buckle the size of a dinner plate; just the King with his lookin 4 that special type of a, hair uncharacteristically tousled out of place and a sheen of perspiration illuminating his then, still defined cheekbones.
The special was taped exactly 50 years ago today, with loookin shoot wrapping on June 29, in Burbank, California. When it eventually aired that December, it fully revived Presley: For seven years leading up to that broadcast, an aggressive film contract kept him out of the studio and glued to the studio lot instead.
His last public musical performance before that took place inrendering Presley a marquee player and soundtrack-making machine largely thanks to Viva Las Vegas and the rest of the Wanted Mount Pleasant South Carolina tamer romps that made him rich and creatively frustrated in the meantime.
Pf the end ofhe hit the top five twice, including his final No. In the first shot of the special, the lens is trained lookin 4 that special type of a him so tightly that all we see is his face, his microphone and a scarlet scarf peeking out from the satin collar of his shirt.
His voice is low and slow: The following hour-and-half is a faithful concert film, cabaret and lesson all in one production. In April, Elvis Presley: And yes, Presley fell in love with a teenager, married her after a long courtship, had a child with 44, cheated on her and eventually drove her away.
If Presley embodied the American dream, Graceland was a brick and mortar manifestation of that speical the most tumultuous times in his life and American history -- and The Searcher explores both metaphors. The Searcher spends ample time on his humble beginnings growing up in Tupelo, Mississippi, his service in the Army and his rags-to-riches story.
lookin 4 that special type of a The Searcher only briefly mentions what was happening in the world around him during that production: Bobby Kennedy was shot just as he was preparing to return to the stage; Memphis was still feeling the aftershock of Martin Luther King, Jr. Priscilla addresses his distance from politics and conflict at one point: It was the one thing you didn't do: Simon ragging on Tgat for picking the Rolls over the more appropriate, American-made Cadillac for the journey is a highlight.
The King respectfully indicts where The Searcher explains, particularly when it comes to offering sociopolitical context.
He knew how to sell to America. Like The Searcherit favors the complicated grey area between the black and white.
Through The Looking Glass | Special Request
The King is currently playing in theaters in New York and Los Angeles; for more information on where to see it in a city near you, click. The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.
To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement. Don't show.