This Is Elvis

The questionable passages in this 1981 release are clearly marked in the credits as re-creations, but there's still something dishonest about faking a documentary style (and badly—no self-respecting newsreel cameraman of the 1950s would have turned in such sloppy handheld footage) for the few personal moments when real footage doesn't exist, particularly when your thesis is that Elvis was a nice young country boy who couldn't handle fame and its constant scrutiny. Still, the early kinescopes of Elvis have a real electric charge, and the scenes from his late, drug-sodden concerts retain a freak-show fascination. The material is there, but the organization—by Malcolm Leo and Andrew Solt—seems phony, sentimental, and offensive.

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