Okay, the fans have spoken. 52,000 votes were cast in the Elvis Movie Madness championship, and Elvis: That’s The Way It Is edged out King Creole by EIGHT VOTES.
My prediction last week was a bust, but congratulations to TTWII for the victory.
However, as I have said here before, Elvis: That’s The Way It Is a documentary/concert film, not a movie with acting, comedy, and plot. The voting results showed the fans consider these the seven best Elvis acting movies.
#1 – King Creole
#2 (tie) – Jailhouse Rock
Viva Las Vegas
#4 (tie) – Loving You
After the results were announced, I realized I didn’t have enough appreciation tor TTWII. I’ve seen it several times, but it’s not a film I can watch over and over like some of my favorite Elvis acting movies like Tickle Me, Live A Little, Love A Little, Follow That Dream, or Kissin’ Cousins (in addition to that Top 7 above).
So, I did a little research to find out what makes Elvis: That’s The Way It Is so popular.
Well, how about the fact that the extensively remastered original 1970 film debuted in Blu-ray and had its world premiere theatrical showing at Elvis Week 2014 at the Orpheum Theater last August 16.
Do you think those fans who saw the film on the special day commemorating his death might still have a warm fuzzy feeling for it eight months later? Sure, but there couldn’t have been that many folks who squeezed into the Orpheum for a single 8pm show.
Well, how about all the folks who saw it at the 300 theaters across the country that also featured limited engagements after Elvis Week?
Now you’re talking about a lot of serious fans that saw TTWII last August – the kind of fans that probably follow Graceland.com and voted in Elvis Movie Madness.
For those of you who don’t know what the reediting and remixing of TTWII is all about, here is a little history. The original movie was 108 minutes long. It consisted mainly of concert footage from Elvis’ triumphant 1970 shows at the International Hotel in Las Vegas.
It also contained the informal and easy-going practice sessions at MGM Music Sound Stage in Culver City, CA.
Unfortunately, it also wasted a lot of film time on fan interviews and other superficial stuff.
Then in 2000, Elvis: That’s The Way It Is received some drastic editing. The fan sequences were eliminated, and the rehearsal and concert sequences were expanded using recently discovered footage. The resulting film was twelve minutes shorter than the original, but focused entirely on Elvis as a musician, performer and beloved icon.
The newly “reconstructed” film was issued on DVD, and it also had a second run in the movie theaters that year.
Then, in 2014, Warner Home Video released what they call a DigiBook two-disc edition — the original 1970 version on DVD, and the 2000 updated version on Blu-ray. Tied in with this release, EPE scheduled the Elvis Week showing at the Orpheum Theater.
If all that attention in August 2014 wasn’t enough to sway the vote, TTWII had one more big promotional push with the March 2015 opening of a new Graceland exhibition about the movie.
You have to admit that TTWII had a lot of stuff pumping it up the Elvis Movie Madness vote, but it is truly a great film. If you want to find out why, check out any of the 288 Five-Star reviews on Amazon.com. You’ll probably end up buying the Blu-ray.
I couldn’t do this article and resist the temptation to look up how many Five-Star reviews King Creole got on Amazon.com.
There were just 112. I guess the fans voting on Elvis Movie Madness got it right.
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