King Creole #1 — That’s The Way It Isn’t

Elvis Movie Madness Championship Brackets

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.

Early TTWII Poster

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

                  Blue Hawaii

                  GI Blues

                  Girl Happy

 

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.

 Possibly the Greatest Elvis Film Ever Made

 

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.

 TTWII Special Elvis Week Screening

 

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?

 TTWII Exclusive Engagement

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.

Elvis Headlining at International Hotel

It also contained the informal and easy-going practice sessions at MGM Music Sound Stage in Culver City, CA.

Elvis Wearing Shades During TTWII Rehersals

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.

 TTWII-Special edition

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.

When 300 theaters across the country also showed the film
around the same time, TTWII became the only Elvis film to claim three theatrical runs (1970, 2000, and 2014).

 That's the Way It Is

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.

Graceland Exibitions

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. 

 Elvis and Carolyn Jones in King Creole

There were just 112.  I guess the fans voting on Elvis Movie Madness got it right.

 

 

©  2015    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

2 responses to “King Creole #1 — That’s The Way It Isn’t

  1. Saw The King in person, for the first time, in Vegas last week in August 1971. Emilio sat me in 3-top right in front of microphone for Saturday Midnight Show. Got to shake hands with Elvis. Can’t believe I didn’t bring a pen and paper to get his autograph. Talked with people in table behind me about how fantastic Elvis was at Dinner Show night before. When it came time to pay for the 3 drink minimum ($15.00!) at the Midnight Show, a gentleman sitting at table in back of me reached over and paid my bill. Despite my protest, he said it was the least he could do for such a devoted Elvis fan. He apparently owned a car-dealership in La Brea, where Elvis periodically came to cruise around in latest wheels.

    • Hi Bob: Sounds like a wonderful experience. Wish I could have been there.

      Phil Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister

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