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In late 1955, Presley made his earliest known film appearance in a documentary entitled The Pied Piper of Cleveland, a look at the career of disc jockey Bill Randle.
The film, (which reportedly included performance footage of Elvis as well as Bill Haley and His Comets and other acts), was shown in its entirety only once (in Cleveland) and was never released commercially.
The film is currently considered "misplaced" and some Presley researchers maintain it never existed, although there is ample evidence to suggest it did.
Beginning with Love Me Tender (opened on November 15, 1956), Presley starred in 31 motion pictures, having signed to multiple long-term contracts on the advice of his manager. These were usually musicals based around Presley performances, and marked the beginning of his transition from rebellious rock and roller to all-round family entertainer.
Elvis was praised by all his directors, including the highly respected Michael Curtiz, as unfailingly polite and extremely hardworking.
Perhaps the biggest letdown of his film career was when Colonel Parker made him give up the lead role in the film version of West Side Story.
Elvis was approached at first by the producers, being their favorite choice, out of several leading men like Warren Beatty, Anthony Perkins, Richard Chamberlain, Tab Hunter, Bobby Darin, Gary Lockwood, and Troy Donahue.
He originally wanted to play the role, but Parker insisted he pull out to star in the unusual musical films he was accustomed to.
From 1960 to 1961, the total box office earnings of his movies during that time were $100 million, but he was upset upon learning that West Side Story was a huge hit and earned ten Academy Awards.
Till the end of his life, Elvis never forgave the Colonel for his loss, and he never watched his films, which were, according to him, travellogue movies with no plot but exotic locales.
The movies Jailhouse Rock (1957), King Creole (1958), and Flaming Star (1960) are widely regarded as his best among film critics. Among fans, Blue Hawaii (1961) and Viva Las Vegas (1964) are also highly praised.
In addition to his own films, Presley has been the subject of more than seventy films that have his name in the title.
This is a list of motion pictures in which Elvis Presley starred.
1. Love Me Tender (1956)
2. Loving You (1957)
3. Jailhouse Rock (1957)
4. King Creole (1958)
5. G.I. Blues (1960)
6. Flaming Star (1960)
7. Wild in the Country (1961)
8. Blue Hawaii (1961)
9. Follow That Dream (1962)
10. Kid Galahad (1962)
11. Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962)
12. It Happened at the World's Fair (1963)
13. Fun in Acapulco (1963)
14. Kissin' Cousins (1964)
15. Viva Las Vegas (1964)
16. Roustabout (1964)
17. Girl Happy (1965)
18. Tickle Me (1965)
19. Harum Scarum (1965)
20. Frankie and Johnny (1966)
21. Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966)
22. Spinout (1966)
23. Easy Come, Easy Go (1967)
24. Double Trouble (1967)
25. Clambake (1967)
26. Stay Away, Joe (1968)
27. Speedway (1968)
28. Live a Little, Love a Little (1968)
29. Charro! (1969)
30. The Trouble With Girls (1969)
31. Change of Habit (1969)
There were also two documentary feature films Elvis: That's the Way it Is (1970) and Elvis on Tour (1972).
Elvis: That's the Way it Is
"Elvis: That's The Way It Is" is a documentary movie about Elvis Presley.
The film shows Elvis rehearsing with the members of his band in Culver City, California at the MGM Studios, as he prepares for his engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The group is seen going through several songs- including "What'd I Say", "Little Sister", "Words", and "The Next Step Is Love".
Later rehearsals show Elvis with his back-up vocalists The Sweet Inspirations, Millie Kirkham and The Imperials Quartet, preparing songs such as "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water".
There is also a session of rehearsing that takes place in the main showroom of the Las Vegas hotel. Together, Elvis and the entire group run through songs from "Mary In the Morning" to "Polk Salad Annie".
Elvis is also seen relaxing in his hotel suite with various members of his entourage.
The movie is also intercut with footage of fans offering commentary about what Elvis means to them; officials at the International Hotel; and celebrities arriving for opening night of the show.
There is also a part with the president of the Elvis Presley fan club in England.
Subsequently, Elvis performs on-stage. He sings many well-known songs, including several of those that he had been seen rehearsing earlier in the film.
By the time he finishes his final number, "Can't Help falling In Love", Elvis receives a standing ovation from the audience as the curtain lowers.
This film was subsequently rereleased in a special edition on January 19th, 2001, when this new version made its worldwide debut on the cable network, Turner Classic Movies.
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