Elvis on Tour Reviews

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Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
½ June 21, 2010
Filmed just a two years after "Thats Just The Way It Is", the deterioration of Elvis' stage performance in "Elvis on Tour" is considerably evident. That's not to say he doesn't still have "it", but the documentary is padded with lots of non-related, old performance clips from his early days as well as plenty of footage demonstrating the hysteria of his fans. It documents a tour of the southern states which took place in the early 70s, and this time focuses on the fans just as much as the king himself. In such a short period, Elvis went from that slender, sleek Vegas debut to the onset of his "fat Elvis" years, and while he can still hit the highs and lows, and can still do the karate kicks, there's a considerable amount of offkey singing, out-of-breath singing, and sweaty, double-chin fumbling. He brings a lyric sheet out to sing "Hunka Burnin' Love", for example. The king who was once a god among men is revealed to be merely mortal. As Elvis neared his final years, his focus on gospel music seemed to intensify, and this shown extensively in the film. But even if his performing ability had deteriorated by then, it doesn't make this documentary any less fascinating. The mania of Elvis fandom was especially strong in the south, and it's amazing to watch the women (of all generations) following him everywhere he goes, from the hundreds waiting at a small airport, to the thousands who came, screaming just to have Elvis glance their way. The costumes and pageantry, it's all equally fascinating and crazy.
March 31, 2007
Great songs! His dance moves and commitment to the stage shows he was a dedicated performer before it all went downhill.
½ August 24, 2012
What a talent, what a voice. A decent look at how much an influence music played in Elvis's life, how well he could sing, and once he sang a song it became his version that you remember. The lasting image of the movie is how Elvis and his very talented band could just jam and how the jam sessions sounded just as good as the concert footage. Elvis was getting heavy and while this is a documentary of his present day tour there are many cuts of his performances from the past as Elvis at times looks out of it.
August 7, 2012
This movie is really good, but it's also very sad to watch. This was filmed around the point where Elvis started to go downhill. He's not at his best here, but it's one of the last moments where Elvis was still good, and not a fat, older man forgeting the lyrics to his own songs. The music is pretty good, and the off-stage moments are interesting to watch. Not a lot to say... Overall, if you're an Elvis fan, you'll probably like this movie.
-Brett
June 21, 2010
Elvis On Tour is the second documentary that gave the audiences a portrait of this magnificent artists live performances in the 70's. The previous documentary 'That's the way it is' is in all a better movie but 'On Tour' was the one that managed to win a Golden Globe for best documentary. The only Elvis movie to ever win a significant award.

For Elvis fans though, 'On Tour' still is a gem. Sadly enough the movie has not yet been remastered and released on DVD.

On tour is a great way to experience Elvis as a performer altough he does not look as fit and energetic as in 'That's the way it is'.

The documentary opens with Elvis singing 'Johnny be goode' at a rehersal. It continues with the artist preparing to enter the stage. Altough he's obviously nervous he goes out on the stage and gives a confidant perfomance. The rest of the movie concists of rehersals, live performances and interviews with fans.

In the original movie the producers use a split screen tecnique wich works great, especially in scenes from the concerts. In the later released VHS version, the spilt screen has been removed and a "normal view" is adapted. Sadly this takes away some of the artistic quality of the original documentary.

The quality of Elvis performances at the beginning are not as good as one might expect but this improves troughout the movie. Elvis has now definately reached the point in his career where he no longer cares for his old 'rock and roll act' and runs trough his old 50's hits with no enthusiasm. Instead he now proves his talent when he croons his close to operatic version of the song material he showed so much affection for during the 70's.

One of the most interesting feats of this movie is seeing that Elvis fans still at the time almost 20 years after his rise to fame, shows an affection for Elvis that at some points are borderline hysterical. It is quite obvious that we today are not really able to comprehend just how big a phemomenon Elvis actually was 'back in the days'.

Even so I personally will recommend taking a look at his 1970 documentary 'Thats the way it is', especially the 2001 remastered version, if you want to see Elvis peak as a live artist. For die hard fans though, 'On Tour' still is a milestone. Lets just hope that it at some point will be remastered with the same quality as 'That's the way it is'. In the vaults there are som 15 hours of raw material related to the filming of 'On Tour' and considering the fact that this material contains extreamly rare footage of 5 Elvis concerts, it will be a shame not to publish the material in it's complete form.
Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
½ June 21, 2010
Filmed just a two years after "Thats Just The Way It Is", the deterioration of Elvis' stage performance in "Elvis on Tour" is considerably evident. That's not to say he doesn't still have "it", but the documentary is padded with lots of non-related, old performance clips from his early days as well as plenty of footage demonstrating the hysteria of his fans. It documents a tour of the southern states which took place in the early 70s, and this time focuses on the fans just as much as the king himself. In such a short period, Elvis went from that slender, sleek Vegas debut to the onset of his "fat Elvis" years, and while he can still hit the highs and lows, and can still do the karate kicks, there's a considerable amount of offkey singing, out-of-breath singing, and sweaty, double-chin fumbling. He brings a lyric sheet out to sing "Hunka Burnin' Love", for example. The king who was once a god among men is revealed to be merely mortal. As Elvis neared his final years, his focus on gospel music seemed to intensify, and this shown extensively in the film. But even if his performing ability had deteriorated by then, it doesn't make this documentary any less fascinating. The mania of Elvis fandom was especially strong in the south, and it's amazing to watch the women (of all generations) following him everywhere he goes, from the hundreds waiting at a small airport, to the thousands who came, screaming just to have Elvis glance their way. The costumes and pageantry, it's all equally fascinating and crazy.
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