Elvis: That's the Way It Is (1970)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

On July 31, 1969, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Elvis Presley staged a triumphant return to the concert stage from which he had been absent for almost a decade. His series of concerts broke all box office records and completely reenergized the career of the King of Rock 'n' Roll. This feature-length concert film crosses the footlights, revealing the legendary singer as a man preparing for an emotional career comeback, the fans who traveled from all over the world for this history-making event.... and the electrifying live performance of the man who gave us rock 'n' roll.
PG (for some language)
Documentary , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
In Theaters:
MGM Home Entertainment

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Critic Reviews for Elvis: That's the Way It Is

All Critics (9)

The film was somewhat radically reworked for a TCM special edition; the original is like an old-school monster movie that teases the audience before finally giving fans the spectacle they crave -- Elvis, tearing down the house in all his jumpsuited glory.

Full Review… | September 4, 2014
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

... chronicles his phoenix-like rebirth as a Vegas showman as a concert rockumentary interspersed with interviews, backstage material, and a wealth of footage featuring the King in rehearsal.

Full Review… | August 11, 2010
Parallax View

Pop and Rock stars will come and go, but there is only one Elvis, and the concert film "That's the Way It Is" proves that, once and for all...

Full Review… | August 21, 2007
Cinema Crazed

The definitive portrait of Elvis the Vegas headliner follows the King through his 1970 summer engagement in Las Vegas from backstage bustle to box-office hustle to 27 stage numbers.

Full Review… | August 14, 2007

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August 21, 2005

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February 13, 2004
Boulder Weekly

Audience Reviews for Elvis: That's the Way It Is

This is late Elvis at his best, still thin, still wildly gyrating, smiling, tanned, and clearly loving every moment of what he's doing - just a year or two before the monkey of addiction began to dig its claws in so deep. Filmed over six shows at the Las Vegas International (now the LV Hilton) in 1970. One of the 20th Century's greatest musical legends at the top of his game, making Vegas all his own. Move directly to "GO" and collect $200 by watching the 2001 Special Edition - rather than the 1970 Original Theatrical Release version. The 2001 upgrade is serious restoration work. Gone are the nearly thirty minutes of tediously dull observations and interviews of/with Elvii fans, replaced by a generous amount of footage that in 1970 was tossed to the cutting room floor. The L.A. studio and Vegas rehearsals are vastly extended. Also dealt back into the deck are many alternate angle cuts, probably set aside for being thought too pelvic and provocative for 1970 theater-goers. Now almost every frame of the film caresses the character and talent of Elvis. In addition to the high-quality outright resto of celluloid and sound, there's a good bit of thoughtful sprucing-up throughout the film (eg, captioning, establishing shots) that improves the overall viewer experience a great deal. [The 2001 version is issued standalone but can also be found inside WB's 2007 DVD "Elvis: That's The Way It Is: Two-Disc Special Edition."] RECOMMENDATION: The "Aloha" special may be better known, may have been watched live by 1 billion people, may be better costumed - but in Aloha the weight, the exhaustion and the monkey are all painfully on display. Here in this disc is the performance by which The King would want to be remembered.

TonyPolito  Polito
TonyPolito Polito

A real awesome slice of American history. Not just of Elvis either. Old Vegas looks fantastic and glamorous. Not just shiny. I saw both the original 1970 version, which has more behind-the-scenes footage and the restored 2001 version - which is actually quite different. Restored, pretty, sonically mastered. It's shorter but includes more performances. While I can question some of E's song choices ("Polk Salad Annie" ? C'mon) you can't deny his performance, his energy, his chops.

Nik Browning
Nik Browning

My favorite Elvis movie,after years of the MGM "location" movies(the King was a great actor but thru the 60's he kept getting scripts that were essentially the same except where they were filmed)Presley was tired of the film industry.After the success of the 68 comeback special Elvis decides to go back on the road and perform for the fans.This film is a documentary chronicling his 69 show at the international hotel in Las Vegas. The rehearsal footage from the MGM lot is great,showcasing Elvis's humor,dedication,and good nature.Many sequences of the film feature interviews with fans and staff from the International,but the heart of the movie is the concert.Elvis shines on stage and is at the peak of his career,it's one dynamic performance after another as the king belts out tunes and drives the women wild(during love me tender he is mobbed by ladies wanting a kiss from the king). A wonderful film essential to any fan of Elvis Presley,that showcases his talent,dedication to his fans,and ultimately his humanity.

Larry Mckinney
Larry Mckinney

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