Sunday, June 2, 2013


Elvis: The Miniseries was a made for TV special that covers Elvis' years from high school to his 1968 Comeback Special. It was produced with the cooperation of The Presley Estate and used master recordings of Elvis songs in the production. Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Tudors, Dracula) plays Elvis and Randy Quaid plays Col. Tom Parker with Camryn Manheim and Robert Patrick co-starring as Elvis' parents and Rose McGowan portrays Ann-Margret.

Along with Elvis and Ann-Margret, the miniseries also features actors portraying Scotty Moore, D.J. Fonatana, and Bill Black as members of Elvis' band and Chet Atkins as RCA producer, plus Wynonie Harris in a club scene. All these actors do a credible job, although Chet Atkin's part is so small to be almost unnoticeable. Saving the best for last, Rose McGowan shined in her part as Ann-Margret.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers looked like he was born to play Elvis and he was also good at mimicking Elvis' speech patterns and movements. Although the movie touted original master recordings, this actually turned out to be the worst part of the movie. Meyers lip synch is ok, but  each time he does a song it's so obviously Elvis' voice that it reminded me of only Elvis and it took me out of the movie. The movie seemed fairly accurate, but of course, there's some "whitewashing" going on. One of the most glaring examples is near the first of the movie, when three 1950s teenagers (Elvis and a couple of his buddies) sum up a very liberal worldly view on race relations. I won't even go into how nice and neat they made it look when Elvis started dating 14 year old Priscilla. Rose McGowan, as mentioned above, was a standout as Ann-Margret and it's too bad she wasn't in the movie more. Watching Elvis: The Mini Series, you probably won't find out anything about Elvis that you didn't already know, but it's still a pretty entertaining three hours and a good overview of Elvis' life from his teens up to The 68 Comeback Special.

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