Elvis and the Colonel: The Untold Story (1993)
Fourteen years after producing Elvis (1979), Dick Clark returned to the well and came up dry with this desiccated biopic. In place of Kurt Russell’s superlative performance we are presented with Rob Youngblood who, though he doesn’t look, act or move like Elvis, sure does sound like him. Unfortunately, he overdoes the King’s mumbling while narrating the film, introducing each new segment from beyond the grave like an incomprehensible host of an E! Channel exposé.
No, this is Beau Bridges’ movie… and he’s welcome to it. Blustering his way through a showy performance that offers little in the way of depth, Bridges manipulates the King’s draft into the army, his marriage to Priscilla and his isolation from the world beyond the gates of Graceland. Apart from a tearful reunion with a circus elephant, during which Bridges explains the advantage of knowing how to restrain his property, there is no attempt to explain the Colonel’s hold over his charge. Even the King dismissively rejects any analysis. Looking down at his own gravesite, Elvis mumbles “Only two of us know what happened, and none of us aint talking”. At least that what we think he said.
Regardless, it’s easier to understand than the biopic’s bizarre ending...
After receiving the news he has just been frozen out of the Presley estate, an ailing Colonel is visited by the ghostly version of Elvis who has been guiding us through this nonsense throughout. The king clicks his fingers – THE END. If only he had done that ninety minutes earlier!
as Elvis Presley
as Priscilla Presley
as Steve Binder
Movie infers that one of Elvis’s first movies featured him portraying a doctor opposite a group of nuns. In reality, Change of Habit (1969) was Elvis’s last acting role. It was also helmed by the director of this biopic, William A. Graham.
The character of Dale, Elvis’s hairstylist and ‘spiritual advisor’ is based on Larry Geller.
Apart from some behind-the-scenes hi-jinks on the sets of, what appears to be, Frankie and Johnny (1966) and Change of Habit (1969) there are no recreations in this biopic.