Elvis and Me (1988)
As Priscilla Presley tells it in some exceedingly banal narration, this is a tale of a princess (Priscilla) who goes to live in a castle (Graceland) with the King (of Rock ‘n’ Roll). Yet there would be no ‘happily ever after’ for this fractured fairy-tale.
Based on her book of the same name this biopic effectively charts the impact Elvis had on Priscilla’s life, from giddy teenager lost under his spell through to a determined woman who can walk away from the madness. Susan Walters, who bears a strong resemblance to Priscilla, gives a pitch perfect performance in a role that requires her to age from 14 to 32 years old. Dale Midkiff on the other hand neither looks nor sounds like Elvis. More significantly though, he is unable to convey any of the star’s charm and charisma.
An unexpected strength of the film is the depiction of Priscilla’s parents. The anguish they feel when their much-loved daughter falls madly in love with a man ten years her senior, is effectively realised as is their sense of powerlessness when the object of her affection refuses to take no for an answer.
Whereas other Elvis biopics have ended with one of the King’s triumphant comebacks, this film continues into the Fat Elvis period. Yet there are frustratingly few scenes of Elvis performing. Instead, Elvis impersonator Ronnie McDowell provides vocals over a liberal use of news footage and home movies, contributing to the biopic’s overall bloated feel.
In the book on which this biopic was based, Priscilla admitted to having two extramarital affairs, rather than just the one depicted in the film.
In the biopic, Priscilla accuses Elvis of raping her. In describing the incident in her book, Priscilla stated that Elvis "forcefully made love to me". Years later she professed that even this was an overstatement.
No scene recreations from Elvis’ movies apart from some fleeting glimpses from behind the scenes.