August 12, 2022

Baz Luhrmann has made a profession out of bending time and actuality to inform tales with a particular melodramatic aptitude. Moulin Rouge! was stuffed with Parisians circa 1900 singing MTV-era pop songs. William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet featured twentieth century American characters talking within the unique play’s sixteenth century dialogue.

Elvis Presley is without doubt one of the most mythologized figures within the American creativeness, looming over popular culture through Vegas impersonators and conspiracy theories about his loss of life as a lot as his music. So one may count on Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis to be concerning the legend, not the person. However Luhrmann, who started work on the movie eight years in the past, researched Presley’s life extensively, co-writing the screenplay with longtime collaborator Craig Pearce, in addition to Sam Bromell and Jeremy Doner. And although Elvis was filmed in Luhrmann’s homeland of Australia, the director took a number of journeys to America to see the place Elvis had lived and meet individuals he’d identified earlier than recreating Tupelo, Memphis and Las Vegas down beneath.

Elvis has earned constructive evaluations (together with ours) for Austin Butler’s uncanny efficiency as Presley. However how a lot did Luhrmann twist the reality to inform Presley’s story? We dug into the general public file of Presley’s life and profession to separate reality from fiction.

[Editor’s note: the following contains spoilers for Elvis, inasmuch as you can spoil the life story of one of the most famous entertainers of all time.]


Did Colonel Tom Parker Meet Elvis Presley on the Louisiana Hayride?

A key early scene highlighted in Elvis’s trailers, by which Colonel Tom Parker sees Presley carry out his debut single “That’s All Proper” on the Louisiana Hayride and meets the younger singer, compresses and simplifies the occasions of two totally different nights, a number of weeks aside.

Colonel Parker checked out Presley at a Louisiana Hayride occasion in Texarkana, Arkansas on January 15, 1955 on the advice of an affiliate, Oscar Davis. Parker didn’t meet Presley that night time, however quickly after reached out to the singer’s then-manager, Bob Neal. Neither Oscar Davis nor Bob Neal is depicted within the movie, which suggests Parker stumbled upon Presley himself, and that no person was managing the singer’s profession at that time in addition to his father, Vernon Presley. The venue was the Texarkana Municipal Auditorium, however Luhrmann’s movie units the occasion at a carnival, to tie into Parker’s present enterprise roots as a carny.

Three weeks later, Parker noticed Presley carry out two concert events on the Ellis Auditorium in Memphis on February 6. At a café throughout the road between exhibits, Parker spoke to Presley for the primary time, in a gathering with Neal and producer Sam Phillips (so the film’s scene of Parker and Presley on a Ferris wheel undoubtedly by no means occurred). Shortly, a enterprise partnership was initiated that may final many years and generate a whole bunch of tens of millions of {dollars}. However Parker wouldn’t develop into Presley’s sole supervisor till a yr later, when a road-weary Neal opened a file retailer and bowed out of renewing his contract with Presley.

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