As the first product of the 'Behind The Image' series, 'Elvis Behind The Image Vol.1' was not conceived and compiled by 'Praytome Publishing', but by the successful film company 'Spotlight Films' in Hollywood, having collaborated e.g. with splendid productions like 'Terminator' with Arnold Schwarzenegger and the 'Die Hard' series with Bruce Willis. The first edition of the DVD has been pressed in the USA and not in Europe like the follow-up productions.
We can present you the revised version of the DVD 'Elvis Behind The Image Vol. 1'. (And Volume 2 is a totally new release).
What is different? First you'll notice that the menu is interactive now, similar and in the same style like the second volume of this successful series. The design has been adapted also to the second part. Some miscolored or distorted pictures have been corrected or replaced by previously unreleased pictures. In front of every 8mm film has been placed a mini - documentary, which gives background information about the shown material and very rare candid pictures of the relevant concert. In addition all so far released trailers have been integrated as a bonus on this DVD.
The legendary DVD 'Elvis Behind The Image Vol. 1' heralded a completely new era of Elvis documentaries and entails a series of first class issues, which not only revitalized the 8mm-genre, but revolutionized it. The historic material has been digitalized directly from the 8mm-reel by a new developed and highly sensitive laser scanning technique. By using this equipment it was possible to bring the previously unreleased 8mm movies on DVD in a never before known quality.
The DVD impresses with unbelievable and sensational 8mm movies presenting Elvis Presley on stage at different locations, e.g. in Los Angeles, California at the Forum Inglewood Nov. 14, 1970 with an afternoon show and an evening show. In the evening Elvis wears the fabulous 'Fringe Suit', a jumpsuit with very long fringes. This suit has been worn by Elvis only a very few times. It has been on one hand very extravagant, but on the other hand very inexpedient, because during the show the fringes wrapped around Elvis and constricted his appearance. You will find only a handful of photos of this jumpsuit and no one had ever thought about 8mm shots before the release of 'Elvis Behind The Image Vol. 1'.
Moreover you can see a very dynamic Elvis on stage in San Diego, California Nov. 15, 1970 wearing the 'I Got Lucky - Suit' at the Sports Arena. Wonderful shots of different appearances in Las Vegas, Nevada at the International Hotel from January and February 1971 complete the 8mm concert movies.
Nevertheless, this super rare 8mm concert footage is not the ultimate sensation of this DVD, but the 8mm material, which shows us the 'man behind the image', the private citizen Elvis and his residences and the interior of his houses in California. Before this DVD was released this had been a black hole in Elvis´ life - totally unknown and unexplored.
These fantastic 8mm footages complete the remarkable and interesting documentary. In the documentary close friends of Elvis, e.g. Kathy Westmoreland (soprano of Elvis' orchestra) or John Wilkinson (rhythm guitar player of Elvis´ orchestra), talk about Elvis and give impressing background information.
If you still don’t have this classic, you should now jump at this chance to order the revised version of the DVD 'Elvis Behind The Image Vol.1'. At the first appearance of this DVD it set the pattern for a very good price-performance ratio and generated enthusiasm from the press and the fans. Because of the revision the running time extends up to 99 min.
... now meet the man
The ultimative Elvis Experience, As you have never seen him before. Newly acquired, never before seen HOME MOVIES... direct from the original reels of film...transferred for the very first time and never released or circulated in ANY form.
You know the legend....now take an in-depth look at the Man Behind The Image inside stories and first hand accounts told by friends who were there and experienced the up-close and personal side of the undisputed KING OF ENTERTAINMENT!
Crystal clear, incredible up-close CANDID footage from July 1969! At home in California, goofing around with friends and fans... and more!
The most unbelievable footage of UNSEEN performances from 1970 you will ever see! Wearing outfits you have never seen on film, including the Long Fringe Suit and more
A private collection of the beautiful CANDID and STAGE original photographs from the late 60's and early 70's...most of which have never been seen! Also a few surprises that you never knew existed!
Interviews with friends of Elvis who reflect on the private and more personal side of Elvis as they share first hand experiences and stories known only those who knew the true man behind the image.
You know the legend...
... now meet the man
The DVD starts with 3 long interviews with people who would have seen all sides of Elvis.
Kathy Westmoreland, Elvis' backing singer and girlfriend is first. She tells some very nice stories of Elvis' kindness and humourous side. She does talk about the 'real man' mentioning what a sweet & gentle person he was to her, as well as pointing out other facets, like what an avid reader he was. There is also a very telling moment when she reveals that Elvis was the first man that she ever slept with.
She also tells a funny anecdote of Elvis in his 'Long Fringe Suit' which he wore at his LA Forum concert and which we see much more footage of later in the DVD.
The interviews are interspersed with some lovely rare photos (many from Sandi Miller's personal collection) and clips of Elvis on stage. But with Kathy's interview being 17 minutes long, I felt the production could have been improved with a little more innovative editing and a little more Elvis footage in between the stories.
John Wilkinson tells a lovely story of meeting Elvis, when John was only a young boy, and how he showed the young rock n' roll star just how well he could play guitar. - Annoyingly John's microphone has some frustrating distortion, especially at the start.
While John talks very openly about his friendship with Elvis I did feel that a few more probing questions might have revealed more about the man. After all John was there right at the end when the image came crumbling down and it would have been interesting to have touched on that side as well.
Finally (Elvis' close friend) Sandi Miller's personal insights are a delight - I would also have liked to have heard more of what she has to say. She tells us touchingly how Elvis once told her 'I can buy anything I want but I can't buy peace in my heart'.
Sandi Miller comes across as a charming woman who you would also like to be your friend. Maybe this leaves us all wanting more, that hopefully we will find in 'Behind The Image Vol 2'!
Before we get to the complete bonus footage we get a chapter looking at 'The Elvis-A-Rama Museum' in Las Vegas. This seems totally out of place here and should have been at the end of the DVD, if it was going to be included at all.
The final chapter, the preview of the DVD you have just watched, is ridiculous padding too.
However for people wanting more rare footage of Elvis in 1970 & 1971 you can forgive all this for the excellent home movies that make up the 'Bonus Chapter'. Here we get to see amazingly close footage of Elvis in action from November 1970.
Looking in his prime, gorgeous and slinky, he prowls the stage like a cat. There are clips from the 2 shows at the LA Forum and the 'Long Fringe Suit' material is a joy to see. It is hard to believe that he didn't blind himself with all those tassels whipping around! The suit looks great but it was never going to last! We also get some magnificent footage from San Diego the following day.
It is terrific to see just how hard Elvis performed, and how dynamic he was, even when he wasn't working to the cameras. The final show is from Jan 1971 in Las Vegas, more great footage, but this time taken from the balcony.
You know the legend ... now meet the man
Also available : Behind The Image DVD Volume 1
The Wait is over! Volume 2 of 'Behind The Image' has been released.
Volume 1 offered us interviews with John Wilkinson, Kathy Westmoreland and Sandi Miller. As a bonus we got a lot of 8mm-video-material, which was not only stunning in quality but the content was truly amazing, as we saw Elvis for the first time in his legendary 'fringe suit', that he wore on November 14th 1970 in LA. We also saw the 'I Got Lucky' suit for the first time, which was another sensation.
With Behind The Image Vol. 2 we get around 90 minutes of documentary / interview material - accompanied by inserts of memorabilia, pictures and live-footage and around 45 minutes of unseen concert-footage.
Behind The Image Volume 2 starts with an unusual and more than impressive introduction with an animated Elvis, dancing and doing some karate moves to a digderidoo (one of the oldest instruments on earth). The shots we see are taken from the bonus 8mm material and are unseen to these eyes.
Those interviewed include - Cynthia Pepper, who played the character of 'Midge Riley' in 'Kissin' Cousins', Ed Hill of the Stamps Quartet who talks about Elvis as a dear friend who never forgot where he came from. (This part is packed with footage including the CBS announcement of Elvis' passing and an emotional explanation of JD Sumner saying that (in his opinion), 'there was no greater man next to Jesus than Elvis' and Ed Enoch, which is the longest of the three interviews lasting 45 minutes. Like Ed Hill, Ed Enoch talks about how it was to work with Elvis on stage. Enoch explains, that he came - just like Ed Hill - from the gospel scene, before he met Elvis for the first time in fall 1970 and talks about the mood at the rehearsals with Elvis and more about the work on stage.
Behind The Image Volume 2 is an absolutely first-class product! with 160 minutes of entertaining interviews, background information and unbelievable concert-footage for a more than reasonable price, when you compare it to prices for similar products.
This DVD is highly recommended!!