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The King
The King  “From Memphis to New York and Las
  Vegas: a terrific and poignant musical
  road trip taking in the sights and sounds
  that the legendary Elvis Presley would
  have known during his lifetime; along
  the way discovering political America
  and finding out more about the hugely
  talented singer and actor who became
  known, justifiably, as The King...”

WITHOUT ELVIS TO LEAD THE WAY, music would have missed a beat. One moment there was no Elvis and then suddenly, there he was: a hugely talented, sexy-voiced, hip-swivelling tornado set to become known as The King. The impact he had on the times was enormous; an inspiration to those who followed, including British talents Cliff Richard, Billy Fury and also The Beatles.

In the compulsive documentary The King, two-time Sundance Grand Jury-winning film-maker Eugene Jarecki (Why We Fight; The House I Live In) promises an informative and entertaining ride across America, taking to the road in Elvis Presley's 1963 Rolls-Royce Phantom.

“Dust off your
Blue Suede Shoes and
get ready for a
rock ’n’ roll ride
on a unique musical
road trip...”
The Phantom passes through Tupelo, Mississippi, visiting the little low-built home where Elvis Aron Presley was born to Gladys and Vernon Presley on 8 January, 1935, just after his twin brother Jesse was, sadly, stillborn. [Elvis changed the spelling of Aron to Aaron]. Fans still come from all over the world to see where The King was born.

Painting a visionary portrait of America, the American Dream, politics and segregation, the brand new feature documentary The King charts the good and not-so-good aspects of America. The rise of Elvis from a disadvantaged family to fame and fortune encapsulated the aspirations of American youth and fast-tracked him to the Dream. "The most important thing," insisted Elvis, "is happiness."

From Memphis, Tennessee, to New York, taking in Las Vegas, where Elvis performed, Eugene Jarecki meets interesting people and shares their memories on the way. He invites fans, musicians and those who knew Elvis on board to talk about The King, look at the perception of the American Dream today and explore the path to the 21st Century. Of course, no American road trip would be complete without paying homage to Route 66.

Among those lucky enough to ride a spell in the Rolls-Royce is a fourteen year old girl with a voice much bigger than she is, along with her kinfolk band that makes up Emi Sunshine and The Rain. Emi is an American singer-songwriter from Madisonville, Tennessee, and has been singing since she was four years old. Inspired by Elvis, Emi has some very adult opinions!

Jerry Schilling, a very close friend of the charismatic Elvis, talks of his early days with The King and Ethan Hawke recalls the later Elvis. Jerry Phillips reminisces about how Elvis impressed Jerry's father, Sam Phillips of Sun Records; and archive film snippets include Big Momma Thornton singing the original Hound Dog which, given the Elvis treatment, became one of The King's defining hits.

Others featured include Nashville Record Producer Mark Wright, singer John Hiatt, music critic Luc Sante, US Political Analyst James Carville; Rosanne Cash, Chuck D and actors Alec Baldwin and Mike Myers — who tells of the impact Elvis had on Mike's native Canada.

Elvis loved black music and gospel and introduced the music world to his seductive, hip-swivelling delivery; unbelievably shocking during the 1950s and early 1960s. Rare archive footage of Elvis expressing his views and Elvis being presented with a Medallion of Life by the Sioux Indian nation are included in this remarkable documentary.

A wonderful trip down memory lane and a snapshot of America as it is today, The King focuses on the life and the death of a music legend. A great reflection on both Elvis and his country. Wow… Let's Have A Party: Elvis lives…

Original Score is by Robert Miller, Antony Genn and Martin Slattery; Cinematography is by Etienne Sauret and Tom Bergmann; Executive Producers are Steven Soderbergh, Errol Morris, Barbara Biemann, and Rosanne Cash; Producers are Christopher St John and David Kuhn; Written and Directed by Eugene Jarecki.

* Dust off your Blue Suede Shoes and get ready for a rock 'n' roll ride on a unique musical road trip as The King is released by Dogwoof on DVD in the UK on 1 October 2018. Certificate: 15 | Running Time: 109 Minutes (Special Features: 38 Minutes) | Catalogue Number: DOG393 | RRP: £15.99 | Special Features: Deleted Scenes and Theatrical Trailer.

"Wow… Let's Have A Party: Elvis lives" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar

"Just when we thought it was impossible to say something new about Elvis Presley, documentary film-maker Eugene Jarecki pulls it off…" ****The Guardian

"Wildly ambitious, thoroughly entertaining and embellished with some snaky moves, a lot like its nominal subject, Elvis Presley" — Rolling Stone

"Exhilarating" — FT

"Brilliant. The most insightful and comprehensive profile of the icon ever captured on camera" — IndieWire