Warner Marks Elvis’ 75th with Documentary DVD, Blu-ray31 Mar, 2010 By: Chris Tribbey
The King would have turned 75 this year, and to mark the occasion Warner Home Video is rolling out more than one Elvis Presley must-have.
First, Aug. 3 Warner releases Elvis on Tour on DVD ($19.96) and Blu-ray Disc ($34.99). The 1972 Golden Globe-winning documentary followed Elvis during a 15-city tour, and is considered to be his last film before his death Aug. 16, 1977.
“This is one of the most anticipated Elvis releases ever,” said Kevin Kern, spokesman for Elvis Presley Enterprises, the licensing arm of The King’s trust. “His fans have been waiting for this for a very long time, and they’re anxious to see it.”
The documentary includes 25 musical performances, including some of Elvis’ greatest songs: “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Hound Dog,” “Love Me Tender” “All Shook Up” and others. There’s also backstage rehearsal footage, Elvis’ first performance of “Burning Love,” his second “Ed Sullivan Show” performance, and montage sequences showcasing Elvis’ early career and movies (supervised by famed director Martin Scorsese).
"He was singing a lot of new material at the time," said George Feltenstein, SVP of theatrical catalog marketing for Warner Home Video. "He was growing as an artist and not resting on his laurels. Most people are used to seeing this on VHS, and now we're presenting it with all the bells and whistles Blu-ray has to offer."
It’s all been remastered for high definition and the Blu-ray comes with DTS-HD audio and a book filled with photos, trivia, a tour itinerary and more.
“His fans will always pick up anything that’s unique, and this counts,” Kern said. He added that the documentary will be screened Aug. 14 in Memphis during Elvis Week (Aug. 10-16), and that for fans who attend “It’ll be like winning a golden ticket.”
The documentary will also be available on iTunes, Xbox Live, Zune marketplace and Amazon, cable and satellite VOD Aug. 3.
The same day as the documentary, Warner releases the largest-ever Elvis film box set with the Elvis 75th Anniversary DVD Collection ($74.92). It will include 14 feature films and three documentaries, among them Elvis on Tour, Jailhouse Rock and Viva Las Vegas. Several films include new transfers and new bonus features, and the set includes a 40-page booklet with photos and 10 reproduction memorabilia pieces, including studio correspondence and checks signed by Elvis.
Warner is also packaging Elvis on Tour, Jailhouse Rock and Viva Las Vegas into one Blu-ray set for $49.99, and will make each of the films available on DVD by themselves at $12.97 each. Order date is June 29.
Feltenstein said the Blu-ray editions were ready three years ago, but "we really felt we needed to hold something back for the 75th."
Films included in Elvis 75th Anniversary DVD Collection:
Elvis on Tour
Viva Las Vegas.
It Happened at the World’s Fair
Stay Away, Joe
Live a Little, Love a Little
The Trouble With Girls
Elvis: That’s the Way It Is
This Is Elvis