Elvis (TV miniseries)

2005 biographical CBS mini-series directed by James Steven Sadwith

Elvis (also known as Elvis: The Miniseries or Elvis: The Early Years) is a 2005 biographical television mini-series. It chronicles the life of American music icon Elvis Presley, from his high school years to his rise to international superstardom.

"Hey, look at that. New beginnings."
"Yeah. A new beginning."
"I had Nudie Cohn make this up for you. It's like the Liberace outfit."
"Oh, that's some suit, Colonel."
"One hundred percent gold lamé, boy. Cost $2,500. Treat her gently, my friend. No gymnastics tonight. You happy?"
"Yeah. I'm happy."
"Good. Knock 'em dead".
Directed by James Steven Sadwith. Written by Patrick Sheane Duncan.
The legend you know.
The story you don't.


Elvis Presley

  • One day, I'm gonna be the man in the big house.
  • [holds up a newspaper with the headline "Sullivan Vows NO Elvis"] Ed Sullivan says he wouldn't touch me with a ten foot pole.
  • [at the Jacksonville Theater after singing "Don't Be Cruel"] I'll see you girls backstage.
  • When I'm on stage, I'm a different person.
  • [whilst at RCA recording a song] I don't care how many time's we done it. We're gonna keep on doin' it, till I get it the way I hear it in my head.
  • Seems the higher I climb, the lonelier it gets.
  • [to Larry Geller] I swear to God, man. [tearfully] No one knows how empty I feel. I mean no one knows anything about me, man, least of all me. What is this emptiness? I have no right to feel this way.
  • [during his Comeback Special] Oh, wait a minute, wait a minute. [jokingly] Something wrong with my lip. [to a girl in the audience] Remember that one, baby? I done 29 pictures like that.
  • The finger, that's right, the finger. I was down in Florida, and the state police decided to come and film my show. All I had to stand still, and all I could move was this little finger here. [jokingly hums and moves his finger] It got more applause than I did.
  • [after performing "Lawdy Miss Clawdy"] Thank you very much.
  • Before me there was no such thing as a rock star.
  • I don't wanna sing another song that I don't believe in! I don't wanna make another movie that I don't care about! This TV thing has me excited for the first time in years. I'm having fun with my music and I don't wanna lose that feeling.
  • [last lines] Guess what, Steve? I'm touring Vegas.

Colonel Tom Parker

  • Call me Colonel.
  • Elvis and I need some privacy.
  • [meeting Elvis for the first time] Young Mr. Presley. What do you want...of all this? What do you want?
  • I'm not gonna shine your brass, son. I don't get your music. I'm more of a Lawrence Welk kind of fellow. Well, it's not liking it or not, I just don't get what all the fuss is about. But there is a fuss, and I can surely understand that. And I can sell it. I can sell anything. I can sell a wino the sweat off a grape. And I know I can sell the hell out of you.
  • Well, son...You got a million dollars worth of talent.
  • Heartbreak Hotel just sold a million copies. You got your first gold record.
  • Boy, you ever do anything to make me ashamed of you, and we're through. Stars come and go, but a manager can work forever.
  • It seems that Mr. Ed Sullivan has lost his ten foot pole. You're on the show.
  • You're the money maker. I'm the money finder. Let's do our jobs.
  • [when Elvis asks the Colonel to manage Ann-Margret] Look, son, you know where my loyalties lie. I was just talking to the director of this year's masterpiece. Have you seen how much he's putting her in the film, huh? All them close-ups of her? He's in love with the girl, I swear. Don't he understand that this is an Elvis Presley picture, and that all that extra shooting is putting us over schedule, and over schedule means over budget? That's stealing money out of our pockets.
  • We started big in TV, and we can restart big in TV.
  • [during an argument with Elvis] You ungrateful hillbilly! I knew you'd betray me!
  • [last lines] Think about it, son. Vegas!

Sam Phillips

  • When they first sent me that song, I thought maybe... maybe you'd be right for it. But sometimes a song and a singer don't necessarily go together. Maybe another time.
  • [after Presley and his band perform "Harbor Lights"] That sounded something like Bing Crosby, the trouble is, we already got us a Bing Crosby, and the one before, well, we got us a Eddy Arnold and a Hank Snow. Son, give me... Give me some of you, give me some of you, give me some Elvis Presley.
  • [while Sam, Elvis, Scotty and Bill listen to their recording of "That's All Right"] But it's different. I don't know, it's something else. That there song is a hit.
  • Go get 'em, Elvis.
  • Are you wearin' mascara, son?
  • I set the price at nearly twice what anyone's paid for a singer before, figuring he'd just go away. I guess they think you're worth it. And you are, son. You know, I opened this studio to give coloured's a place to record, cos I truly believe their music comes from the very soul. And I believe if enough people listen to 'em, it can't help but to connect us all. And, I always knew if I found a white man who could sing it, I'd make a million dollars. Somebody else will be getting that, not me. No, first they're gonna try and clean you up, son. Then they're gonna try and slick you up. You stay true to yourself. You know what you're doing now. You stay true to yourself, you'll be okay.
  • There's a spirituality deep inside the music. And inside you. You being true to yourself, son? You're doing what you love. You gotta be strong, Elvis. Vigilant. You can't compromise what your heart knows. No, sir.


  • Steve Binder: [he and Elvis are walking down Sunset Strip] It's 1968. The times they're changing, man. You can change too.


[At NBC Studios in Hollywood, Elvis Presley is seated backstage in a studio dressing room wearing a black leather suit, about to get ready to appear in front of a live audience. TV Producer Steve Binder enters the room with Scotty Moore and Red West]
Steve Binder: What's going on, Elvis?
Elvis Presley: I'm sorry, Steve. I can't do it, man. I can't go on.
Steve Binder: What?
Elvis Presley: This whole thing was just a bad idea. I haven't played in front of the live audience in more than seven years, man. I don't know if I can do it anymore. What if they don't like me?
Steve Binder: "Don't like you?" Oh my God... Elvis, you created rock 'n' roll. You're the King. You step out there, your gonna be King again.
Scotty Moore: It's just like riding a bike, Elvis. Once you get on stage it's gonna be like old times.
[cut to]
Title card: "Before Elvis, there was nothing..." - John Lennon

Gladys Presley: How's school today, Elvis?
Elvis Presley: Fine. They don't talk too much to me there.
Vernon Presley: I don't doubt it. Those clothes you wear and that hair.
Gladys Presley: Don't you start, Vernon. That's his style. Everyone's gotta have a style. You used to have a style, Vernon.
Grandma Minnie: Oh, your daddy was a looker, Elvis.
Vernon Presley: You're right about that.
Gladys Presley: Still is when he sets his mind to it. [on Vernon] Boy could he dance. [to Elvis] Play something on the guitar, maybe your daddy would dance with me. [they laugh]
Vernon Presley: Oh, no, no, no. I'm not dancing. I'm eating. Is there anymore?
Gladys Presley: No. It's all they'd give us down at the pantry. You eat anymore tonight and there won't be enough for the whole week.
Elvis Presley: I'm really not hungry. [Elvis passes his plate to Vernon, who takes a pork chop]
Gladys Presley: Put that back down, Vernon.
Elvis Presley: I'm done, momma. Really. I'm not hungry.

[at Sun Records]
Elvis Presley: Ma'am, this is where they make all those R&B Records, right? Rufus Thomas? The Prisonaires?
Marion Keisker: That's us.
Elvis Presley: Oh ma'am, I like those records a whole lot. I was wonderin', ma'am, if... if anyone needed a singer or somethin'.
Marion Keisker: What kind of a singer are you?
Elvis Presley: I sing all kinds.
Marion Keisker: You sing hillbilly?
Elvis Presley: I sing hillbilly.
Marion Keisker: Country?
Elvis Presley: I sing country.
Marion Keisker: Okay, who do you sound like?
Elvis Presley: I don't sound like nobody, ma'am.

Sam Phillips: [after hearing Presley, Moore and Black mess around playing "That's All Right"] Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! Wait, wait, what the hell was that?
Elvis Presley: I don't know, sir. Just messin' around.
Sam Phillips: You been holdin' out on me, boy?
Elvis Presley: What do you mean, sir?
Sam Phillips: [laughs] Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, for God's sakes. You know more of that music?
Elvis Presley: Well, yes, sir... know lots of it.
Sam Phillips: Damn. What the hell you been wasting my time for? C'mon! Let's back it up! Try to find a place to start and do it again!

[while performing "Blue Moon of Kentucky"]
Bill Black: Sam, Sam, Sam. No, this is terrible. We're just goofing around.
Sam Phillips: No, that's what I'm talking about. It's gotta be fun, original.
Elvis Presley: Bill Monroe's gonna kill us.
Sam Phillips: Bill Monroe is gonna be too busy counting his money. [to Marion] Marion!

Sam Phillips: Who do you think you are, Tom.
Colonel Tom Parker: [smoking a cigar] Call me Colonel.
Sam Phillips: I discovered the boy. He's a raw talent. He didn't even know what he had when he first came into Sun Records. Look how far he's going.
Colonel Tom Parker: How much further can you take him? Can you compete with RCA, with whom I've had relations over the years? Do you have the wherewithal to take him national? I have contacts in New York, Los Angeles. Music, film, television. You name it. [pause] I know you like the boy. So, I know you won't stand in the way of his dreams. [pause] You need the money, Sam. I checked.
Sam Phillips: I'll think about it, Tom.

Vernon Presley: A million dollars?
Gladys Presley: Sounds like a lot of banana all to me. Elvis is already working too hard. Look how skinny he is.
Elvis Presley: Oh, momma, I've been eating everything you've been putting in front of me. And it ain't work. I like it, it's fun.
Colonel Tom Parker: Time to sell the apples is when they're on the tree not after they fall into the ground. Now, this boy, he's ripe now. So he has to work hard for a couple of years. He's young. He can handle it. Then after couple of years, raking in the cash, he take it easy, do what he wants.
Vernon Presley: [to Gladys] He can retire on a million dollars.
Gladys Presley: All this TV and movie bushwa. That's all in New York City and California. Whose gonna look after my boy there? I don't trust 'em kind of folk.
Colonel Tom Parker: Exactly. Now, Sam Phillips, he's a nice enough fellow, but those big city boys they will eat him for lunch. Me? I'm one of you.
Gladys Presley: And where is it you're from exactly?
Colonel Tom Parker: I've wondered the land, much like a gypsy.
Gladys Presley: Well, thank you for stopping by, Mr. Parker. We'll let you know.
Colonel Tom Parker: If you would call me Colonel, ma'am.

Dixie Locke: I need to spend some more time with you.
Elvis Presley: I just can't right now, Dixie. We gotta drive south. These cats from the hayride have us booked back to back.
Dixie Locke: "Cats?" [tearfully turning away] I've lost you.
Elvis Presley: You haven't lost me. It's just, I could be back driving a truck by next year. I gotta grab what I can. For us.
Dixie Locke: Not for us, Elvis. You got what you always wanted. Good luck with it. [kisses him on the cheek]
Elvis Presley: Dixie. I love you. It's not gonna be like this forever.
Dixie Locke: Then call me when it's over. It's just too hard this way.
[Dixie walks away]
Elvis Presley: [miserably] Dixie.

Scotty Moore: [on Elvis's break-up from Dixie] I'm sorry, man.
Elvis Presley: Everything ends.
Scotty Moore: Well, I guess that's true.
Elvis Presley: You know I have a twin brother?
Scotty Moore: No.
Elvis Presley: Jesse Garon. He died when I was born. I still talk to him sometimes. And that's why I think I got such good rhythm. You know I had a back beat there in the whom. Two hearts beating.
Scotty Moore: Yeah.
Elvis Presley: Me and Jesse. And that's why momma frets so. She's just...afraid she's gonna lose me too.
Scotty Moore: That's not gonna happen. I promised your momma I would take care of you.
Elvis Presley: And you have, man. And I appreciate that.
Scotty Moore: I know you do. Let's get outta here. C'mon.

Bill Black: Imagine us on the Dorsey Brother's Stage Show.
Scotty Moore: Imagine us being on TV the same time as Perry Como.
Red West: That Perry Como's a square, man.
Elvis Presley: What are you talking about? I like Perry Como, you son of a bitch.

Gladys Presley: Why do you keep going out there, son? Enough is enough. Why is it so important to you?
Elvis Presley: Fellas.
[Gene and the others leave]
Gladys Presley: Baby. Why don't you just quit it all right now? We got a wonderful house. We got cars. [tearfully] You're gonna make yourself a good living. Get yourself a furniture store. You can marry a nice girl, have a baby near by and I can come and visit and I can help you raise it. You would make me the happiest woman in the world. Please, honey.
Elvis Presley: Look at me, Satnin. Look at me. When I'm on stage, I'm a different person. I am. It's hard to explain. It's like I've got goosebumps all over my body, only it's not goosebumps. It's not a chill either. It's like a surge of electricity, only stronger than that. Sometimes it's so strong, I feel my heart's gonna explode. No, momma. No. It's a good thing. It's a real good thing and I don't know what I'd do if I had to stop and I'm gonna be a movie star, momma. I'm gonna be a real, serious movie star. I can't stop, Satnin. I can't.

[arriving at Graceland]
Vernon Presley: It was named after the sellers great aunt Grace. You can call it anything you want.
Elvis Presley: Graceland. I like it, momma.
Vernon Presley: We'll put chicken coops and hog pens in the back. Momma will put in her garden. We'll do her bedroom up in pink wallpaper. They said they could have it all ready by September.
Gladys Presley: Don't it look just like Tara in Gone with the Wind, baby?
Elvis Presley: Momma, remember I told you I'd buy you a house. And now you got a palace.

Elvis Presley: We can't go back there. It'll be a circus.
Gladys Presley: But it was nice before.
Elvis Presley: Before what, momma? Before we had money? Squabbling over a pork chop?
Gladys Presley: But I always knew you'd be home for dinner. And Dixie was there, and we'd all go to church together. And I didn't have to worry whether or not you were safe. Or if I look good enough for all them reporters.
Elvis Presley: Oh, momma. You look just fine.
Gladys Presley: [pause] I just want you to be proud of me, Elvis.
Elvis Presley: Proud of you? [kisses her on the cheek] Satnin, you are so beautiful. Now, come on now. Look at all this? Isn't this what we always dreamed of? Oh, momma, this should be the happiest time of our lives.
Gladys Presley: Sometimes I think our kind weren't meant for happiness. Life's pleasures were meant for other folk. Our kind was born for misery and pain. That's God's plan.
Elvis Presley: Then I wanna make you happy. Now what'll it take, momma?
Gladys Presley: [short pause] I'm happy when your happy, son. Are you really happy, Elvis?
Elvis Presley: Momma... I'm on top of the world.

[at Fort Hood, Texas]
Elvis Presley: [on the phone to Gladys] It's all over, momma. They're not gonna remember me when I come back from this.
Gladys Presley: [on the phone] Course they are, baby. You just gotta trust the Colonel. [pause, tearfully] I miss you, Elvis.
Elvis Presley: [tearfully] I miss you, momma. [pause] Momma, I gotta go now. The drill sergeant wakes me up just about the time I used to go to bed.
Gladys Presley: You really gotta go?
Elvis Presley: I guess not. I ain't got a lot to say though, momma.
Gladys Presley: You don't gotta say nothin', baby. Just don't hang up.

Elvis Presley: Where you been all night, daddy?
Vernon Presley: Out with friends.
Elvis Presley: Friends my ass. You with that Stanley woman. I know what's going on, daddy! She's married!
Vernon Presley: It ain't none of your business, Elvis.
Elvis Presley: It's just been three months! Your cheating on two people!
Vernon Presley: Look, Elvis. I loved your momma as much as a man can love a woman. But I'm tired of crying. I'm a lonely man.
Elvis Presley: It's an insult to her memory!
Vernon Presley: You watch your mouth, son. I know what you've been up to with those French hooch dancers every time you go to Paris. What would your momma say about your hygiene?!
Elvis Presley: I'm the one that pays the bills around here, don't you ever forget it!
Vernon Presley: How can we forget it. You keep reminding us every time you don't get your way?

Elvis Presley: Colonel, I want to talk to you about West Side Story.
Colonel Tom Parker: Have a seat.
Elvis Presley: It's a big classic film, and they want me for the lead. I can act the hell out of it, Colonel.
Colonel Tom Parker: Have you seen the shooting schedule? Six months, we can make five films at that time.
Elvis Presley: But it's a chance to do something special, something really good.
Colonel Tom Parker: Elvis, let me give you a lesson on economics. G.I. Blues, your first movie back, one of them "blame musicals" you always grap about. A blockbuster, made us millions. Your second movie, Flaming Star, an ambitious drama, well reviewed, made zilch. What does that tell you?
Elvis Presley: Why don't you tell me, your chomping at the bit.
Colonel Tom Parker: Folk's live sad lives. Your job is to give them ninety minutes to forget their pitiful circumstances, not rub their faces in some phony writer's misery. What they want to see is some paradise that you can ever afford to visit, lots of pretty girls and Elvis Presley fighting and singing a half dozen songs that we can stick on a soundtrack album. That's our bread and butter, son. We stick with what sells. You don't see the snow cone man switch from cherry juice to prune juice just because he's got some blockage in the poop chute.

Elvis Presley: [after a song] So what did you think of the song?
Priscilla Beaulieu: I liked it, it was really sweet. I prefer the fast ones, though, like Jailhouse Rock. Why don't you do more songs like that?
Elvis Presley: [shouting] Dammit! I didn't ask you to tell me how to sing! I just asked you if you liked it that's all! I get enough amateur opinions, I don't need one from you!
[softly, after a pause]
Elvis Presley: I'm sorry, Satnin. Come here. [Priscilla shakes her head] Come on.
[Elvis puts his arm around Priscilla]
Elvis Presley: I'm sorry, its just...I just finished that recording session and I'm real proud of it. Better than the hogwash they give me to sing in them movies. [angrily] Stupid movies, stupid songs! And each one makes more money than the last, so I don't get to tour anymore. But I'm sorry, I'll make it up to you, I promise. And when we get to Vegas, I'm gonna get you the best dress money can buy.
[Priscilla smiles]

[after rehearsing a scene]
Ann-Margret: That sure was fun.
Elvis Presley: Sure as hell was. You can move, baby.
Ann-Margret: You can sing, baby.
[Elvis watches Ann-Margret walk away]
Elvis Presley: This is one movie I might enjoy makin'.
Charlie Hodge: She's like a female you.

Elvis Presley: Tell me, how far you ever gone on a motorcycle?
Ann-Margret: Gentlemen, start your engines.
[they kiss.]

Elvis Presley: [after reading a false article about him and Ann-Margret getting engaged] That is an outrageous lie! I can't believe she'd say that!
Priscilla Beaulieu: So it's true.
Elvis Presley: No, we're not engaged.
Priscilla Beaulieu: But your seeing her! Those gossip rags were true! Why doesn't she take her ass back to Sweden where she belongs!
[Priscilla angrily throws a melon on the ground]
Elvis Presley: [grabs Priscilla] Look, dammit! I didn't know things were gonna get out of hand. I wanna woman to understand that things like this might happen. Are you going to be that woman or not? It's over, Cilla. I swear to you, it's over. Forgive me. Please?
[Priscilla hugs Elvis]
Elvis Presley: I'll go to LA. I'll get this thing straighten out.

Vernon Presley: Do you know how much money you spent last month? Over 500, 000 dollars. And more the month before. You're gonna break us. You're gonna put us in the poor house.
Elvis Presley: I can always earn more money.
Vernon Presley: Why can't you just stop buyin' stuff?
Elvis Presley: Cos I like the look on folks faces when I buy 'em something, daddy. Oh, you remember when we were dirt poor. How nice it would've been if someone came along and bought me a car.
Vernon Presley: Well, I ain't sayin' that it ain't a nice thing, but you keep this up, and we're gonna be livin' in a Tupelo shotgun shack again. [Elvis is nodding off] Elvis?
Elvis Presley: I gotta take a nap, daddy. Where are my sleepin' pills?
Vernon Presley: You're noddin' off already. Do you need 'em?

Vernon Presley: I'm worried about you, son.
Elvis Presley: Why? And what are you lookin' at me like that for? Have I got a zit or somethin'?
Vernon Presley: It's the pills, E. I'm concerned about your health.
Elvis Presley: I know what I'm doing.
Vernon Presley: I'm just trying to help you, son.
Elvis Presley: [shouting] I don't need no advice from the likes of you! You work for me! That's it! Understand?!
Vernon Presley: I'm your daddy!
Elvis Presley: And I'm of age, old man! I don't need a daddy anymore!

Elvis Presley: Listen to this. This is how God works. [reading] "I may be expressing myself through these beautiful symphonies of light, colour, and language that manifests itself as music, but they will hail you as one of the great ones of the day, and think of you as a wonderful preacher, and teacher."
Joe Esposito: Huh?
Elvis Presley: Don't you get it? Ever since momma died, I've been trying to figure these things out. Why God took her away from me? Why he gave me all this success and fame? Why, out of all of the millions, he pick me to be Elvis Presley? Oh, these books are explaining things to me. Why is there so much suffering in the world, Joe? Why am I not happy when he gave me all of this?
Lamar Fike: Don't we make you happy?
Elvis Presley: No, Lamar, you don't. None of this does, that's the whole point. Oh, you guys have to read these books.
Gene Smith: Hey, if it ain't got Batman in it, it ain't in my library.
Joe Esposito: Or naked women.
Elvis Presley: The hell with the lot of you.

[on the set of Clambake]
Colonel Tom Parker: You're starting to look like a kettle of crap, son.
Elvis Presley: That's none of your business.
Colonel Tom Parker: Oh, but it is my business. Because no one is going to pay to see a burned out Elvis. And I see you've been late to the set more then once, that's not like you at all.
Elvis Presley: [angrily] Have you even read this piece of crap? Do you know the lines I've gotta say? Oh, you wouldn't hurry up to get here either, Colonel.
Colonel Tom Parker: Its not professional, son. Now you signed on to do this, you owe them your best.
Elvis Presley: I signed on to do this movie because you told me to. I need the money.
Colonel Tom Parker: And you do. You spend like a drunken sailor, and that's none of my business, but you show up on time and you say the lines stupid or not, that is my business.
Elvis Presley: Yes, sir.
Colonel Tom Parker: And what's this about some religious kick your on?

Colonel Tom Parker: Why are you doing this to yourself? This religious kick, the drugs? What is it that you want?
Elvis Presley: You said that to me the first time we met.
Colonel Tom Parker: I remember. Rich and famous. You wanted to be a movie star. Well, I got it for you, so I'm asking you again: What is it you want now?
Elvis Presley: I don't know.
Colonel Tom Parker: Are you just bored is that it?
Elvis Presley: Well, there's that. I get so lonely.
Colonel Tom Parker: What about that little girl you got cooped up in there? Does she make you happy?
Elvis Presley: Sometimes.
Colonel Tom Parker: Why, son. That's more than most folk's ever get. Why don't you latch onto her before she wises up. The whole scene, it's starting to get unseemly. You hear me? She's legal now, so what are you waiting for?
Elvis Presley: The right time.
Colonel Tom Parker: If that's the case, I'd check my watch, because if ever there was a time to set things straight, it's now.

Colonel Tom Parker: Let's face it, Elvis. The movies ain't doing what they used to and the records their not doing much better.
Elvis Presley: It's all this material you keep shovin' down my throat, Colonel. Hell, you can't polish a turd.

[meeting with Steve Binder]
Steve Binder: Let's be frank. I don't think most kids know who the hell you are anymore. It's the 60's, man. You hear what their playing on the radio? The Mamas and the Papas, the Stones, Marvin Gaye...
Elvis Presley: I know, I know. I listen to everything. The Rascals, Aretha Franklin.
Steve Binder: There's a song out there right now. MacArthur Park, Richard Harris sings it. Would you've sung that tune?
Elvis Presley: Damn right. That there's a great song. Jimmy Webb, he can flat out right.
Steve Binder: Here's what I have in mind. We tape it over three days. The first day, is in front of a live audience. "Elvis' big comeback". Now, I know you'll be nervous, so we'll just get that outta the way. The next two days, we tape several stage numbers, drawing on your own personal and musical life.
Elvis Presley: I like it.
Steve Binder: There is a problem, Elvis. The Colonel and NBC want you to sing just Christmas songs. Now I think that's too limiting, and the exact opposite of what you should be doing. What do you think?
Elvis Presley: [pause] I think let's do it. [stands and shakes his hand] This is going to be great, Steve.

Scotty Moore: It's just like riding a bike, Elvis. Once you get out there on stage, it's gonna be like old times. Look, I just went out there. Those are your fans, Elvis. You can't let 'em down. You've never let the fans down.
Elvis Presley: Well, that's true.
Scotty Moore: And some of 'em are lookers, Elvis, I ain't gonna lie to you. If nothing else, just do it for me. It'll be one of the few times I get to play to your face instead of your ass.

[during the sit-down session]
Scotty Moore: Hey, Elvis, sing me that song about "Lawdy Miss Clawdy".
Elvis Presley: [short pause] Now twelve years I've been on stage with this man, and this is the first word he's ever said to me. First word. [they laugh] And for that now I'm gonna take his guitar. Come on, Scotty, give it up.
Scotty Moore: [laughs, he and Elvis switch guitars] That's all I got to say.

[after the sit-down session]
Elvis Presley: Steve, that was great, man.
[hugs Steve]
Steve Binder: Congratulations, man. You were great.
Elvis Presley: Oh, thank you. Thank you, bro.
Steve Binder: [points to the "ELVIS" sign in big red letters] Hey, look at that. New beginnings.
Elvis Presley: Yeah. A new beginning.

Steve Binder: [on Colonel Parker] Why do you put up with him bullying you? Treating you like a child?
Elvis Presley: You know, I've thought about that a lot over the years. And I'd try to explain it to you, but you just wouldn't understand.
Steve Binder: I think I do.
Elvis Presley: How? You know nothing about the world I come from.
Steve Binder: Actually, I know a lot about you, Elvis. It's my job. Your not that poor kid from Tupelo anymore. You live in the big house. You can be your own boss man. You've certainly out grown that old carny.
Elvis Presley: I gave him my word. Besides, before me there was no such thing as a rock star. He wrote the book on how to make one. Anyone else I'll hire will just have read it.
Steve Binder: Well, maybe it's time to write a new book. Your own book.

Elvis Presley: What now?
Colonel Tom Parker: [short pause] What's this?
Elvis Presley: Oh, that's a demo for the finale. Where'd you get it?
Colonel Tom Parker: It's not a Christmas song, is it. It's one of them long-haired hippie, Communist American hatin' protest songs.
Elvis Presley: Actually, it's more like a gospel style. It's a new direction, Colonel. I like it, and uh, I'm doing it.
Colonel Tom Parker: What's going on here, Elvis?
Elvis Presley: Oh, just a few other new directions, Colonel. I'm gonna tour again. Europe this time. And I don't care that you got some birth certificate problem or uh... you're an illegal alien, some folks say. And after Europe, I don't know. Japan. Who knows.
Colonel Tom Parker: Why are you being like this?
Elvis Presley: Cos I don't wanna be bored anymore, Colonel! I don't wanna sing another song that I don't believe in! I don't wanna make another movie that I don't care about! This TV thing has me excited for the first time in years. I'm having fun with my music and I don't wanna lose that feeling.
Colonel Tom Parker: A feeling? I'm not sending you out on some cockamamie tour just because of some feeling.
Elvis Presley: Then I'll find somebody who will.
Colonel Tom Parker: Son, let me explain some things to you. We have a contract...
Elvis Presley: You always told me your contract can be re-negotiated, broken if need be. Well, maybe it's about time we tour up this contract.
Colonel Tom Parker: That's what you want? After all my years of dedication to you and your career? All my work?! You ungrateful hillbilly! I knew you'd betray me!
Elvis Presley: Watch your mouth, you old phony!
Colonel Tom Parker: Get out of my office!
Elvis Presley: You get out of my office! I payed for this office! You're fired!
Colonel Tom Parker: You can't fire me. I quit!
Elvis Presley: I'm holding a press conference this afternoon to tell 'em your fired, you old carny!
Colonel Tom Parker: Go ahead! But if you wanna end our business relationship, your going to have to pay up what you owe me.
Elvis Presley: Fine. Write me a bill.
Colonel Tom Parker: I was expecting something like this, so I uh, I prepared some documents. [takes out a file case from under his desk] There's money I've advanced you. Then there's uh, bookings that I haven't taken my full commission from! Then there's expenses, future monies to deal with, movie profits... I get a percentage of the residuals on them too, and the records! Then there's uh, there's other items of mutual interest! So you wanna be free of me, [hands out a contract form] you're going to have to pay for the privilege.
[short pause, Elvis takes the form and walks out]

Vernon Presley: Where we gonna come up with millions of dollars?
Elvis Presley: I'll talk to my agent's.
Vernon Presley: They in cahoots with the Colonel, they won't help us.
Elvis Presley: I get us a lawyer. I'll figure something out, daddy.
Vernon Presley: Lawyer's steal faster than a man with a gun. We could lose everything, E. What about your word? You made the man a promise. He kept up his end of the bargain.
Elvis Presley: Well lately, his hands been draggin' in the dirt and I've been doing all the heavy liftin', daddy! Now, I'll figure something out. Please, I'm dying here. I can manage myself.
Vernon Presley: But how? Is all I'm asking. You can't handle money. I got the bills to prove that. You don't even carry any money on you. Hell, you don't even know your own phone number. How are you gonna manage yourself?
Elvis Presley: I'll get somebody else.
Vernon Presley: Who? [Elvis doesn't say a word] Who, Elvis?

Colonel Tom Parker: I was thinking about our conversation yesterday and if you want to tour. Well, I'll set it up. We'll tour.
Elvis Presley: What about the movies?
Colonel Tom Parker: Well, that's gonna be a harder nut to crack. We're obligated to three more films, and the next one is already set up. Something called The Trouble with Girls and How to Get Out of It.
Elvis Presley: Sounds like a winner. What about this? [holds out the Refute of Contract form]
Colonel Tom Parker: Oh, that. [takes the form] Trifle.
Elvis Presley: So where we gonna tour?
Colonel Tom Parker: Las Vegas. I got us a hell of a deal.

[last title card]
Title card: Elvis' 1968 Comeback Special received rave reviews from the critics and was seen by nearly half of the American television audience.
Elvis never realized his dream of touring overseas, and he never left the Colonel.
Worn out by touring, high living, and prescription drug dependency, Elvis died in 1977. He was 42.
His records still sell by the millions. Elvis remains The King.


  • The legend you know. The story you don't.

Major Cast

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