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Elvis: All the King's Men (Vol. 1) - The Secret Life of Elvis (1997) HD online

Elvis: All the King's Men (Vol. 1) - The Secret Life of Elvis (1997) HD online
Language: English
Category: Creative Work / Documentary
Original Title: Elvis: All the Kingu0027s Men (Vol. 1) - The Secret Life of Elvis
Writers: Howard Arthur Klein,Jan Richards
Released: 1997
Video type: Creative Work
First of six interview sessions with the core-members of Elvis Presley's team of minders, known as the Memphis Mafia.

Reviews: [1]

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    They say that Elvis was fascinated by Howard Hughes - another one who surrounded himself with a secretive tight-knit team that protected him for so long that it became their career. I had often wondered what kind of gremlin would volunteer for such an unreal life, and this film goes some way towards revealing it.

    It is the first part of a 5-hour marathon session with the inner circle of the so-called Memphis Mafia, a vaguely-defined group that included many dubious claimants and hangers-on who were not gold-standard. Here we have the 'canonical five', interviewed twenty years after the King's death. Dedicated fans will probably want to stay the whole course, but it's all cut from the same timber, and Part One alone makes for quite a well-rounded portrait of the team.

    The first thing you can't help noticing is their spreading waistlines, which makes you wonder whether Elvis may have got them into bad habits with his famous six-decker cheeseburgers and coke. All are from his own neck of the Mississippi woods, one of them being his downhome cousin Billy, described not too convincingly as an 'advisor', as is Marty, a tired and somehow defeated-looking individual. This leaves Red West, an ex-marine bodyguard, and his cousin Sonny, the only one who looks as though he might have been useful in a fight. And finally Lamar the lighting expert, who actually talks in whole sentences, though he is still not the leader I was trying to identify. (I realize, of course, that the leader was Elvis himself.)

    Superficially, you could envy them for living so close to the Elvis legend and sharing the glory - sometimes literally hundreds of women thronging the hotel-rooms, where the boys were officially entitled to 'grazing rights'. But the abiding impression is of boredom, as echoed in the vacuous hippie-style dialogue. Most days were clearly a bad mixture of monotony and awkward brushes with the law, usually over the procuring of drugs for the increasingly dependent singer, whom they sometimes had to rescue from sordid near-death experiences. This became the topic of a tell-all book by Red West, that is said to have hastened Elvis's death, though the team all claim that the book was meant as a friendly health-warning. The fatal collapse, just two weeks after publication, was still mighty convenient for sales.

    Yet their affection for him seems beyond doubt, even though the money was lousy, and they had earned the lifelong suspicion and hostility of Elvis's father Vernon, who fired a couple of them while Elvis hid in embarrassment.