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Elvis on Tour
Directed byRobert Abel, Pierre Adidge
Produced byRobert Abel
Written byRobert Abel, Pierre Adidge
StarringElvis Presley
Music byElvis Presley
CinematographyRobert C. Thomas
Edited byKen Zemke
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • November 1, 1972 (1972-11-01)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States

Elvis on Tour is an American musical documentary film released by MGM in 1972. It was the thirty-third and final motion picture to star Elvis Presley before his death in 1977.


A follow-up to the 1970 release Elvis: That's the Way it Is, another musical documentary, this film followed Presley as he embarked on a 15-city tour[1] of the United States that featured 19 concerts between April 5th and April 19th, 1972.[2] Elvis on Tour contains vintage footage of Presley's famous 1956 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show[2] and pre-tour rehearsal footage.[2] It also includes footage of enthusiastic fan reactions scattered throughout the film.

The film includes portions of a forty-minute interview that Presley gave about his life and career before filming began.[2] Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, was unhappy with the inclusion of a scene which mocked Presley's acting career[2] by showing screen kisses taken from a number of his previous films.[2] According to the producers, it was a tongue-in-cheek dig at the repetitiveness of these films by changing the background "but the plot stays the same".[2]

Among those working on this film were Martin Scorsese, who supervised montage sequences,[2] and David Draper a former Mr. Universe. The film was directed by Pierre Adidge and Robert Abel.[2]


The concert film reached #13 on the Variety National Box Office Survey. In general, documentaries were very rarely box office successes.[3] However, despite costing upwards of $1.6 million to produce, most of which was Presley's $1 million fee, the film recouped its production costs after just three days in theaters.[3]

As well as being a financial success, Elvis on Tour proved to also be a critical success by winning the 1972 Golden Globe Award for Best Documentary, making it the only Elvis film to win an award of any kind.[2]

The 1997 VHS reissue was negatively criticized because of the lack of the multi-screen images that were present on all previously released VHS copies of the film.


Although Presley would be offered numerous film roles over the next few years (most notably the 1976 remake of A Star Is Born), he would make no more films in his lifetime. Footage from Elvis on Tour would later be reused in the 1981 Elvis documentary This Is Elvis.

"My daddy had seen a lot of people who played guitars and stuff and didn't work. So he told me, you should make up your mind about either playing guitar or being an electrician. I never saw a guitar player that was worth a damn." - Elvis Presley, opening lines of Elvis On Tour

Songs featured in the film

The working titles of the film were Sold Out and then Standing Room Only, and a soundtrack album was planned with this title, but never released.[2] As the album Elvis: As Recorded at Madison Square Garden featured many of the songs set to be in the film and was released prior to the film, Elvis on Tour was the only Presley film not accompanied by some form of official soundtrack release, either in the form of a full album or a single.[2]

All of the following songs were performed by Elvis onstage unless otherwise noted:

This list does not include snippets of songs sung informally, such as "Rainy Night in Georgia".

"Memories" had previously been featured on the soundtrack of the TV special Singer Presents...Elvis in 1968 (and released on both the soundtrack album for the special and a single.

Concerts filmed for Elvis on Tour

Other cities in the tour that were filmed on location (but not at the concerts) included Roanoke, Virginia; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Dayton, Ohio.


Many outtakes exist in the MGM vaults, including a live performance of "For The Good Times" from the Hampton Roads, VA April 9, 1972 show.

On CD and DVD

There was no official soundtrack album released to accompany the movie, although later some rehearsals and a complete show have been released on CD by BMG.

  • Elvis on Tour - The Rehearsals (Released on Follow That Dream, Sony/BMG's Elvis collectors label)
  • Elvis - Close Up (Disc 4 has the complete show from San Antonio)
  • Rehearsals and the four shows in their entirety have all been released unofficially.

As part of the 75th birthday celebrations of Elvis Presley, Warner Bros. released a remastered version of Elvis On Tour on DVD and Blu-ray on August 3, 2010.[4] However, the "Johnny B. Goode" rehearsal recording over the opening credits was replaced with a live recording of "Don't Be Cruel" due to copyright issues.[5] With this DVD release, all 33 Elvis Presley movies (1956-1972) are now available on the DVD market.

See also


  1. ^ "Elvis Concerts". Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Adams (2008), The Elvis Encyclopedia, p.134
  3. ^ a b Doll, Susan (2009). Elvis For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. p. 228.
  4. ^ "Elvis on Tour Being Released on Blu-ray and DVD; Elvis Week Screening Announced". Archived from the original on August 14, 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  5. ^ "Johnny B. Goode missing". Retrieved July 21, 2010.

External links

This page was last edited on 7 November 2020, at 19:16
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