Synopsis of Elvis, The King of Rock and Roll's Fascinating Story
Synopsis of Elvis, The King of Rock and Roll's Fascinating Story

Synopsis of Elvis, The King of Rock and Roll’s Fascinating Story

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Elvis, The King of Rock and Roll, is a movie drama based on the biography of Elvis Presley, directed by Baz Luhrmann, which was released on June 24th, 2022, by Warner Bros. Starting from a poor life in an African-American community, Elvis’s success in the music industry earned him the title “King of Rock and Roll”. However, behind his success, there were bitter stories about his family, household, and relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. In this film, various stories from Elvis’s career phases are shown from the perspective of his manager, accompanied by his hit songs, on-stage performances, and cameos in TV shows shown as realistically as possible. After receiving a standing ovation for 12 minutes during the first screening at Cannes Film Festival, the audience is eager to know the quality of the film.


It all starts in Las Vegas, 1997, where Colonel Tom Parker was rushed to the hospital. In the hospital room, Tom starts to tell the story of Elvis’s music journey and his position as his manager in achieving success. According to Tom, he was the one who created Elvis, and the story moves to more than 50 years ago when Elvis and his mother moved to an African-American settlement after his father was imprisoned. Elvis, 12 at the time, was fond of peeking at Arthur Crudup’s guitar playing, a blues musician from Memphis while enjoying gospel music in a church.

As a teenager, Elvis worked as a truck driver after graduating from high school, but his music career took priority as he made records and appeared on Louisiana Hayride, which was broadcast live on the radio. His excellent performance on stage, accompanied by his signature dancing moves, made many female viewers scream hysterically. This phenomenon was immediately noticed by his manager, Tom, who was looking for young talents to shine together. They then had a conversation about their future and music careers.

Tom made RCA, a national label, buy Elvis’s contract from Sun Records. Tom also made rules for Elvis’s personal life and managed to convince his parents to make him his official manager. Elvis joined Hank Snow’s tour group. However, because he was more preferred by teenage viewers, Elvis slowly became the main star of the tour. After recording for RCA, Elvis immediately topped the charts in America, and he became a film star for Paramount Pictures. He bought a big house in Graceland for his parents.

Elvis’s popularity grew as he appeared on national TV shows, but criticisms of his stage performances became increasingly vigorous. Elvis was asked to appear on a TV show with a new format, without his signature dancing moves and wearing formal attire. Elvis felt that this show only wanted to embarrass him. Feeling distressed because his image was being changed, Elvis spent more time with his blues musician friends, such as B.B. King, who advised Elvis to maintain his existing image. Elvis then performed on open-air stages amidst criticism. Following B.B. King’s advice, Elvis remained energetic with his dancing moves during his performances. However, the stage was closed down when separated viewers began to panic and trigger riots.

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Elvis was taken to the police station and accused in court. To solve this problem, Tom suggested that Elvis participate in mandatory military service. While Elvis was away to train in Arkansas, his mother, who was very concerned, fell into a drinking habit and passed away. Elvis arrived and was deeply saddened by his mother’s death.

Elvis was then stationed in Germany and fell in love with Priscilla. After returning from military service, they married. Tom kept his promise to make Elvis a Hollywood star. However, when Elvis’s popularity was at its peak, there were many changes happening in the world; the emergence of The Beatles, the outbreak of the Vietnam War, and the assassination of Martin Luther King were factors that affected his declining career. No studio invited him to act in films, and he never appeared on stage again.

Elvis needed a breath of fresh air to bring him back to the peak of his popularity. Tom suggested a Christmas show on TV for Elvis, but at the advice of his two new friends from Rolling Stones magazine, Elvis suddenly changed the concept of the event, making it a platform for him to sing rock and roll songs on stage again. The assassination of Bobby Kennedy affected Elvis’s mental state, and he felt obligated to make a statement to the American public. In the last segment of the TV show, Elvis sang a new song that expressed his protest against various shootings and riots in America. The song “If I Can Dream” once again made Elvis stand out.


Elvis, The King of Rock and Roll’s story is undeniable, and watching it on-screen feels like taking a journey through time, accompanied by his greatest hits. The movie offers a glimpse of his personal and music life, the ups and downs he experienced, and the showbiz world behind the curtain. It shows how he’s a great American icon of the 20th century and how much he has contributed to the music industry. A story about a boy who became a legend, his talent, his image, and his passion for music, Elvis is a must-watch for all music enthusiasts and Elvis fans.

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Karina Kusuma is a film review writer with 2 years experience. He loves movies and writes reviews from a unique perspective.

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