In 1979, while fans were still mourning the death of Elvis Presley, Kurt Russell took on the oversized role of the King in the John Carpenter-directed biopic, ELVIS. On March 2, the Emmy-nominated film will finally make its way to DVD, via Shout! Factory.
The DVD release coincides with the 75th anniversary of Presley’s birth. Russell and Carpenter, who worked together on such films as Escape From New York, began their partnership with ELVIS, which earned Russell a Golden Globe nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor.
Presley’s vocals in the biopic were handled by 70s country music hitmaker Ronnie McDowell, and features Shelley Winters as Elvis’ mother Gladys; Season Hubley (from All My Children) as his wife Priscilla; Kurt Russell’s real-life father Bing Russell (The Magnificent Seven) as Elvis’s father Vernon Presley; Pat Hingle (Batman) as Colonel Tom Parker; Robert Gray (Murder She Wrote) as Red West; Joe Mantegna (Searching for Bobby Fischer) as Memphis mafia member Joe Esposito; and Ed Begley Jr. (St. Elsewhere) as D.J. Fontana.
The DVD features “the main presentation of the movie restored from the original film elements as it was meant to be seen.” Bonus features include “Bringing A Legend To Life,” a featurette with archival interviews of Kurt Russell and John Carpenter, and commentary by “The Voice Of Elvis” Ronnie McDowell and author Edie Hand. There are also rare clips of Presley performing on American Bandstand.