The King Review

The King Review

Starring (as themselves): Alec Baldwin, Chuck D, Emmylou Harris, John Hiatt, Ethan Hawke, The Handsome Family, Lana Del Rey

Director: Eugene Jarecki

Release date: 24th August 2018


It’s just over 40 years since the death of Elvis Presley, and a group of documentary makers decided to drive Elvis’ own 1963 Rolls Royce across America, recording their journey on specially installed cameras. We begin the journey in Tupelo, Mississippi, the birthplace of The King, and local residents are spoken to about the impact that Elvis had on them and their town, be it positive or negative. The car continues along to Memphis, Nashville, New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, visiting places that were important in Elvis’ life and the documentary makers speak with various musicians, giving some the chance to perform in the back of this hallowed vehicle. Also some actors, including Alec Baldwin and Ashton Kutcher talk about the impact Elvis had on them. As well as being a documentary about The King, his life and career, we are given snapshots into American history and various events that happened during his life; Vietnam War, the arrival of The Beatles, and many more.


Elvis Aaron Presley was born in Tupelo, Miss. on 8th January 1935 and died on 16th August 1977 at the very young age of 42yrs, reportedly to cardiac arrhythmia. His 1968 Comeback Special is often regarded as the one that saved/ resurrected his career.

I really love watching music documentaries but with not being a ‘huge fan’ of Elvis and his music, I wondered what I’d see that I didn’t know already. Don’t get me wrong, I do really like his music and voice but his life isn’t something I’d ever really thought about in the past. I wasn’t exactly sure of what I was going to see but was pleasantly surprised by a diligent, well made and thought provoking documentary, mostly about a man who helped to shape a lot of the American Culture we know and love today but also a look at America and its ‘issues’. We also see how the US has come along culturally in the last few decades.


I really enjoyed ‘The King’. It entertained but also made me more curious about this boy who came from a poor background, but gradually rose to become one of the world’s most recognisable figures and influencers of modern times. I also loved seeing my good friends, The Handsome Family performing their song, ‘Glow Worm’ in the back of Elvis’s 1963 Rolls Royce.

Fans of Elvis are going to love this documentary. If you even liked Elvis just a little bit, please give this one a watch. I think like me, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The soundtrack is also something very special. Go see it!

Overall: 8.5/10

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