Elvis Aaron Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi exactly 80 years ago today, and to celebrate, Turner Classic Movies is spending the day with The King, beginning with the very strange 1968 sex comedy Live A Little, Love A Little at 7:15 a.m. Eastern, followed by It Happened At The World’s Fair (at 9:15), Viva Las Vegas (11:15), Girl Happy (12:45), Kissin’ Cousins (2:30), and Spinout (4:15). Of the above, Viva Las Vegas is the must-see—it’s the most accomplished and entertaining of Elvis’ 1960s musicals. (Not that that’s saying much… those 1960s films are mostly terrible.) But the best Elvis film showing today is the 1970 documentary Elvis: That’s The Way It Is, airing on TCM at 6 p.m. Shot in the wake of Presley’s big 1968 TV special—when he regained his reputation as a charismatic live performer—That’s The Way It Is catches his Vegas show at its peak, and is accompanied by behind-the-scenes footage of Presley practicing with some of the best backup musicians ever assembled. The movie marks the beginning of the oft-maligned 1970s Elvis era, which is actually better than its reputation. Shortly before he died, Presley revealed a different side of himself to his fans: One that was looser, funnier, and more flawed.
January 08, 2015 Cable Pick Of The Day