Elvis (TV miniseries)

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Elvis is a 2005 biographical television mini-series. It chronicles the life of American music icon Elvis Presley, from his high school years to his rise to international superstardom.

Directed by James Steven Sadwith. Written by Patrick Sheane Duncan.
The legend you know. The story you don't. Tagline

Elvis Presley[edit]

  • One day, I'm gonna be the man in the big house.
  • [during his Comeback Special] I was down in Florida, the state police decided to come and fill my show. All I had to stand still and all I can move was this little finger here.
  • [after performing "Lawdy Miss Clawdy"] Thank you very much.
  • [at the Jacksonville Theater after singing "Don't Be Cruel"] I'll see you girls backstage.
  • [whilst at RCA recording a song] I don't care how many time's we done it. We're gonna keep on doin' it, till I get it the way I hear it in my head.
  • The higher I climb, the lonelier it gets.
  • Before me there was no such thing as a rock star.
  • [to Larry Geller] I swear to God, man. [tearfully] No one knows how empty I feel. I mean no one knows anything about me, man, least of all me. What is this emptiness? I have no right to feel this way.
  • I don't wanna sing another song that I don't believe in! I don't wanna make another movie that I don't care about! This TV thing has me excited for the first time in years. I'm having fun with my music and I don't wanna lose that feeling.
  • When I'm on stage, I'm a different person.
  • [holds up a newspaper with the headline "Sullivan Vows NO Elvis"] Ed Sullivan says he wouldn't touch me with a ten foot pole.
  • [last lines] Guess what, Steve? I'm touring Vegas.

Colonel Tom Parker[edit]

  • Call me Colonel.
  • Elvis and I need some privacy.
  • [meeting Elvis for the first time] Young Mr. Presley. What do you want...of all this? What do you want?
  • Well, son...You got a million dollars worth of talent.
  • We started big in TV, and we can restart big in TV.
  • [during an argument with Elvis] You ungrateful hillbilly! I knew you'd betray me!
  • Heartbreak Hotel just sold a million copies. You made your first gold record.
  • Your the money maker. I'm the money finder. Let's do our jobs.
  • [when Elvis asks the Colonel to manage Ann-Margret] Look, son, you know where my loyalties lie. I was just talking to the director of this year's masterpiece. Have you seen how much he's putting her in the film? All them close ups of her? He's in love with the girl, I swear.
  • [to Sam Phillips] How much further can you take him? Can you compete with RCA with whom I've had relations over the years?
  • It seems that Mr Ed Sullivan has lost his ten foot pole. You're on the show.
  • [last lines] Think about it, son. VEGAS!!

Sam Phillips[edit]

  • [after Presley and his band perform Harbor Lights] That sounded something like Bing Crosby, the trouble is we already got us a Bing Crosby and the one before us, we got us Eddy Arnold and a Hank Snow. Son, give me something. Give some of you, give me some of you, give me some Elvis Presley.
  • You stay true to yourself. You know what you're doing now. You stay true to yourself, you'll be okay.
  • Are you wearin' mascara, son?
  • Go get 'em, Elvis.
  • [while Sam, Elvis, Scotty and Bill listen to their recording of That's All Right] But its different. It's something else. That there song is a hit.
  • Sometimes, a song and a singer don't necessarily go together.
  • There's a spirituality deep inside the music. And inside you. You being true to yourself, son? You're doing what you love. You gotta be strong, Elvis. Vigilant. You can't compromise what your heart knows. No, sir.


[backstage, dressed in a black leather suit, about to get ready to appear in front of a live audience]
Steve Binder: What's going on, Elvis?
Elvis Presley: I'm sorry, Steve. I can't do it and I can't go on.
Steve Binder: What?
Elvis Presley: This whole thing was just a bad idea. I haven't played in front of the live audience in more than seven years now. I don't know if I can do it anymore. What if they don't like me?
Steve Binder: "Don't like you?" Oh my God. Elvis, you created rock 'n roll. You're the King. You step out there, you're gonna be King again.
Scotty Moore: It's just like riding a bike, Elvis. Once you get on stage, it's gonna be like old times.
[cut to]
Title card: Before Elvis there was nothing... - John Lennon

Gladys Presley: How was school today, Elvis?
Elvis Presley: Fine. They don't talk too much to me there.
Vernon Presley: I don't doubt it. Those clothes you wear, that hair.
Gladys Presley: Don't you start, Vernon. That's his style, everyone's gotta have a style. You used to have a style, Vernon.
Grandma Minnie: Oh, your daddy was a looker, Elvis.
Vernon Presley: You're right about that.
Gladys Presley: Still is when he sets his mind to it. [on Vernon] Boy could he dance. [to Elvis] Play something on the guitar, maybe your daddy would dance to it.
Vernon Presley: Oh, no. I'm not dancing. I'm eating.

[In Sun Records]
Elvis Presley: Ma'am, this is where they make all those R&B Records, right? Rufus Thomas? The Prisonaires?
Marion Keisker: That's us.
Elvis Presley: Oh ma'am, I like those records a whole lot. I was wanderin', ma'am, if anyone needed a singer or somethin'.
Marion Keisker: What kind of a singer are you?
Elvis Presley: I sing all kinds.
Marion Keisker: You sing hillbilly?
Elvis Presley: I sing hillbilly.
Marion Keisker: Country?
Elvis Presley: I sing country.
Marion Keisker: Okay, who do you sound like?
Elvis Presley: I don't sound like nobody, ma'am.

Gladys Presley: And where is it you're from exactly?
Colonel Tom Parker: I've wondered the land, much like a gypsy.
Gladys Presley: Well, thank you for stopping by, Mr. Parker. We'll let you know.
Colonel Tom Parker: If you would call me Colonel, ma'am.

Dixie Locke: I need to spend some more time with you.
Elvis Presley: I just can't right now, Dixie. We gotta drive south. These cats from the hayride have us booked back to back.
Dixie Locke: "Cats?" [tearfully turning away] I've lost you.
Elvis Presley: You haven't lost me. It's just, I could be back driving a truck by next year. I gotta grab what I can. For us.
Dixie Locke: Not for us, Elvis. You got what you always wanted. Good luck with it. [kisses him on the cheek]
Elvis Presley: Dixie. I love you. It's not gonna be like this forever.
Dixie Locke: Then call me when it's over. It's just too hard this way.
[Dixie walks away]
Elvis Presley: [miserably] Dixie.

Scotty Moore: [on Elvis's break-up from Dixie] I'm sorry, man.
Elvis Presley: Everything ends.
Scotty Moore: Well, I guess that's true.
Elvis Presley: You know I have a twin brother?
Scotty Moore: No.
Elvis Presley: Jesse Garon. He died when I was born. I still talk to him sometimes. And that's why I think I got such good rhythm. You know I had a back beat there in the whom. Two hearts beating.
Scotty Moore: Yeah.
Elvis Presley: Me and Jesse. And that's why momma frets so. She's just...afraid she's gonna lose me too.
Scotty Moore: That's not gonna happen. I promised your momma I would take care of you.
Elvis Presley: And you have, man. And I appreciate that.
Scotty Moore: I know you do. Let's get outta here. C'mon.

Bill Black: Imagine us on the Dorsey Brother's Stage Show.
Scotty Moore: Imagine us being on TV the same time as Perry Como.
Red West: That Perry Como's a square, man.
Elvis Presley: What are you talking about? I like Perry Como you son of a bitch.

Gladys Presley: Why do you keep going out there, son? Enough is enough. Why is it so important to you?
Elvis Presley: Fellas.
[Gene and the others leave]
Gladys Presley: Baby. Why don't you just quit it all right now? We got a wonderful house. We got cars. [tearfully] You're gonna make yourself a good living. Get yourself a furniture store. You can marry a nice girl, have a baby near by and I can come and visit and I can help you raise it. You would make me the happiest woman in the world. Please, honey.
Elvis Presley: Look at me, Satnin. Look at me. When I'm on stage, I'm a different person. I am. It's hard to explain. It's like I've got goosebumps all over my body, only it's not goosebumps. It's not a chill either. It's like a surge of electricity, only stronger than that. Sometimes it's so strong, I feel my heart's gonna explode. No, momma. No. It's a good thing. It's a real good thing and I don't know what I'd do if I had to stop and I'm gonna be a movie star, momma. I'm gonna be a real, serious movie star. I can't stop, Satnin. I can't.

Elvis Presley: Where have you been all night, daddy?
Vernon Presley: Out with friends.
Elvis Presley: Friends my ass. You're with that Stanley woman. I know what's going on, daddy! She's married!
Vernon Presley: It ain't none of your business, Elvis.
Elvis Presley: It's just been three months! Your cheating on two people!
Vernon Presley: Look, Elvis. I loved your momma as much as a man can love a woman. But I'm tired of crying. I'm a lonely man.
Elvis Presley: It's an insult to her memory!
Vernon Presley: You watch your mouth, son. I know what you've been up to with those French hooch dancers every time you go to Paris. What would your momma say about your hygiene!
Elvis Presley: I'm the one who pays the bills around here, don't you ever forget it!
Vernon Presley: How can we forget it. You keep reminding us every time you don't get your way.

Elvis Presley: Colonel, I want to talk to you about West Side Story.
Colonel Tom Parker: Have a seat.
Elvis Presley: It's a big classic film, and they want me for the lead. I can act the hell out of it, Colonel.
Colonel Tom Parker: Have you seen the shooting schedule? Six months, we can make five films at that time.
Elvis Presley: But it's a chance to do something special, something really good.
Colonel Tom Parker: Elvis, let me give you a lesson on economics. G.I. Blues, your first movie back, one of them "blame musicals" you always grap about. A blockbuster, made us millions. Your second movie, Flaming Star, an ambitious drama, well reviewed, made zilch. What does that tell you?
Elvis Presley: Why don't you tell me, your chomping at the bit.
Colonel Tom Parker: Folk's live sad lives. Your job is to give them ninety minutes to forget their pitiful circumstances, not rub their faces in some phony writer's misery. What they want to see is some paradise that you can ever afford to visit, lots of pretty girls and Elvis Presley fighting and singing a half dozen songs that we can stick on a soundtrack album. That's our bread and butter, son. We stick with what sells. You don't see the snow cone man switch from cherry juice to prune juice just because he's got some blockage in the poop chute.

Elvis Presley: [after a song] So what did you think of the song?
Priscilla: I liked it, it was really sweet. I prefer the fast ones, though, like Jailhouse Rock. Why don't you do more songs like that?
Elvis Presley: [shouting] Dammit! I didn't ask you to tell me how to sing! I just asked you if you liked it that's all! I get enough amateur opinions, I don't need one from you!
[softly, after a pause]
Elvis Presley: I'm sorry, Satnin. Come here. [Priscilla shakes her head] Come on.
[Elvis puts his arm around Priscilla]
Elvis Presley: I'm sorry, its just...I just finished that recording session and I'm real proud of it. Better than the hogwash they give me to sing in them movies. [angrily] Stupid movies, stupid songs! And each one makes more money than the last, so I don't get to tour anymore. But I'm sorry, I'll make it up to you, I promise. And when we get to Vegas, I'm gonna get you the best dress money can buy.
[Priscilla smiles]

[after rehearsing a scene]
Ann-Margret: That sure was fun.
Elvis Presley: Sure hell was. You can move, baby.
Ann-Margret: You can sing, baby.
[Elvis watches Ann-Margret walk away]
Elvis Presley: This is one movie I might enjoy making.
Charlie Hodge: She's like a female you.

Elvis Presley: Tell me, how far are we goin' on motorcycle?
Ann-Margret: Gentlemen, start your engines.
[they kiss.]

Elvis Presley: [after reading a false article about him and Ann-Margret getting engaged] That is an outrageous lie! I can't believe she'd say that!
Priscilla: So it's true.
Elvis Presley: No, we're not engaged.
Priscilla: But your seeing her! Those gossip rags were true! Why doesn't she take her ass back to Sweden where she belongs!
[Priscilla angrily throws a melon on the ground]
Elvis Presley: [grabs Priscilla] Look, dammit! I didn't know things were gonna get out of hand. I wanna woman to understand that things like this might happen. Are you going to be that woman or not? Its over, Cilla. I swear to you, its over. Forgive me. Please?
[Priscilla hugs Elvis]
Elvis Presley: I'll go to LA. I'll get this thing straighten out.

Elvis Presley: Listen to this. This is how God works. [reading] I may be expressing myself through these beautiful symphonies of light, color, and language that manifests itself as music, but they will hail you as one of the great ones of the day, and think of you as a wonderful preacher, and teacher.
Joe Esposito: Huh?
Elvis Presley: Don't you get it? Ever since momma died, I've been trying to figure these things out. Why God took her away from me? Why he gave me all this success and fame? Why, out of all of the millions, he pick me to be Elvis Presley? Oh, these books are explaining things to me. Why is there so much suffering in the world, Joe? Why am I not happy when he gave me all of this?
Lamar Fike: Don't we make you happy?
Elvis Presley: No, Lamar, you don't. None of this does, that's the whole point. Oh, you guys have to read these books.
Gene Smith: Hey, if it ain't got Batman in it, it ain't in my library.
Joe Esposito: Or naked women.
Elvis Presley: The hell with the lot of you.

Vernon Presley: I'm worried about you, son.
Elvis Presley: Why? And what are you lookin' at me like that for? Have I got a zit or somethin'?
Vernon Presley: It's the pills, E. I'm concerned about your health.
Elvis Presley: I know what I'm doing.
Vernon Presley: I'm just trying to help you, son.
Elvis Presley: [shouting] I don't need no advice from the likes of you! You work for me! That's it! Understand?!
Vernon Presley: I'm your daddy!
Elvis Presley: And I'm of age, old man! I don't need a daddy anymore!

[on the set of Clambake]
Colonel Tom Parker: You're starting to look like a kettle of crap, son.
Elvis Presley: That's none of your business.
Colonel Tom Parker: Oh, but it is my business. Because no one is going to pay to see a burned out Elvis. And I see you've been late to the set more then once, that's not like you at all.
Elvis Presley: [angrily] Have you even read this piece of crap? Do you know the lines I've gotta say? Oh, you wouldn't hurry up to get here either, Colonel.
Colonel Tom Parker: Its not professional, son. Now you signed on to do this, you owe them your best.
Elvis Presley: I signed on to do this movie because you told me to. I need the money.
Colonel Tom Parker: And you do. You spend like a drunken sailor, and that's none of my business, but you show up on time and you say the lines stupid or not, that is my business.
Elvis Presley: Yes, sir.
Colonel Tom Parker: And what's this about some religious kick your on?

Colonel Tom Parker: Why are you doing this to yourself? This religious kick, the drugs? What is it that you want?
Elvis Presley: You said that to me the first time we met.
Colonel Tom Parker: I remember. Rich and famous. You wanted to be a movie star. Well, I got it for you, so I'm asking you again: What is it you want now?
Elvis Presley: I don't know.
Colonel Tom Parker: Are you just bored is that it?
Elvis Presley: Well, there's that. I get so lonely.
Colonel Tom Parker: What about that little girl you got cooped up in there? Does she make you happy?
Elvis Presley: Sometimes.
Colonel Tom Parker: Why, son. That's more than most folk's ever get. Why don't you latch onto her before she wizes up. The whole scene, it's starting to get unseemly. You hear me? She's legal now, so what are you waiting for?
Elvis Presley: The right time.
Colonel Tom Parker: If that's the case, I'd check my watch, because if ever there was a time to set things straight, it's now.

Colonel Tom Parker: Let's face it, Elvis. The movies ain't doing what they used to and the records their not doing much better.
Elvis Presley: Its all this material you keep shovin' down my throat, Colonel. Hell, you can't polish a turd.

[after the success of the sit-down session]
Elvis Presley: Steve, that was great, man.
[hugs Steve]
Steve Binder: Congratulations, man. You were great.
Elvis Presley: Oh, thank you. Thank you, bro.
Steve Binder: [points to the "ELVIS" sign in big red letters] Hey, look at that. New beginnings.
Elvis Presley: Yeah. New beginning.

Steve Binder: [on Colonel Parker] Why do you put up with him bullying you? Treating you like a child.
Elvis Presley: You know, I've thought about that a lot over the years. And I'd try to explain it to you, but you just wouldn't understand.
Steve Binder: I think I do.
Elvis Presley: How? You know nothing about the world I come from.
Steve Binder: Actually, I know a lot about you, Elvis. It's my job. Your not the poor kid from Tupelo anymore. You live in the big house. You can be your own boss man. You've certainly out grown that old carny.
Elvis Presley: I gave him my word. Besides, before me there was no such thing as a rock star. He wrote the book on how to make one.

Colonel Tom Parker: Son, let me explain some things to you. We have a contract.
Elvis Presley: You always told me your contract can be re-negotiated, broken if need be. Well, maybe its about time we tour up this contract.

[Elvis plans to fire the Colonel]
Vernon Presley: Where we gonna come up with millions of dollars?
Elvis Presley: I'll talk to my agent's.
Vernon Presley: They in cahoots with the Colonel, they won't help us.
Elvis Presley: I'll get us a lawyer. I'll figure something out, daddy.

Vernon Presley: We could lose everything, E. What about your word? you made the man a promise, he kept up his end of the bargain.
Elvis Presley: Well lately, his hands been dragging in the dirt and I've been doing all the heavy lifting, daddy! Now, I'll figure something out. Please, I'm dying here. I can manage myself.
Vernon Presley: But how? Is all I'm asking. You can't handle money. I got the bills to prove that. You don't even carry any money on you. Hell, you don't even know your own phone number. How are you gonna manage yourself?
Elvis Presley: I'll get somebody else.
Vernon Presley: Who? [Elvis doesn't say a word] Who, Elvis?

Colonel Tom Parker: I was thinking about our conversation yesterday and if you want to tour. Well, I'll set it up. We'll tour.
Elvis Presley: What about the movies?
Colonel Tom Parker: Well, that's gonna be hard enough to crack. We're obligated to three more films and the next one is already set up, something called The Trouble with Girls and How to Get Out of It.
Elvis Presley: Sounds like a winner. What about this? [holds out the Refute of Contract form]
Colonel Tom Parker: Oh, that. [takes the form] Trifle.
Elvis Presley: So where we gonna tour?
Colonel Tom Parker: Las Vegas. I got us a hell of a deal.

[last title card]
Title card: Elvis' 1968 Comeback Special received rave reviews from the critics and was seen by nearly half of the American television audience.
Elvis never realized his dream of touring overseas, and he never left the Colonel.
Worn out by touring, high living, and prescription drug dependency, Elvis died in 1977. He was 42.
His records still sell by the millions. Elvis remains The King.

Major Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

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