Elvis fans all over the world are celebrating the 35th anniversary of his passing. Some are attending Elvis Week in Memphis, and some are heading out to local events to catch Elvis impersonators. If you can’t attend an Elvis event but still want to relive the magical days of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, then kick off your shoes, pop some popcorn, and check out the some of the top movies made about The King and the legacy he left behind.
“Elvis Has Left the Building” (2005)
Cast: Kim Basinger, John Corbett, Annie Potts, Sean Astin, and Denise Richards
This romantic comedy focuses on Harmony Jones, a Mary Kay cosmetics sales lady who became obsessed with Elvis after meeting him when she was a child. Unfortunately, every Elvis impersonator she comes in contact with dies from a freak accident. The FBI follows Harmony all over the country as she travels from place to place in a pink Cadillac, but they can never seem to catch her in time. She meets an executive, Miles Taylor, who adds a little spice to the story while on the hunt for an Elvis suit for his estranged wife. If you watch closely, you’ll catch Tom Hanks in a cameo.
“Heartbreak Hotel” (1988)
Cast: Charlie Schlatter, David Keith, and Tuesday Weld
The story takes place in 1972 in the small town of Taylor, Ohio. When Johnny Wolfe reads that Elvis is performing at a show in Cleveland, he borrows his mom’s pink Cadillac and enlists the help of a few friends to kidnap Elvis and bring him home for a date with his mother, who’s been having a difficult time lately with deadbeat boyfriends. Elvis ends up pulling Johnny’s mother out of her depression, teaches Johnny a few life lessons, and helps his band out at the school’s talent show.
“Finding Graceland” (1998)
Cast: Harvey Keitel, Johnathon Schaech, and Bridget Fonda
On his way to Memphis, Byron picks up a hitchhiker who thinks he’s the late Elvis Presley and on his way home to Graceland. Throughout the movie, it’s a guessing game whether he truly is Elvis. When a Marilyn Monroe impersonator enters the scene, we see three lives crossing paths, creating an emotional and interesting story.
“3000 Miles to Graceland” (2001)
Cast: Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, Courteney Cox, Christian Slater, and Kevin Pollak
This is a violent and action-packed story about a band of Elvis impersonators who rob a Las Vegas casino during Elvis Week. As in any heist, there are complications, and when greed catches up to them, the bad guys start double-crossing one another. This is a fast-paced, loud and tightly-edited movie with a lot of plot twists and a powerful soundtrack.
Cast: Kurt Russell, Shelly Winters, Season Hubley, Bing Russell, and Pat Hingle
This 1979 film was a made-for-TV feature on Elvis that was originally released on VHS and is now available on DVD. “Elvis” is the first Elvis biopic — starring Kurt Russell who worked with Elvis in “It Happened At The World’s Fair” — made only a couple of years after Elvis passed.