‘Elvis on Tour’ Turns 45

Elvis Presley’s award-winning, final film, “Elvis on Tour,” was released 45 years ago this week.

“Elvis on Tour” covers Elvis’ 15-city tour in the United States in April 1972. It’s Elvis’ second concert documentary, a follow-up to the 1970 documentary, “Elvis: That’s the Way It Is.” “Elvis on Tour” features concert, rehearsal and backstage footage, interviews with Elvis and his father, Vernon, plus footage of fans’ reactions at various venues. There are also clips from Elvis’ appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show and Elvis’ movies.

The concert footage included in the documentary was shot in Hampton Roads, Virginia; Richmond, Virginia; San Antonio, Texas; and Greensboro, North Carolina.

Elvis discusses his stage fright and his desire to put on a good show for his fans during the documentary.

Elvis discusses his stage fright and his desire to put on a good show for his fans during the documentary.

Robert Abel and Pierre Adidge directed “Elvis on Tour,” and Martin Scorsese worked on the movie, too, overseeing the montage sequences.

Fans well-versed in everything Elvis can have fun picking out members of Elvis’ TCB Band, like Ronnie Tutt, James Burton and Glen D. Hardin; members of Elvis’ entourage, such as Jerry Schilling and Charlie Hodge; and the king’s back-up vocal groups, The Sweet Inspirations and J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet.

Elvis fans of all ages share their love for the king in "Elvis on Tour."

Elvis fans of all ages share their love for the king in “Elvis on Tour.”

Songs included in “Elvis on Tour” include “A Big Hunk O’ Love,” “Never Been to Spain,” “Polk Salad Annie,” “Burning Love,” “An American Trilogy,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “Love Me Tender.”

Elvis and J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet often jammed backstage, and some of those sessions are included in the documentary.

Elvis and J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet often jammed backstage, and some of those sessions are included in the documentary.

“Elvis on Tour” was a hit upon its release on November 1, 1972, hitting No. 13 on Variety’s National Box Office Survey. Critics loved the documentary, too: the movie won the 1972 Golden Globe Award for Best Documentary.

“Elvis on Tour” is a fan favorite, as it showcases Elvis’ powerful live concerts while giving a bit of insight into the man in the jumpsuit.

"Elvis on Tour" was Elvis' 33rd and final movie.

“Elvis on Tour” was Elvis’ 33rd and final movie.

If you’re an Elvis fan in the UK, be sure to check out the new “Elvis on Tour” exhibition at The O2 in London. The exhibition will cover Elvis’ tours from 1969-1977, and will feature artifacts such as jumpsuits, guitars, tour trunks still filled with silk scarves, costume sketches by Elvis’ designer Bill Belew and more. Get your tickets to the exhibition now.

If you love Elvis’ music, concerts and movies, the Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum at Elvis Presley’s Memphis at Graceland will soon be your favorite, too. You can see artifacts from Elvis’ film and music careers, including jumpsuits, movie costumes, awards and much more. Learn more about the man himself when you visit Graceland and see how the king lived at his beloved mansion. Start planning your rock ‘n’ roll journey today!


11 Comments

  1. I have this movie on CD its a great documentary on Elvis.

  2. Robert Mann

    Please release the concert footage not shown in the film, audio and video.
    Thanks!

  3. Jeff Powell

    No one can come close to the power of Elvis’s voice no can ever sing gospel the way he did . He was a true entertainer that no one will ever come close to.

  4. ricky gentry

    Elvis the best there is.was.and ever will be.alot of imitators.never duplicated.

  5. marcia Sy

    I AM LOOKING FOR UK POSTERS OF ELIVS LIKE ELVIS ON TOUR ABOVE AND ANOTHER ONE THEY HAD WITH RED BACKGROUND. DO YOU KNOW WHERE I CAN BUY POSTERS?

  6. Diana from Long Island, NY

    I remember well when this film came out. Thrillingly, it gave us a really close-up look at Elvis on stage! Perhaps young fans don’t realize that those big screens next to the live performer on stage that you see all the time nowadays were non-existent then. Even with binoculars, the view was of a distant Elvis, and this movie showed us what we were missing if we weren’t in the front rows. The excitement in “Elvis On Tour” was a smidgeon of the real, wild electricity in the air when you were in that big room with HIM. I’ll never forget it.

  7. Mark P. Pierce

    Is is the best he is the true King of entertainment music. He will go on forever.

  8. Tommy Peeters

    Can’t wait to go to the exhibition. We are going from Belgium with 54 fans to see it all in the UK. Long live the King.

  9. Diane Kelley

    Please everyone at EPE, do something to get all of the unreleased material from this movie released for fans to enjoy!!

  10. Marilynn La Cerais

    I was at the April 5, 1972 evening show at the Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, NY. Why wasn’t any footage of that show used in the film “Elvis On Tour”?

  11. stephen stathis

    Film was exciting: interview he gave to the producers was great. Saw EP on November 10, 1971 at the Boston Garden and it was like seeing God: he was incredible : seemed like the show lasted five minutes it was such an experience I’ve never forgotten. Twenty rows away from EP. Only cost me 10.00.

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