Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 22, 2016


FORTUNATE SON: THE LIFE OF ELVIS PRESLEY. Charles L. Ponce de Leon. Hill and Wang; 2006.

This slender biography of Elvis Presley provides an overview of the life and career of the singer/actor, surveying his early life, first recordings, romances, movie roles and so on. Presley first sang "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel" on the Ed Sullivan show, although he was introduced by Charles Laughton. who was filling in for Sullivan (talk about two very different kinds of artists being juxtaposed). As he got more famous and wealthier, Presley was surrounded by a group of friends who jockeyed for position as Number One Yes-Man. Then there was his stint in the Army and his marriage to wife Priscilla, and his reliance on drugs as he got older, the Beatles emerged, and he struggled to stay relevant during the British invasion and the release of many if-you've-seen-one-you've-seen-'em-all movies. Elvis had his meeting with Richard Nixon as he turned into a paranoid monster who didn't trust anyone around him. Fortunate Son is a quick, entertaining read for those who may not want to plow through a more in-depth volume that has dozens of interviews. There's a lot more to say about Elvis, however, as this almost never goes behind the scenes of his movies.

Verdict: The basic facts and spirit of Elvis Presley's life. ***.


angelman66 said...

I don't know this biography, I have only read the controversial Albert Goldman bio. WIll check this one out though if I run across it.
Elvis was an interesting character, truly trapped and isolated by his fame, and his limited persona. Love his music, though...
- C

William said...

Love 'im or hate 'im, there was nobody like Elvis the Pelvis!