News Item

"That's The Way It Is" Featured as the Elvis Timeline Winner for May

May 02, 2010

The winning Elvis timeline milestone for May that Elvis fans voted as their number one favorite Elvis moment is #51 - "That's The Way It Is," Elvis' thirty-second film, opens in theaters to good reviews. For this timeline event, we will take a look at Elvis' ground-breaking performance documentary from 1970.

"Elvis: That's The Way It Is" was a documentary film from MGM, produced by Herbert Solow and directed by Denis Sanders, that featured rehearsal sessions and actual performance footage across several nights of the "Elvis Summer Festival" in July and August of 1970. Elvis' recent return to live performance in 1969 and the fact that "Elvis: That's The Way It Is" was his first-ever non-dramatic film appearance made this event a significant and historic career milestone.

"Elvis: That's The Way It Is" was and remains very popular among fans because, in addition to showing actual performance footage, it offers an candid, behind-the-scenes look at how Elvis prepared for his shows in rehearsals, backstage and in his down time. The camera shows all aspects of the show, from a cappella rehearsals and celebrity entrances to crowd reaction and interviews.

See a full gallery of photos from "That's The Way It Is" here.

Five new photos of Elvis from "That's The Way It Is" have been added to the Elvis Mobile app for iPhone and iPod Touch users. Download the free app to enjoy weekly Elvis photo updates, periodic video updates, the latest news on all things Elvis, the Graceland LiveCam, podcasts and more.

Each week in May, Elvis Insiders will have access to a new, rare Las Vegas-related artifact from the Graceland archives in the members only exclusive image gallery on

Be sure to visit and vote for your favorite Timeline event, which will be featured in June.

Facts About "That's The Way It Is:"

- Rehearsals were filmed in July of 1970 at MGM studios in Los Angeles and the RCA studio on Sunset Blvd.

- The opening credits sequence contains footage of Elvis' show at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix on September 9, 1970. This was the first show of Elvis' first tour in 13 years.

- A soundtrack album was released in conjunction with the film. It was Presley's first full-length film soundtrack album since 1968's "Speedway," and the last as his final film, 1972's "Elvis on Tour," did not have a soundtrack release.

- In 2001, a new version of "That's the Way It Is" was compiled, eliminating much of the documentary and non-Elvis content originally included in the film in favor of adding additional performances of Elvis rehearsing and on stage.

- After viewing a rough cut of the film in October of 1970, Colonel Parker sent a scathing three-page memo to MGM President Jim Aubrey, demanding multiple changes, including the removal of negative references to "Blue Hawaii" and "G.I. Blues" and reducing the amount of cut-ins on the performances.

Other Current Events in 1970:

- The Beatles broke up. By the end of the year, each individual member released a solo album.

- Monday Night Football debuted on ABC, with play-by-play analysis from Howard Cosell, Frank Gifford and Don Meredith.

- "Midnight Cowboy," produced by Jerome Hellman, won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

- IBM introduced the floppy disk.

- The self-titled album from "Blood, Sweat and Tears" won the Grammy award for album of the year.

- Bar codes were introduced for retail and industrial use in England.