Elvis gave away homes, horses, rings and … 200 cadillacs, trying to help people out or just saying “thank you” his way.
The main color in this design is pink, probably a reference to the classic pink Cadillac most people associate with Elvis. The menu of the DVD is simple, you can select the different chapters, the disc has no extra features.
The documentary starts of with Linda Thompson and a few of the Memphis Mafia members talking about Elvis telling their relation with him. New in this documentary are appearances by Myrna Smith from the Sweet Inspirations and Kang Rhee and Gordon Stoker which we do not see that often in an Elvis related documentary. Of course some happy Cadillac salesmen are interviewed too.
The story line deals with Elvis habit of giving things away, with the Cadillacs as the most well known example. Giving away cars was a habit Elvis got into very early in his career, besides cars for his parents from his first royalty-checks he also gave Mr. Lansky a German Messerschmitt three-wheel car.
Other recipients were parents (his own, his girlfriend’s and parents from his entourage), the girlfriends themselves, members of his entourage and his band, friends, nurses, policemen and some times strangers on the street. Besides cars he gave away a lot more; money, jewelry, watches, pets (dogs and horses), clothing, houses and motors. The counter stands around 200 cars.
Elvis derived more pleasure from giving than taking. Of course this was taken advantage of by some people, but somehow Elvis did not seem to mind and enjoyed the reaction from people who (unexpectedly) got a present from him. In most of the cases the gifts changed the lives of total strangers (people asking for their autograph as it is for some the closest thing to get to Elvis) or helped them out in difficult times. Besides the cars that gained a lot of publicity sometimes we must not forget that most of Elvis charitable donations were done silently.
In between the stories we get a lot of good images of Elvis, some very original images from the early fifties and Elvis in his cars and Elvis in the seventies shopping at night (with a flashlight) buying Myrna a baby blue El Dorado. A lot of the candid images come from Sandi Miller and were published before in the BTI-book. The interviewees also showed a lot of personal images, probably shown for the first time here.
The movie comes with its own soundtrack, songs especially written for the documentary and matching the theme of the story. Each chapter has its own song.
One of the songs on the soundtrack says it well: “How about some credit where the credit is due”; not only the “legendary” story of Elvis just giving away cars, but the reason behind it, trying to help people out or just saying “thank you” his way, not only giving material things, but most of all giving help, friendship and love. This DVD is one of the best documentaries released lately, putting the record straight on the man and the Cadillac myth.