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Priscilla Presley reveals her reaction to ‘Elvis’ movie

It’s been 45 years since Elvis Presley, the King of Rock ’n’ Roll, died at the age of 42

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The late Elvis Presley sings via projection screen at the Elvis Presley 25th Anniversary Concert in Memphis, Tennessee.

The late Elvis Presley sings via projection screen at the Elvis Presley 25th Anniversary Concert on Aug. 16, 2002, at the Pyramid in Memphis, Tenn. It’s been 45 years since Elvis died at the age of 42.

Alan Spearman, AFP/Getty Images

Editor’s note: This article originally published on Aug. 17, 2022. It has been updated.

It’s been 45 years since Elvis Presley, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, died at the age of 42. But even after four decades, Elvis remains in the spotlight — thanks, in part, to Baz Luhrmann’s critically acclaimed biopic “Elvis,” which chronicles the singer’s rise to stardom and is up for eight Oscars on Sunday.

What does Priscilla Presley think of ‘Elvis’?

Elvis’ former wife, Priscilla Presley, recently revealed her reaction to the film — and the part that was especially difficult to watch. The film stars Austin Butler as Elvis and Tom Hanks as the singer’s manager, Col. Tom Parker, and Presley said it was tough to watch the relationship between the two unfold on the big screen — particularly the disagreements over the direction Elvis’ career should take.

“He wanted to do movies, serious movies, and Col. Parker probably should have stayed a publicist,” Presley told “Today.” “He didn’t take Elvis where he wanted to be, and that was hard because I lived it.

“I lived the arguments that they had, I lived Elvis trying to explain he didn’t want to do the movies with all the girls and the beaches and everything, that he really wanted to do serious things,” she continued. “So living that, with him, and watching the movie, it brought back a lot of memories.”

Presley said she had her doubts about Luhrmann pursuing the biopic, but when she watched the final product with a longtime friend of Elvis’, they had nothing but praise for how it turned out.

“At the end we went, ‘Wow, this is Elvis,’” she told “Today.

What has ‘Elvis’ been nominated for at 2023 Oscars?

According to Elvisthemusic.com, “Elvis” has been nominated for the following eight Oscars:

  • Best picture.
  • Best actor.
  • Best cinematography.
  • Best film editing.
  • Best costume design.
  • Best production design.
  • Best makeup and hairstyling.
  • Best sound.

Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis’ only child who died earlier this year at the age of 54, had high praise for the film.

“I do want to take a moment to let you know that I have seen Baz Luhrmann’s movie ‘Elvis’ twice now, and let me tell you that it is nothing short of spectacular,” she wrote. “Absolutely exquisite. Austin Butler channeled and embodied my father’s heart and soul beautifully. In my humble opinion, his performance is unprecedented and FINALLY done accurately and respectfully. (If he doesn’t get an Oscar for this, I will eat my own foot, haha.)”

Elvis Week 2022 honored 45th anniversary of Elvis’ death

Elvis Week — honored throughout the world but celebrated in person at Memphis’ Graceland — concluded on Aug. 17. Thousands of fans visited Elvis’ former home to pay their respects to the singer.

“To see the amount of people that still come to see Elvis is unbelievable,” Priscilla Presley said at a vigil attended by more than 30,000 fans, per People magazine.

James Lowery, a longtime Elvis tribute artist, was 12 years old when the shocking news of Elvis’ death broke on Aug. 16, 1977.

“It was almost like a ‘you don’t know what you have until you lose it’ kind of deal,” Lowery told the Deseret News in 2018. “And when Elvis was lost, it’s like the world stood still and (people) kind of realized, ‘Wow, we knew he was great. … We knew he was there, we just never knew that he would leave. … And that’s kind of how I felt.

“There’s just something about Elvis — the sound, his look, the way he moved and then moved beyond that in the way that he treated people,” he continued. “He was still beautiful even to the end, … and he had a smile that could light up the room.”