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Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:47 am

PStoller wrote:
stevelecher wrote:We all know how it went for him not doing the project. This is just conjecture and there's no way to know what would have happened had he tried to do this movie. There was considerable chance for upside though if he broke out of his treadmill and tried to make some progress on his movie career.

Did Colonel save his life when he died 28 months after the offer was made?


Of course it's just conjecture, but so is everything else in this thread about what might have been. My point is not to say that I know for a fact what would have happened, nor to take a pro-Colonel stance. (As far as I can see, the Colonel's only interest in keeping Elvis alive was to squeeze more eggs from the golden goose.) However, just as we know what happened to Elvis, we also know what happened to the film. Given the wringer through which Streisand put Kristofferson, Pierson, and all else involved, I have to question whether that's a fate a fan would have chosen for Elvis.

Don't get me wrong; I think he could have been brilliant in a film of A Star is Born—but not one with Streisand calling the shots.


Exactly, you echo my thoughts. I don't think Elvis and Barbra would have matched up as a business team or as co-stars.

THat is why I suggested the film might not be as bad an idea if it was Elvis and Ann Margret, together again.

Elvis was a movie star that was looking to get back into films on his owns terms, and not be controlled by a studio telling him to sing stupid songs to kids
and so forth. He wanted the chance to prove he could act.
But, being controlled by a studio as opposed to being controlled by Mzzz. Streisand, well, control is control.

Kris' reason for doing the film were different than Elvis'.
Barbra was a bigger star than Kris, but Elvis was a bigger star than Barbra.
Kris really needed Barbra more than Elvis did.


It was a bad idea for Elvis.
Elvis needed something, but this wasn't it.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:24 am

ekenee wrote:I don't think Elvis and Barbra would have matched up as a business team or as co-stars.

THat is why I suggested the film might not be as bad an idea if it was Elvis and Ann Margret, together again.


Elvis and Ann-Margret may have had personal chemistry, but she would not have been convincing as a rising rock star in 1968, much less in 1975. I'm not sure who would've been the best choice, but for a few reasons, Linda Ronstadt comes to mind: a little younger than Babs or A-M (but not creepy-young next to EP); a bona fide rock singer but mainstream enough to have broad crossover appeal (including most of Elvis' fan base); already successful enough to boost box office, but untried on the screen so believable as a rising star in a film context; had real-life experience that would have prepared her for the rising star role; and her later acting roles indicate that she might have been up to it earlier in her career.

But, I'm sure there would have been plenty of other viable options, as long as we conveniently forget that the whole thing was Streisand's idea in the first place. :)

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:35 am

PStoller wrote:
stevelecher wrote:We all know how it went for him not doing the project. This is just conjecture and there's no way to know what would have happened had he tried to do this movie. There was considerable chance for upside though if he broke out of his treadmill and tried to make some progress on his movie career.

Did Colonel save his life when he died 28 months after the offer was made?


Of course it's just conjecture, but so is everything else in this thread about what might have been. My point is not to say that I know for a fact what would have happened, nor to take a pro-Colonel stance. (As far as I can see, the Colonel's only interest in keeping Elvis alive was to squeeze more eggs from the golden goose.) However, just as we know what happened to Elvis, we also know what happened to the film. Given the wringer through which Streisand put Kristofferson, Pierson, and all else involved, I have to question whether that's a fate a fan would have chosen for Elvis.

Don't get me wrong; I think he could have been brilliant in a film of A Star is Born—but not one with Streisand calling the shots.


Of course, we're not speaking of Kristofferson, Pierson, and all else involved, but Elvis Presley. He was a bigger star than all of them combined. It's debatable whether Streisand would have dealt with Presley in the same manner.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:41 am

I think you would have struggled in a debate in 1975 that Elvis was a bigger star than Streisand. She had a lot more power in Hollywood than Elvis did. Her records sold better and were more highly thought of. She was not an industry joke or has been in any facet of the business.

Elvis didn't have the option to do this job with Ann Margret or Linda Ronstadt. It was Streisand's project and she had a dynamite idea, offering it to Elvis. What a lot of confidence on her part.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:09 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Of course, we're not speaking of Kristofferson, Pierson, and all else involved, but Elvis Presley. He was a bigger star than all of them combined. It's debatable whether Streisand would have dealt with Presley in the same manner.


Everything's debatable. But, I ask you to read this…

http://barbra-archives.com/bjs_library/ ... a_jon.html

…and tell me if you think Barbra (at that time) and Jon Peters (at any time) really cared how big a star anyone else was.

Elvis had made an unbroken string of movies that revolved around Elvis. This was a film that revolved around the titular Star and her volatile hairdresser boyfriend (who would go on to suck $3.2B out of Columbia Pictures). Think about the emotional challenge of the role Elvis had to play (on top of it being his first dramatic challenge of such magnitude), and what kind of support he would likely have received from the Streisand-Peters Mutual Self-Adulation Society. The film turned out as well—and profitably—as it did only because it had a few good songs and a musical megastar to perform them; in that sense, very much like most of the films Elvis had already made.

Sure, it could've turned out career-reinvigoratingly great for Elvis. But, that's not the outcome I would've put money on.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:13 am

Elvis was 40 years old when Streisand offered him the role in A Star is Born. His personal life was unstable and his slippery slide down the slope of drug abuse was well underway.

Something had to change to stop (or at least, slow) this downward slide.

PStoller wrote:
As much as A Star Is Born could have been brilliant in theory, it's sobering to remember what an ego-driven disaster it turned out to be in reality.


Admittedly, it wasn’t a perfect situation from the git-go given the power and ego of the leading lady. But perfect situations don’t come along very often -- in real life OR in Hollywood. (And in Elvis’s case, even imperfect situations weren’t coming along very often.) Elvis desperately wanted to do this project. He could and should have expected his manager to negotiate on his behalf and achieve the most perfect situation possible for him, and minimize the less-than-perfect aspects of the project. And make the deal.

As the doc pointed out, the chemistry and working relationship between Elvis and Barbra would have been very different from the chemistry and working relationship between Kris Kristofferson and Barbra.

PStoller wrote:It seems doubtful to me that Elvis could have saved the film;


I think Elvis (with Barbra) could have saved the film. Faced with a challenge, Elvis always rose to the occasion. Being a true rock star, Elvis would have brought a completely different dimension to the role, one that Kristofferson couldn’t hope to achieve. That’s why casting is such an art. Casting the right actor for the right role can change everything and can elevate a good movie into a great one.

PStoller wrote:on the other hand, I can easily imagine how much more he could have been damaged by being caught up in that circus.


Elvis was already undergoing plenty of damage. He was caught up in quite a ‘circus’ of his own with the exhausting Vegas commitments and the grueling touring schedule. At the very least, it would have been a different circus – which is something.

PStoller wrote:Granted, it wasn't for long and it wasn't deliberate, but I'd still say the Colonel just might have spared Elvis' life.


I don’t know if the Colonel spared Elvis’ life. What I do know is that he was spared from having to work with Barbra Striesand, he was spared from winning a Golden Globe award for Best Actor, and he was spared from getting 10% of millions of dollars.

In the end, nothing changed for Elvis. He went on as if nothing had happened -- because nothing had. But he wouldn’t let himself get his hopes up again. There were no more creative opportunities or challenges on the horizon for him.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:33 am

MaryAnn wrote:Elvis was 40 years old when Streisand offered him the role in A Star is Born. His personal life was unstable and his slippery slide down the slope of drug abuse was well underway.

Something had to change to stop (or at least, slow) this downward slide.


So the answer was type-casting him for his saddest, weakest aspects?

Elvis desperately wanted to do this project. He could and should have expected his manager to negotiate on his behalf and achieve the most perfect situation possible for him, and minimize the less-than-perfect aspects of the project. And make the deal.


That makes sense.

As the doc pointed out, the chemistry and working relationship between Elvis and Barbra would have been very different from the chemistry and working relationship between Kris Kristofferson and Barbra.


That, too, but "different" ≠ "better."

I don’t know if the Colonel spared Elvis’ life. What I do know is that he was spared from having to work with Barbra Striesand, he was spared from winning a Golden Globe award for Best Actor, and he was spared from getting 10% of millions of dollars.


The only part you actually know is that he was "spared" working with Streisand. Elvis' 10% of millions and (especially) the Golden Globe are wishful thinking.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:52 am

Thanks for your response, PStoller. I've enjoyed this discussion and all the posts.

As a little aside, here is an interesting interview with Kris Kristofferson that talks about the impact making "A Star is Born" had on him. It appeared in People magazine, Jan. 10, 1977.

http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20067302,00.html

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:02 am

MaryAnn wrote:Thanks for your response, PStoller. I've enjoyed this discussion and all the posts.

As a little aside, here is an interesting interview with Kris Kristofferson that talks about the impact making "A Star is Born" had on him. It appeared in People magazine, Jan. 10, 1977.


Thank you as well. I think we can all agree that we would have hoped for a similar "cure" for Elvis—and that it would have meant more than all the awards or money Hollywood could have thrown at him.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:18 am

stevelecher wrote:Elvis didn't have the option to do this job with Ann Margret or Linda Ronstadt. It was Streisand's project and she had a dynamite idea, offering it to Elvis. What a lot of confidence on her part.


It wasn't so much confidence in his abilities as it was her needing a singer to play the part.

She offered the role to Neil Diamond and if Kristofferson turned it down she said Mick Jagger would have done it.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:59 am

It still takes confidence to pick a legend like Elvis to be your leading man in a film and believe you'll hold your own. Assuming Elvis gets healthy and does even an adequate job, this becomes a much bigger and more timeless movie than one with Streisand/Kristofferson. This was inspired on her part and Elvis let it get away from him.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:05 am

PStoller wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:Of course, we're not speaking of Kristofferson, Pierson, and all else involved, but Elvis Presley. He was a bigger star than all of them combined. It's debatable whether Streisand would have dealt with Presley in the same manner.


Everything's debatable. But, I ask you to read this…

http://barbra-archives.com/bjs_library/ ... a_jon.html

…and tell me if you think Barbra (at that time) and Jon Peters (at any time) really cared how big a star anyone else was.

Elvis had made an unbroken string of movies that revolved around Elvis. This was a film that revolved around the titular Star and her volatile hairdresser boyfriend (who would go on to suck $3.2B out of Columbia Pictures). Think about the emotional challenge of the role Elvis had to play (on top of it being his first dramatic challenge of such magnitude), and what kind of support he would likely have received from the Streisand-Peters Mutual Self-Adulation Society. The film turned out as well—and profitably—as it did only because it had a few good songs and a musical megastar to perform them; in that sense, very much like most of the films Elvis had already made.

Sure, it could've turned out career-reinvigoratingly great for Elvis. But, that's not the outcome I would've put money on.


No question Streisand was certainly in a greater place at that time -- 1975 -- but my point was that Elvis was greater than any of those other people she bossed around, and I question whether she would have had the temerity to push Presley in the same manner.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:14 am

stevelecher wrote:It still takes confidence to pick a legend like Elvis to be your leading man in a film and believe you'll hold your own. Assuming Elvis gets healthy and does even an adequate job, this becomes a much bigger and more timeless movie than one with Streisand/Kristofferson. This was inspired on her part and Elvis let it get away from him.


You keep saying that but the script was a problem.

Unless Elvis or Parker could convince Streisand to throw away the script and demand a re-write i have my doubts.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:19 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
PStoller wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:Of course, we're not speaking of Kristofferson, Pierson, and all else involved, but Elvis Presley. He was a bigger star than all of them combined. It's debatable whether Streisand would have dealt with Presley in the same manner.


Everything's debatable. But, I ask you to read this…

http://barbra-archives.com/bjs_library/ ... a_jon.html

…and tell me if you think Barbra (at that time) and Jon Peters (at any time) really cared how big a star anyone else was.

Elvis had made an unbroken string of movies that revolved around Elvis. This was a film that revolved around the titular Star and her volatile hairdresser boyfriend (who would go on to suck $3.2B out of Columbia Pictures). Think about the emotional challenge of the role Elvis had to play (on top of it being his first dramatic challenge of such magnitude), and what kind of support he would likely have received from the Streisand-Peters Mutual Self-Adulation Society. The film turned out as well—and profitably—as it did only because it had a few good songs and a musical megastar to perform them; in that sense, very much like most of the films Elvis had already made.

Sure, it could've turned out career-reinvigoratingly great for Elvis. But, that's not the outcome I would've put money on.


No question Streisand was certainly in a greater place at that time -- 1975 -- but my point was that Elvis was greater than any of those other people she bossed around, and I question whether she would have had the temerity to push Presley in the same manner.


I think so.

She got into arguments with Walter Matthau and a bunch of other people that were better actors than her.

She was known for it and especially since she was the boss on A Star is Born it was her way or no way.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:19 am

brian wrote:I think so.

She got into arguments with Walter Matthau and a bunch of other people that were better actors than her.

She was known for it and especially since she was the boss on A Star is Born it was her way or no way.


Um, that's a ridiculous analogy, and you miss the point.

When it comes to rock 'n' roll, Walter Matthau doesn't even rank. The film was updated into a rock setting, and Elvis Presley was THE avatar of the genre.

BIG difference, and Streisand knew this.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:35 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
brian wrote:I think so.

She got into arguments with Walter Matthau and a bunch of other people that were better actors than her.

She was known for it and especially since she was the boss on A Star is Born it was her way or no way.


Um, that's a ridiculous analogy, and you miss the point.

When it comes to rock 'n' roll, Walter Matthau doesn't even rank. The film was updated into a rock setting, and Elvis Presley was THE avatar of the genre.

BIG difference, and Streisand knew this.


I knew you would take a dismissive stance with what i had to say.

The point is no matter the star or the caliber of the actor or performer Streisand was known to butt heads with them.

It is a possibility that Streisand and Elvis would have got into big arguments had he done the movie just like anyone else.

Jon Peters was and is the same way.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:42 am

brian wrote:The point is no matter the star or the caliber of the actor or performer Streisand was known to butt heads with them.


Sure, like if she had cast Frank Sinatra in a role, she would have told him what to do. Babs may be bossy, but she's not stupid.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:29 am

brian wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
brian wrote:I think so.

She got into arguments with Walter Matthau and a bunch of other people that were better actors than her.

She was known for it and especially since she was the boss on A Star is Born it was her way or no way.


Um, that's a ridiculous analogy, and you miss the point.

When it comes to rock 'n' roll, Walter Matthau doesn't even rank. The film was updated into a rock setting, and Elvis Presley was THE avatar of the genre.

BIG difference, and Streisand knew this.


I knew you would take a dismissive stance with what i had to say.

The point is no matter the star or the caliber of the actor or performer Streisand was known to butt heads with them.

It is a possibility that Streisand and Elvis would have got into big arguments had he done the movie just like anyone else.

Jon Peters was and is the same way.


So what if Elvis got in big arguments with Barbara and Jon. He wasn't that fragile. He needed to get back in the game and this was his opportunity. Hollywood probably wasn't going to give him this chance since they still probably considered his movies and acting a joke. And he was never going to be given the opportunity to act in a dramatic non-singing roles. A Star Is Born was the perfect bridge to get him the kind of roles he really wanted. It was a dramatic singing role plus it would showcase the one thing most critics agreed Elvis was best at; Singing before a live audience. If Elvis had scored in this role, there's a good chance directors would have offered him the kind of dramatic roles he wanted.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:37 pm

eligain wrote:
So what if Elvis got in big arguments with Barbara and Jon. He wasn't that fragile. He needed to get back in the game and this was his opportunity. Hollywood probably wasn't going to give him this chance since they still probably considered his movies and acting a joke. And he was never going to be given the opportunity to act in a dramatic non-singing roles. A Star Is Born was the perfect bridge to get him the kind of roles he really wanted. It was a dramatic singing role plus it would showcase the one thing most critics agreed Elvis was best at; Singing before a live audience. If Elvis had scored in this role, there's a good chance directors would have offered him the kind of dramatic roles he wanted.


Good point. So what if Elvis did get into big arguments with Barbra and Jon. It may have forced him to take a stand and put up his "artistic dukes," so to speak -- something he had never done on his own movies. (One word: Dominic.)

And as far as the arguments that would have undoubtedly ensued between Babs and the Colonel, they would have been epic. Elvis could have pulled up a chair and taken notes. Imagine if someone taped that! "The Making of "A Star is Born'" might have outsold the actual movie.

As far as the relationship between Elvis and Streisand, Jerry Schilling's first-hand account of the initial meeting is well worth reading (Me and a Guy Named Elvis, pgs. 288-292). "But here was his shot. A top star and proven film talent understood what Elvis was capable of as an actor and she was offering him the role of a lifetime. He and Streisand talked about the old films, how things would change in the new film, other ideas for casting, ideas for particular scenes."

The fact that they even ordered food to be brought in "so that the talk could continue uninterrupted" is evidence that they were all feeling very positive about the meeting. Sounds like they were off to a pretty good collaborative start.

Signing on for the role was an opportunity for Elvis -- not perfect -- but an opportunity nevertheless. At the very least it, it would have shaken up his world -- which badly needed to be shaken up. As eligain said, if Elvis had scored in this role, it could have led to bigger and better things. If he had failed in the role, it would have effectively put his hopes of being a dramatic actor to rest once and for all. But it would have been on HIS terms. As it was, the enthusiasm and excitement Elvis felt in that closet that night was effectively crushed, never to return.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:27 pm

I don't think it would have been on his terms. It would have been on barbra's.

And all here, don't forget what Elvis said in the NY city press conference in 1972.

He was looking for a film script that he could do that didn't involve singing.

The fact that this was a musical drama, which he had already done with Jailhouse rock and King creole, perhaps caused him to balk.

'I'm looking for a non-singing type role". That was his goal. This wasn't it.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:51 pm

eligain wrote:
brian wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
brian wrote:I think so.

She got into arguments with Walter Matthau and a bunch of other people that were better actors than her.

She was known for it and especially since she was the boss on A Star is Born it was her way or no way.


Um, that's a ridiculous analogy, and you miss the point.

When it comes to rock 'n' roll, Walter Matthau doesn't even rank. The film was updated into a rock setting, and Elvis Presley was THE avatar of the genre.

BIG difference, and Streisand knew this.


I knew you would take a dismissive stance with what i had to say.

The point is no matter the star or the caliber of the actor or performer Streisand was known to butt heads with them.

It is a possibility that Streisand and Elvis would have got into big arguments had he done the movie just like anyone else.

Jon Peters was and is the same way.


So what if Elvis got in big arguments with Barbara and Jon. He wasn't that fragile. He needed to get back in the game and this was his opportunity. Hollywood probably wasn't going to give him this chance since they still probably considered his movies and acting a joke. And he was never going to be given the opportunity to act in a dramatic non-singing roles.


If all Elvis was going to do was fight with Streisand this movie would have been a bad experience for him.

If this movie was going to be all about Streisand and it would have been maybe it was right for Elvis not to do it.

If Elvis wanted to get back into the game in a non singing role i would suggest that he look for a quality script for the television movie of the week.

There were some quality television movies being made in the 1970s and Elvis appearing on television in a quality non singing role in front of millions of people could have gotten directors and producers attention.

Also Rick Husky wrote a script for an action film he wanted Elvis to do but he turned it down in favor of working on the New Gladiators documentary.

Both of these were never explored unfortunately.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:38 pm

brian wrote:If Elvis wanted to get back into the game in a non singing role i would suggest that he look for a quality script for the television movie of the week.

Thankfully, you were not his manager.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:48 pm

midnightx wrote:
brian wrote:If Elvis wanted to get back into the game in a non singing role i would suggest that he look for a quality script for the television movie of the week.

Thankfully, you were not his manager.


Anybody but Parker would have been better. In every aspect.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:52 pm

You have to give Barbara credit for bringing this project to Elvis. As someone mentioned. Hollywood was not going to offer any movies to Elvis, as they considered him a has been movie star. Even though I am not a fan of hers or the movie itself, she had the guts to seek him out and really wanted him for the role. She was smart in that regard. I think it would have been a better movie, certainly more explosive with those 2 stars in it, and would have been a more of a money maker than it was, maybe even give Elvis another top 10 hit. The possibilities are endless.

Re: A Star Is Born

Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:03 pm

nevermind wrote:
midnightx wrote:
brian wrote:If Elvis wanted to get back into the game in a non singing role i would suggest that he look for a quality script for the television movie of the week.

Thankfully, you were not his manager.


Anybody but Parker would have been better. In every aspect.

Parker may have been over his head during the '70s and may have been unethical, but there were certainly worse managers in the business - and certainly it would have been a seriously misguided consideration to have Elvis look into starring in television movies during that era.