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Re: Was Kurt Russell the voice of Elvis in Forrest Gump?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:28 am

James77 wrote:Since I mentioned the commentary- and am apparently the only one here with access to Forrest Gump on dvd :wink: - here's the relevant quote from the track:

Starkey: "...and then Bob also recalled that Kurt Russell had done an Elvis movie in his youth- and had probably done the best job of depicting Elvis on film- so Bob recruited Kurt Russell to put the voice in for Elvis in the film."


So the director (Zemeckis) makes no comment on this?

Re: Was Kurt Russell the voice of Elvis in Forrest Gump?

Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:12 pm

IMO Doc you are clinging to a position on this (trivial) Kurt Russel issue that has been soundly discounted. *I think* it has been definitively proven, by others actually more than myself, that he did the voice.

Re: Was Kurt Russell the voice of Elvis in Forrest Gump?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:32 am

What I find curious Doc is that you would dig into a position for which there is no substantial evidence for, only against. You claim a reasonable doubt, but seem to have no actual reasons. Even if this issue were not definitively settled by authoritative confirmation (which I believe it is, given IMDb, the film's producer on DVD commentary, and Russell himself) your position of casting doubt on the matter seems very inconsistent with that of your position recently on whether Clyde McPhatter is seen in a TTWII dressing room outtake.

Others presented evidence - not conclusive, but valid - that it was not Clyde, including a statement if I recall by his widdow (sp?) that he never saw Elvis or went to Vegas during that period. The evidence that it was Clyde was also valid, though not conclusive. One of your main and vehement arguments for this was not that there was definitive written documentation of this, but your subjective judgement that the blurry, brief glimpses of the man in question resembled McPhatter too much to be someone else mistaken for him, though others comparing video to photos vocally disagreed.

I would compare this very much to my assertion that I can tell it's Kurt Russell just by the sound of his voice, although in my case I think there is more compelling evidence for anyone to accept it is Russell.

Personally, I believe the figure in the TTWII footage is McPhatter, based on the same evidence as you; arguing that conclusion is not my point. The point rather perhaps has something to do with the idea that we both believe it is McPhatter partly because it would just be super freaking cool if it was him, and in the absence of hard evidence to the contrary, that's what we go with. This admittedly figures in to my belief about Russell doing the voice; I'm a big fan of his performance, I like the idea that Zemeckis was too, and if I were him, especially having had a previous positive collaboration that was a career turning point for both, asking Kurt to do it is exactly what I would do. To me that's a situation loaded with good karma between two talented people and presumably good guys, including their shared love of Elvis.

I also like the idea that Kurt Russell would not pointlessly lie about such a thing, in which case, would rob a presumably less successful actor of the ability to take credit for his own work in a classic blockbuster title. Russell has always seemed like one of the most down-to-earth, ego free dudes in Hollywood. He does great work and seems likeable in every way. Why you would insinuate that he might be capable of lying about such a thing is entirely beyond my comprehension. It also begs the question, even if Kurt were a dishonest jerk, why would he lie about that fact in particular? He already played Elvis in a slam dunk success, what could he possibly have to gain by stealing credit for a few lines of voice over. For someone so insistent on solid logic, it surprises me that this line of such does not persuade you on the (again, admittedly trival) matter.

Others are free to disagree with anyone's conclusions for any reasons, of course. But I guess I would suggest that to argue the point with no apparent reason (or compelling evidence) is just kind of a very pointless and unnecessary buzzkill. My two cents. (Hope they aren't deleted, but if so, ces la vie!)

Re: Was Kurt Russell the voice of Elvis in Forrest Gump?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:21 am

Brian In Atlanta wrote:I listened to the TV movie on audio cassette many times, played while falling asleep, and later saw it many times on video.


You must have really, really liked that very average movie.

Re: Was Kurt Russell the voice of Elvis in Forrest Gump?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:10 am

Brian In Atlanta wrote:What I find curious Doc is that you would dig into a position for which there is no substantial evidence for, only against. You claim a reasonable doubt, but seem to have no actual reasons. Even if this issue were not definitively settled by authoritative confirmation (which I believe it is, given IMDb, the film's producer on DVD commentary, and Russell himself) your position of casting doubt on the matter seems very inconsistent with that of your position recently on whether Clyde McPhatter is seen in a TTWII dressing room outtake.

Others presented evidence - not conclusive, but valid - that it was not Clyde, including a statement if I recall by his widdow (sp?) that he never saw Elvis or went to Vegas during that period. The evidence that it was Clyde was also valid, though not conclusive. One of your main and vehement arguments for this was not that there was definitive written documentation of this, but your subjective judgement that the blurry, brief glimpses of the man in question resembled McPhatter too much to be someone else mistaken for him, though others comparing video to photos vocally disagreed.

I would compare this very much to my assertion that I can tell it's Kurt Russell just by the sound of his voice, although in my case I think there is more compelling evidence for anyone to accept it is Russell.

Personally, I believe the figure in the TTWII footage is McPhatter, based on the same evidence as you; arguing that conclusion is not my point. The point rather perhaps has something to do with the idea that we both believe it is McPhatter partly because it would just be super freaking cool if it was him, and in the absence of hard evidence to the contrary, that's what we go with. This admittedly figures in to my belief about Russell doing the voice; I'm a big fan of his performance, I like the idea that Zemeckis was too, and if I were him, especially having had a previous positive collaboration that was a career turning point for both, asking Kurt to do it is exactly what I would do. To me that's a situation loaded with good karma between two talented people and presumably good guys, including their shared love of Elvis.

I also like the idea that Kurt Russell would not pointlessly lie about such a thing, in which case, would rob a presumably less successful actor of the ability to take credit for his own work in a classic blockbuster title. Russell has always seemed like one of the most down-to-earth, ego free dudes in Hollywood. He does great work and seems likeable in every way. Why you would insinuate that he might be capable of lying about such a thing is entirely beyond my comprehension. It also begs the question, even if Kurt were a dishonest jerk, why would he lie about that fact in particular? He already played Elvis in a slam dunk success, what could he possibly have to gain by stealing credit for a few lines of voice over. For someone so insistent on solid logic, it surprises me that this line of such does not persuade you on the (again, admittedly trival) matter.

Others are free to disagree with anyone's conclusions for any reasons, of course. But I guess I would suggest that to argue the point with no apparent reason (or compelling evidence) is just kind of a very pointless and unnecessary buzzkill. My two cents. (Hope they aren't deleted, but if so, ces la vie!)



its the same reasoning that is applied to the I Will Always Love You topic. Dolly says it was that, and apparently it was Coat of Many Colors.. odd indeed. but hey whatever.

Re: Was Kurt Russell the voice of Elvis in Forrest Gump?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:41 am

mike edwards66 wrote:
Brian In Atlanta wrote:I listened to the TV movie on audio cassette many times, played while falling asleep, and later saw it many times on video.


You must have really, really liked that very average movie.


Well, I was really, really 12 years old at the time, and yeah, I loved it. It may be average by general theatrical standards, but for a 70's TV movie, it was well above the norm, and it's still less cheesy than a lot of big screen pop bios (see the current Jersey Boys - or maybe don't.) As you probably know, John Carpenter directed it, and he's far from a movie of the week hack, and it shows in much of the production (especially on a relatively low budget,) and certainly the performances, which are very good (almost) across the board. Especially good are crucial characters such as Parker, Phillips, Keisker, Vernon and Gladys. Priscilla, though IMO an innately less than fascinating character, also seemed pretty accurate. Unfortunately the portrayal of Red West is a real dud, played like a friendly bear / big brother type, rather than capturing the force of his rough-and-tumble personality and considerable talents. This was especially disappointing since he was (justifiably given their long history,) the only substantial MM character.

Most would contend it's still the best bio pic made on Elvis, and while that is a low bar to clear, it says something about how hard it is to do Elvis justice. Especially to those around here who will pick anything apart if it has anything less to slavish accuracy to the slightest insignificant detail, or object to unfortunate production necessities such as using an impersonator for the singing - while missing things like an excellent, career-defining performance from our man Kurt.

Also, I have always had a fascination with both comic impersonations and more dramatic actor portrayals of media icons. So when Kurt Russell, whose family drive-in fodder Disney movies I grew up on, IMO hit it out of the park, (even one as close to Elvis, and opinionated as Sonny West thinks he was great,) yeah, I was pretty much fascinated with the whole thing. Sorry if you find that lame. No wait, I'm not. I mispoke. But anyway, thanks for the cheap shot, however predictable given that all Elvis portrayals are polarizing around here, of insinuating I have bad taste based on my personal anecdote about a single flick. You stay classy!

On a different, less argumentitive note, I recently read Elvis What Happened for the first time in full (I've only picked it up to read passages before,) and I was surprised to see how many anecdotes and depictions of dialogue were translated nearly word for word into the screenplay for the TV movie. Seriously, parts of it read like a novelization of the movie. I'm really surprised there was no lawsuit from the publishers or Dunleavy. (I suspect the Wests and Hebler were wary of any more controversy over the whole endeavor. Mention of this may start another debate about the trio's collective moral character, if so, have at it, but it's not my intention to go into any of that.)
Last edited by Brian In Atlanta on Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:41 am, edited 6 times in total.

Re: Was Kurt Russell the voice of Elvis in Forrest Gump?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:53 am

I might remember wrong because it's been a long time since I've seen it but the movie skips around a lot.

One minute Elvis is recording a song and then they skip and next thing you know he's going to the hospital to see Priscilla after she gave birth.

Without any prior mention of Priscilla being pregnant.

If the movie didn't skip around like that I would probably have enjoyed it more.

The movie had the best cast and best director of any biopic on Elvis but it feels that for all their pedigree that the movie could have been so much more.

I'm surprised that John Carpenter decided to do a t.v. movie as his follow up to Halloween.

Re: Was Kurt Russell the voice of Elvis in Forrest Gump?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:00 am

brian wrote:I might remember wrong because it's been a long time since I've seen it but the movie skips around a lot.

One minute Elvis is recording a song and then they skip and next thing you know he's going to the hospital to see Priscilla after she gave birth.

Without any prior mention of Priscilla being pregnant.

If the movie didn't skip around like that I would probably have enjoyed it more.

The movie had the best cast and best director of any biopic on Elvis but it feels that for all their pedigree that the movie could have been so much more.

I'm surprised that John Carpenter decided to do a t.v. movie as his follow up to Halloween.


Cramming all the important events and developments of a life as packed as Elvis' into a few hours of film is always a near impossible task, and the bio's that try hardest to cover all the significant moments end up being the clunkiest ones, filled with expository dialogue, and making for a superficial, greatest hits treatment, rather than an intimate portrayal of what it might have been like to actually BE that person. In the case of Priscilla giving birth, does that really need to be set up with something so common (even mundane) as a pregnancy announcement? I think the appearance of a baby is all we need to see. Surely suddenly seeing them with a newborn daughter was a jarring development for very few viewers.

Re: Was Kurt Russell the voice of Elvis in Forrest Gump?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:10 am

Brian In Atlanta wrote:
brian wrote:I might remember wrong because it's been a long time since I've seen it but the movie skips around a lot.

One minute Elvis is recording a song and then they skip and next thing you know he's going to the hospital to see Priscilla after she gave birth.

Without any prior mention of Priscilla being pregnant.

If the movie didn't skip around like that I would probably have enjoyed it more.

The movie had the best cast and best director of any biopic on Elvis but it feels that for all their pedigree that the movie could have been so much more.

I'm surprised that John Carpenter decided to do a t.v. movie as his follow up to Halloween.


Cramming all the important events and developments of a life as packed as Elvis' into a few hours of film is always a near impossible task, and the bio's that try hardest to cover all the significant moments end up being the clunkiest ones, filled with expository dialogue, and making for a superficial, greatest hits treatment, rather than an intimate portrayal of what it might have been like to actually BE that person. In the case of Priscilla giving birth, does that really need to be set up with something so common and perfunctory as a pregnancy announcement? I think the appearance of a baby is all we need to see. Surely suddenly seeing them with a newborn daughter was a jarring development for very few viewers.


I criticize it because it made for a very disjointed movie.

Not everything needs to be covered and that's not my complaint.

It's the execution of it that breaks the movie and I dislike jumbled movies.

They didn't have to jump around like that.

Re: Was Kurt Russell the voice of Elvis in Forrest Gump?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:32 am

I criticize it because it made for a very disjointed movie.

Not everything needs to be covered and that's not my complaint.

It's the execution of it that breaks the movie and I dislike jumbled movies.

They didn't have to jump around like that.[/quote]


I guess I don't understand in what way you found it particularly disjointed or jumbled. It seems to me the life events were presented in a pretty accurate chronological order (except of course for the Vegas performance framing device,) but maybe that's not what you mean either. I can't think of a way in which I see the movie as jumping around that doesn't also apply basically to every other career spanning bio pic, or even a full life story of a fictional character. As far as disjointed, I felt it had pretty clear through-lines: humble beginnings; rise to fame; complications of relationships, career, emotional dysfunction, and related soul searching; and finally resolution in career comeback that returns him, somewhat full circle, to his core passions. I thought each of these were developed - though not with masterful brilliance - at least with competence and consistency. Open to considering how you see it otherwise.

Re: Was Kurt Russell the voice of Elvis in Forrest Gump?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 6:03 am

It's not that it jumped around it's the way it did it.

I would have to watch the movie with you and show you what I mean.

Re: Was Kurt Russell the voice of Elvis in Forrest Gump?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 6:23 am

brian wrote:It's not that it jumped around it's the way it did it.

I would have to watch the movie with you and show you what I mean.


Who brings the popcorn?

Re: Was Kurt Russell the voice of Elvis in Forrest Gump?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:20 pm

Brian In Atlanta wrote: thanks for the cheap shot..........of insinuating I have bad taste based on my personal anecdote about a single flick.

Made you think, huh.


Brian In Atlanta wrote:You stay classy!

Bit rude!


Brian In Atlanta wrote:On a different, less argumentitive note, I recently read Elvis What Happened for the first time in full (I've only picked it up to read passages before,) and I was surprised to see how many anecdotes and depictions of dialogue were translated nearly word for word into the screenplay for the TV movie. Seriously, parts of it read like a novelization of the movie.

Well, I haven't seen the movie as many times as you buddy, just the once for me. But, from what I remember, you're right.

Re: Was Kurt Russell the voice of Elvis in Forrest Gump?

Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:10 am

What's interesting is that Elvis "actors" have been "doing Kurt" rather than Elvis since 1979. It's true.
It was a big, huge TV event at the time and creamed everything else in the ratings.

So, the only reason for doubt would be that. That so many who think they're "doing Elvis" are actually doing Kurt.

That said, sounds like him.

rjm

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Re: Was Kurt Russell the voice of Elvis in Forrest Gump?

Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:45 am

A great movie that I must revisit now

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