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Elvis Presley: The Ed Sullivan Shows: The Performances (1956)

Elvis Presley , N , a  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Elvis Presley
  • Directors: N, a
  • Format: Black & White, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • DVD Release Date: August 4, 2009
  • Run Time: 47 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0029Z8K8S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,901 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Elvis sent shock waves through a repressed nation in 1956 with his soulful singing, wild hip gyrations and raw energy, attracting a record-breaking TV audience of more than 60 million people! Making television history, Presley headlined on the Ed Sullivan show two more times in the next few months, continuing to provoke ecstatic screams in the studio and keeping the country glued to their sets at home. Elvis s stage presence was considered so provocative that he was only filmed from the waist up for his third appearance.

Now for the first time, these legendary performances are collected onto one disc and clearly show why Elvis is the King of Rock and Roll.

Hit songs include:
Don t Be Cruel,
Love Me Tender,
Hound Dog,
Heartbreak Hotel,
Too Much,
When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again,
Peace in the Valley

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History spread over three DVDs November 24, 2006
For those of who weren't born when Elvis struck America, here's the undiluted wonder. You get all three complete Ed Sullivan shows from his early days. You even get the ads for Mercury cars. Besides Elvis, you get to see the rest of Ed's cast of characters. Even that Senor guy who speaks to his hand. What's amazing is that there are so few ad breaks.

The only bummer is that this is each disc only has 1 show. This could have been a 2 DVD set.

A perfect gift for the Elvis lover. Or just someone who wants to watch Ed Sullivan in a non-highlights format.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stop Wondering. The proof is here! December 22, 2006
To all those who wonder why Elvis is called the undisputed King of Rock N Roll, the proof is on these DVD's. Just look at the mundane acts of the day and then there's Elvis bursting onto your TV screen. The world had never seen or heard anyone quite like him before. So he didnt write his songs or play guitar like Hendrix, no one had that voice , that look, or that uniqueness about them - ever! My goodness, just look at the other 1950's performers on these DVD's. Get it? Now get it!
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52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
By J. Lund
The release of this DVD set is important for a number of reasons. As with the Beatles DVD of their 1964-65 Ed Sullivan appearances (available separately), the complete original broadcasts allow the viewer to see legendary performances in the context of what passed for mainstream entertainment back in the day (1956-57 for Elvis, mid-sixties for the Beatles). As such, the impact of these paradigm-busting pop culture legends can be compared and contrasted with the entertainment norms of their respective eras, as opposed to measuring them by ill-fitting contemporary standards. In other words, although neither Elvis nor the Beatles are shocking by today's standards, the high quality of their actual musical performances is what is going to get these DVDs watched repeatedly by most purchasers. By the way, the video and audio restoration (from kinescopes) is remarkably well done.

It would be inaccurate to say that Elvis was not "ready for prime time." given the fact that his Ed Sullivan appearances broke ratings records when they originally aired. Nonetheless, his segments were controversial to the point where he was filmed from the waist up on the third show (not all three, as is sometimes reported). Elvis and his acclaimed original band (guitarist Scotty Moore, bassist Bill Black, and drummer DJ Fontana, plus the Jordanaires on backing vocals) perform well-known hits ("Hound Dog," "Don't Be Cruel," "Love Me Tender," "Ready Teddy," "Too Much," etc.), and even a gospel tune on the "censored" third show ("Peace In The Valley"). Several of these tunes are performed on two or even all three broadcasts.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Earth shaking August 13, 2007
Elvis Presley made no less than nine network television appearances before performing on "The Ed Sullivan Show" the evening of September 9, 1956, but most of America first saw him then. Despite a stiff demeanor and tendency to pronounce show as "shoe," Sullivan was the ringmaster of American entertainment. His Sunday night variety program was an institution in the days when television was still a three channel proposition. Appearing on his show was an important break for any entertainer. It was tantamount to receiving the show business seal of approval.

But Sullivan originally did not approve of Presley and vowed he wouldn't touch the singer with a ten foot pole. Despite selling more records faster than any recording artist in history, Presley was more than hot. He was scorching. The swivel hips that earned him the nickname "Elvis the Pelvis" (which he despised, calling it "childish") and his expressive singing style made him a lightning rod of controversy. One journalist compared his stage act to that of a stripper. However, when Presley appeared on "The Steve Allen Show" which was scheduled opposite Sullivan on Sunday nights, the ratings went through the roof. Sullivan reversed himself and offered Presley a then record $50,000 to make three appearances on his show.

Just how shocking Presley was in 1956 was never apparent in the frequently recycled clips of his performances. Now, thanks to Image Entertainment's 3 disc DVD set, "Elvis: The Ed Sullivan Show," his performances can be seen in their proper context.

Ironically, a car accident prevented Sullivan from being present that first night.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wildly incongruous January 6, 2007
By Phil S.
We've all seen the clips of Elvis on the Sullivan Shows; now we have the complete performances, in context (although the first appearance is not the full Sullivan show). There are three songs from the final show which to my knowledge have never been reshown, so that is probably enough reason for many fans/historians to purchase this set.

There's something mildly disconcerting, however, in watching the change in Elvis over that 3-4 month period. In September, 1956, he seems intent on sustaining musical integrity - the renditions are every bit as good as the records. In late October, with his hair dyed, he seems slightly detached, as if he realizes or senses that with the amazing career rise, the music is now secondary. By January, the image is everything. One of the Jordanaires hands him his guitar, he straps it's just a photo opportunity - harbinger of what was to come later in the movies.

It should be noted, though, that the January show has the lesser known When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again; also, a version of Too Much with some different lyrics (musicologists, can you hear some of Hank Ballard & the Midnighters' Annie's Aunt Fannie on this number?); and, of course, the gospel number Peace In The Valley. It's interesting that about one month earlier he sang this song with his Sun Records friends. Maybe this rendition brought him back to a more peaceful setting.

For the record, there are brief appearances by Jackie Robinson, Sugar Ray Robinson; an energetic Carol Burnett.

Quality is very good, even on the original commercials.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great
Elvis Presley - Ed Sullivan Shows elvis is the best ,, this is a great disk ,thank you very much...ken...
Published 10 months ago by chevy is 1
5.0 out of 5 stars ELVIS AT HIS BEST
Published 14 months ago by J. Steave Conley
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie
Love it! I am trying to get away from the VHS format and to the DVD format in Elvis mories. I wish I could find all of them in DVD format, but I can't.
Published 15 months ago by patsy1
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Young and thin Elvis
He was young, he was thin, and he was good. The recording lacked a lot as did the video, but considering when they were made they were all right!
Published 18 months ago by Don Jenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't be better
Elvis in the 50's shows why everyone else is far behind him. This is a great DVD. He will always be The King.
Published 19 months ago by Arne Metzner
5.0 out of 5 stars The King Still Reigns
As I grew up, I remember watching most of these performances as they aired, enough in 1956 to ask for a record player w/Elvis records and a guitar. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Michael C. Delich
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure and a gifted mind
The documentary made me cry since he was such a gifted giant and his life was cut short. I heard him on the radio in 1956 as a little kid and I recall dancing to his music. Read more
Published on December 29, 2011 by Maddy
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have!
This DVD collection proves why Elvis was and still is The King of Rock n' Roll! The way he performed was unbelievable, nothing compared to any other musical act of his time. Read more
Published on October 3, 2011 by Vivian
5.0 out of 5 stars Pieces of Rock and Roll History!
These appearances were legendary and solidified Elvis' hold on American popular culture. Ed Sullivan originally wanted nothing to do with Elvis, considering him to be too vulgar... Read more
Published on August 31, 2009 by A Fan
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting and Revealing
As a fan of the early Elvis and also an amateur student of pop culture history I really enjoyed watching these DVDs. Read more
Published on April 11, 2009 by J. Slott
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