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“A Star Is Born”—With Elvis Presley?

October 8, 2018

Everyone is talking about the remake of A Star Is Born and for good reason.  At this moment in time the move has earned $44.255 million in North America and $57 million worldwide.  And it has, according to the critics, Oscar written all over the film.

But as the movie is now making headlines my mind went over the decades to the time the original film was being talked about, and in production.  At that time it was not only Barbara Streisand who was making news about the film.

There was also Elvis Presley.

For those who have seen the 1976 version of A Star is Born--and that likely includes a wide swath of my readers–will know the character of John Norman Howard is clearly based on an Elvis-like character.  The fame, the women, and the difficulties of life in the limelight.

According to Elvis’ former bodyguard-friend Red West, the King absolutely wanted to do the movie and was excited about it.  Elvis was looking for a way to rejuvenate his career.  He had a hit three years previous to the film idea with the classic song Burning Love.  But time was ticking away and he needed to make another splash.

But Elvis–at the end of the day–turned away the movie idea.  Some claim it was due to billing as he did not want to play a secondary role in the film.  Others contend he did not want to make a film that his daughter, at some point, would see and perhaps not be comfortable with every scene.

There are also the haters of Col. Tom Parker, Elvis’ manager, who is claimed to have killed the deal as it would have made the singer harder to keep under his thumb.

The Colonel asked the film’s producers, Jon Peters and Streisand herself, for one million dollars upfront.  Instead, they offered “points”, a percentage, a far better deal in the long run.  The answer from Parker was no.


One Comment
  1. T.L. permalink
    November 4, 2018 8:34 AM

    I had no idea about this. Now I have one more reason to play trivia night!

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