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On December 21, 1970, President Richard Nixon met lvis Presley. The former for a photo-op, which has become the most requested photo from the National Archives, and an autograph for his daughter Julie. Elvis wanted a special badge as an ‘agent at large' to go undercover, after the communist Beatles and the teenage liberal druggies but really so he could carry concealed weapons, and drugs, wherever he wanted.
Without imitating him but wearing the clothes, bling and hair, including huge mutton chops, of Elvis Presley, Michael Shannon sort of throws you off at first but wins you over without you knowing just when that takes place. Kevin Spacey nails Nixon’s jowls, way of talking, his neck disappearing into his shoulders and, in a weird way, shows the Nixon we will see 4 years later.
The screenplay by Joey Sagal, Hanala Sagal and Cary Elwes takes what was supposed to be a 5 minute meeting and turned into 30 minutes and, along with director Liza Johnson, make an 87 minute movie with a little padding but a lot of irony, satire and a couple of laughs.
With a supporting cast of Alex Pettyfer playing Elvis’s best friend Jerry Schilling, along with Sonny, played by Johnny Knoxville, another friend of Elvis, and Colin Hanks as Egil Krough along with Evan Peters as Dwight Chapin, both Nixon’s aides add solid support. Tate Donovan as H.R. Donovan signs the memo recommending the meeting with “You must be kidding!” in the margin, which actually happened, and Tracy Letts as a DEA official who finds the whole thing of Elvis wanting the special badge as ludicrous add to the reality.
The actual meeting between Elvis and Nixon, whether the truth or not, really ‘makes’ the picture.
I went into “Elvis & Nixon” not expecting much but the movie moved fast, provided a few smiles and was better than a few ‘comedies’ I have seen recently.

Movie trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9x3Z6b0Z1g


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