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‘Elvis and Nixon’, A New Movie About The Day The King Met The President


The most requested photo


At the beginning of last summer, I received an invitation to see a preview of an intriguing movie, ‘Elvis and Nixon’. I receive a lot of these invites for unreleased movies, this is Hollywood after all, and they need an audience to pre-approve their films. I got at a studio located between Santa Monica and Melrose for the screening, I even filled out some papers asking me to be quiet about the movie I was about to see – what? I could not even write about it? It seems that I could not at the risk to get one of these Hollywood lawsuits! Then, a few minutes later, they told us the screening was cancelled due to unexplained circumstances… damn, so much mystery!

It turns out that this movie really exists and it will be released on April 15th… may be I will be able to see another preview? Staring Kevin Spacey as Nixon and Michael Shannon as Elvis, the movie apparently focuses on December 21 1970, the day these two characters met … There is a well known photo which documents the meeting and it is apparently the most-requested image among millions stored in the National Archive.

This very bizarre and unexpected encounter has inspired this new movie. For some reason, Elvis used to travel with some guns and his collection of police badges, and he really wanted a badge from the federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. ‘With the federal narcotics badge, he [believed he] could legally enter any country both wearing guns and carrying any drugs he wished,’ wrote Priscilla Presley in her memoir, ‘Elvis and Me’.

Elvis decided he could meet Nixon and asked him for a badge. He wrote a letter to the president trying to convince him he could ‘be of any service that I can to help the country out’. ‘I will be here for as long as it takes to get the credentials of a federal agent,’ he wrote to Nixon, and the meeting took place. The conversation was not recorded but Nixon aide Egil “Bud” Krogh took some notes… According to the Smithsonian magazine, you can find these crazy declarations among these notes:

‘Presley indicated that he thought the Beatles had been a real force for anti-American spirit. The President then indicated that those who use drugs are also those in the vanguard of anti-American protest.’

And the meeting went so well that Elvis received his narc badge. 18 years later, he died of a drug overdose.

The movie seems to focus on this surrealistic meeting, and watching the trailer below, the whole thing looks like a comedy, at least it has the tone, just look at all these guns Elvis had kept under his giant gold belt!


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