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Elvis Meets Nixon

Elvis Meets Nixon
File:Elvis Meets Nixon (1997) Movie Poster.jpg
Elvis Meets Nixon movie poster
Directed by Allan Arkush
Produced by Alan Rosen; Robert O'Connor (executive producer); Vicky Herman, Peter Pastorelli (line producers)
Written by Alan Rosen
Starring Rick Peters
Bob Gunton
Alyson Court
Denny Doherty
Jackie Burroughs
Curtis Armstrong
Gabriel Hogan
Robbi Jay Thuet
Cinematography Michael Storey
Edited by Neil Mandelberg
Country United States
Language English

Elvis Meets Nixon is 1997 film directed by Allan Arkush and starring Rick Peters, Bob Gunton, and Alyson Court. It is an embellished account of the true story of American singer Elvis Presley meeting President Richard Nixon on December 21, 1970.


Nixon and Presley actually meet on December 21, 1970 as shown by these photos. However the meeting was kept secret until Jan. 27, 1972, when the Washington Post broke the story.[1]

Copies of this photo are requested from the National Archives more than any other image.[2]
Elvis Presley, bored with his confined existence in Graceland, leaves his home on his own for the first time since he was 21. He winds up in California and is convinced by an Anti-war activist that he is responsible for the counterculture through his influence on The Beatles. This convinces Elvis to write a letter to President Nixon asking to be made a "Federal Agent at Large" for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. No such position actually exists, but Nixon, wanting desperately to win over the youth of America, which he views as hating him, decides to meet with Elvis in an attempt to improve his image with the "kids".


{Michael Winawer as Michael Presley son of elvis presley }james Sutherland As James presley brother of elvis presley


The plot of the film, although exaggerated in parts for comedic effect, is actually based on real events and is quite accurate in its telling.

On December 19, 1970, Presley was confronted by his wife, Priscilla, and his father, Vernon, over his spending habits.[3] Angered by their confrontation, Presley left Graceland and made his way to the airport, boarding a flight to Washington D.C.[3] After checking in at the Hotel Washington, Presley flew to Los Angeles to meet his friend, Jerry Schilling.[3]
File:Page one of Elvis Presley's letter to President Nixon.jpg
Page one of Elvis Presley's letter to President Nixon

Due to an allergic reaction Presley experienced from a medication for an eye infection, aggravated by chocolate that he ate on the plane, a rash had developed on his face and neck.[3] After seeing a doctor and getting some sleep, Presley informed Schilling that he wanted to return to Washington D.C., and arranged for another friend, Sonny West, to meet them.[3] On the flight Presley met California senator George Murphy.[3] Presley showed an interest in acquiring a Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs badge, and Murphy suggested that Presley write to President Nixon offering his services to help combat illicit drug use.[3] Presley wrote a letter on the plane and hand delivered it to the White House at 6.30am on December 21.[3]

A few hours later Presley visited the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs headquarters in Washington D.C., meeting with Deputy Director John Finlator.[3] He was unsuccessful in persuading Finlator to give him a BNDD badge. Schilling received a call at the hotel from Egil Krogh, President Nixon's deputy counsel, to arrange a meeting between Presley and Nixon.[3] After picking up Schilling and West from the hotel, Presley made his way to the White House. All three met with Nixon and received gifts. Presley persuaded Nixon to give him a BNDD badge, and after an official photograph was taken, the trio left, with Presley returning to Graceland the following day.[3]

On December 30, Presley returned to Washington D.C. with a few friends to visit the National Sheriffs Association head office.[3] The next day they were given a tour of FBI headquarters, where Presley offered his services as an undercover agent.[3] Despite never getting to meet FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, Presley did receive a letter from him on January 4, 1971, acknowledging his offer of assistance.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Lucas, Dean (2007). "Famous Pictures Magazine - Elvis meets Nixon". Famous Pictures Magazine. Retrieved 2007-07-15. 
  2. ^ Bainbridge, Luke (October 13, 2007). "The Guardian - The ten right-wing rockers". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Guralnick, Peter (1999). Elvis: Day by Day. Ballantine Books Inc. pp. 285–287. ISBN 978-0-345-42089-3. 

External links