The “Elvis” Movie Is All Right

Steve Bloom
4 min readJul 6, 2022
Austin Butler swaggers in “Elvis.”

Arthur Crudup’s “That’s All Right Mama” is the theme song to Baz Luhrmann’s fabulous Elvis biopic currently in theaters. It’s played numerous times, signaling Presley’s connection to his Mississippi rhythm & blues roots. The versions at the start and end bookend the life and times of America’s most famous rock & roll singer.

Presley’s dad went to jail after passing a bad check in 1938. Short of money, his mother moved with Elvis to the Black part of Tupelo where rents were cheaper. Soon Elvis is sneaking into tent revival meetings and peering into dark blues clubs where guitarists like Crudup (played by Gary Clark Jr.) take snaky solos as women and men hold on tight in sexy dance poses.

This exposure powers through young Elvis like radio waves. When he sings, he can‘t but shake his legs. At his first gig at the Louisiana Hayride in 1954, Elvis’ gyrations on stage drive the white women wild, but eventually get him arrested for disorderly conduct.

Austin Butler inhabits Elvis, like Rami Malek did with Freddie Mercury (in Bohemian Rhapsody) and Chadwick Bozeman with James Brown (in…

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Steve Bloom

I'm a longtime journalist and author with 30+ years covering cannabis. I'm a former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of "Pot Culture.”