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Elvis On 8 mm / Super 8

 

By Gerrit De Jong
 
 
01c There is no ‘Once upon a time’ in this story because Super 8, Single 8 and the Small film had been around for a very long time. It was in the early 60′s that pre-recorded reels of film were made available to the general public, which almost always were classic comedies (Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy, Keaton, etc.), or cartoons from Disney and alike.
 
Our story becomes interesting from the mid 1970′s when the first Elvis Presley movies were released in the Super 8 (Small Film) format.
 
In the 70′s and early 80′s, Super 8 was the way to have a home cinema experience.
Indeed, a far cry from today’s oversized flatscreen tv’s and beamers …

 

Collecting Elvis on those 60, 90, 120, 180 and 240 meter reels isn’t easy, but it’s very rewarding! Before I’ll fill you in on what’s out there, it’s important to know that the Super 8 Elvis collector makes use of three categories:
* The 1st category are the ‘Common’ releases which can be anything from movies, tv shows to trailers.
* The 2nd category are the ‘Bootlegs’ which also contain the above subjects.
* The 3rd and last category are the ‘Home Movies’: personal movies shot by fans of our main man, like during concerts.

 
 

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Ken Films G.I. Blues Ken Films Blue HawaiiThe 1st category were the releases made for the general public that could be either rented or bought.
 
In 1976 Ken Films in the USA obtained the rights to many Hal Wallis productions including four Elvis titles which were released in 1977 as abridged versions (17 minutes per film).
 
These first four were:
Blue Hawaii
G.I Blues
Fun In Acapulco
Girls! Girls! Girls!

Ken Films Girls! Girls! Girls! Ken Films Fun In Acapulco
ken logo

 
 

Ken Films catalog 1978 Ken Films K-Mart ad 1977

LEFT:
A flyer (1977) from Ken Films advertising their 4 new Elvis movies on Super 8.

 
 
 
 
 

RIGHT:
K-Mart advertisement for “four classic Elvis films in sound and color” (1977).

 
 
 

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Inter-Pathe 1979c Ken Films - Inter-Pathe flyerIn Europe, around the same time, Inter-Pathé from Germany also released these 4 titles, a few months later followed by the German speaking versions of these films.
 
But Inter-Pathé did more:
they released a two-reeler version of King Creole as well as abridged versions of Roustabout and Paradise Hawaiian Style.
And also the 68 Comeback became available (as Elvis Presley Singer-Show 68).

 
 
 

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Derann King Creole front Viacom in the USA, and Derann in the UK, then released the complete versions of the movies King Creole, G.I Blues, Blue Hawaii, Girls! Girls! Girls!, Fun In Acapulco, Roustabout and Paradise, Hawaiian Style.
Although the Viacom and Derran releases were identical, the Viacom versions had a more clearer sound and were printed on better film material which meant that the colours of the Derann prints started to fade to reddish over the years.
 
Derann No More

Derann, shortly thereafter, released countless 60 and 90 meter reels containing just a movie-song or trailer, most of which were released with a standard cover and under the title Elvis At The Movies, including No More and Can’t Help Falling In Love from Blue Hawaii.

 
 
 

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1975 full page ad 1977 full page ad

Two full-page advertisements from Viacom in the USA.
 
In the left one (from 1975) Viacom states that big money can be made off the 5 Elvis Presley movies they own.
And by the time the ad to the right (from 1977) was printed, Viacom had released their (now 7) Elvis movies as complete versions on 8mm.

 
 
 

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Viacom King Creole compleet Inter-Pathe King Creole compleet

LEFT:
A German imported version of the Viacom release, from the USA, of King Creole on 5 reels.

 
 
 
 
 
 

RIGHT:
The official German Inter-Pathé release of the same movie.

 
 

Viacom Roustabout 02 Viacom Roustabout 01

RIGHT:
The Movie Money 1 x 400 version (of a Viacom print) of Roustabout.

 
 
 
 
 
 

BELOW:
The Movie Money 1 x 400 reel of Paradise, Hawaiian Style, in both the original and Spanish language version.

Viacom Paradise 01 Viacom Paradise 02 Viacom Paradise French

 
 
 

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Derann Tickle Me 4x400Then came Tickle Me, the first non-Paramount movie to see the light of day. But the quality was very poor and although released in a 4 reels version, it was far from complete.
 
Derann Tickle Me 400 front

 
 

Derann Songs From Tickle Me front Derann Songs From Tickle Me backDerran also released a Songs From Tickle Me 120 meter reel which was far more enjoyable and even better in sound quality.
 
 
 
 
 
Derann logo

 
 
 

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Universal8 Change Of HabitParadise, Hawaiian Style (with the Girls! Girls! Girls! cover), together with Roustabout, was once more released, this time in many different language variations. A simple sticker on the cover (denoting the specific language) was the only difference in the covers of these two 120 meter reels.
 
Towards the end of the Super 8 era, there were 4 fantastic releases that did very well with the fans.
 
First there was the abridged version of Change Of Habit, released by Universal (1980).
 
U8 logo

 
 

UFA Viva Las Vegas 3 teilen front UFA Viva Las Vegas 3 teilen backThen came the hit movie Viva Las Vegas, released in Germany by UFA (1981), who also released Elvis The Movie (entitled Elvis The King).
Derann’s final release was an abridged version of Elvis The Movie which focuses on the concert part of the movie.
 
UFA logo

 
 
 

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Stay tuned for more Elvis on Super 8 … SOON!

 
 
 

21 Comments Post a comment
  1. Erik Straver #

    Great to read, Gerrit. Looking forward to the rest !

    September 9, 2013
  2. Jans #

    Never knew much about these 8mm films.
    Thanks for the info.

    September 9, 2013
  3. Kara Grant #

    Just wondering a price range on Elvis Super 8 G.I. Blues and Change Of Habit. Thank you.

    September 26, 2013
    • Gerrit De Jong #

      At the time of their release they were about 45 dollars for these 17 minute reels, today with the internet and all they should go for less, but then its important to know about the quality (reddish or scratched) … Hope this helps.

      September 26, 2013
  4. Peter #

    Do you want to trade? I have got lots of super 8 films category 3 (unique concert footage, unseen).
    Let me know.

    October 19, 2013
    • Gerrit De Jong #

      If its on super 8 reels (not video) I am always interested, dont know if my wallet is though :-)

      October 19, 2013
  5. Kjell #

    Hi, I have a old super 8 concert footage from a Cow Palace show … it’s kinda cool, my grandmother filmed it from a few rows back, I remember watching these movies as a kid, and I’m not sure but I think you can see when Elvis hands her a scarf. I have the scarf too … and a few pics of him in an elevator with the negatives … pretty cool.

    December 25, 2013
  6. Gerrit De Jong #

    Kjell, what you have is something I would put in the 3rd Category … This super 8 material is so hard to put any value on, these items are as you put it Cool! … Would love to find these gems under my Christmas tree :-) … Treasure it Kjell, it dont get any better than that … WOW.

    December 26, 2013
  7. mf2014 #

    Excellent findings! Never seen before. Thank you for showing us!

    EDIT: also thanks to Bob-Holland for his excellent view on FECC ‘drjohncarpenter’.

    April 10, 2014
  8. Gerrit de Jong #

    Great full page adds Bob … fantastic!

    April 17, 2014
  9. Christian #

    Found an old unsealed Super 8 Elvis Fun In Acapulco from my grandpa’s items in the storage, it still has a price tag of $30.
    Just asking how much is it in todays value.

    July 25, 2014
    • Gerrit de Jong #

      Depends on the quality Christian. My guess is that you have the one reel abridged version? $30 comes real close.

      July 26, 2014
  10. Gerrit de Jong #

    Over the last weekend the Super 8 versions of the Hawaiin Special, Steve Allen Show and the NBC special (all made by Red Fox) were delivered to me by a smiling postman…..maybe its something to go into in an UPDATE

    September 22, 2014
  11. Naomi #

    Nice website Gerrit!! You are great.
    Regards,
    Naomi

    September 24, 2014
    • Gerrit de Jong #

      Naomi, credit goes to Bob as this is his site.
      Glad you like the Super 8 Topic!

      September 24, 2014
  12. Johnny #

    Great job on this topic my friend!

    September 24, 2014
  13. Nice work, keep it up.

    P.S.
    I am also a collector of super 8 sound movies.
    also have some movies of Elvis Presley.
    There’s nothing like an analogue home cinema.

    May 4, 2015
    • Gerrit de Jong #

      Hi Fred, always nice to meet a Super 8mm collector!

      May 5, 2015
  14. Back in 1969-70 there was a 8mm 3-4 minutes silent home movie of Elvis on
    stage in Chicago, 1957, black & white, available thru mail-order in the USA.
    I know, because I bought a copy at the time. Snippets of this film can be seen
    in This Is Elvis, labeled as “Police film”, which it wasn’t imo. The same company
    in California also had a long list of Stones & Beatles in concert 8mm for sale…

    Gerrit, are you gonna focus on the 1957 Elvis home movie one day soon? And
    shouldn’t this have been mentioned in your introduction being the first known
    commercial 8mm Elvis home movie?

    June 18, 2015
    • Gerrit de Jong #

      Ger, as there are three categories in this super 8mm topic, the above deals with the factory made super 8mm reels. The mail order thing that really took off in 1974 (when the market on super 8mm focused more and more on super 8 (single 8mm too) for home viewing, some clever fellows with expensive equipment made own home movies and sold them via mail order and on demand.
      I recently found paper work dealing with titles such as Hy Gardner Calling, Steve Allen Comedy Round Up, 1972 Press Conference, trailers for Charro, Stay Away, Joe and more, live concert material including Pitsburgh, Elvis In Concert, and much much more, even silent footage of Aloha songs. These are not factory made Super 8 reels but what I call second category (Bootlegged films). The 57 film is from those small companies who made these on demand and asked high prices.
      A company that stands out on this all is RED FOX, they made a lot of films in a professional style. I recently found a lot of these.

      June 23, 2015
  15. Gerrit De Jong #

    Hey friends…here`s a little update…..I recently picked up a 120 meter reel of Tickle me which I assumed was nothing more then the old SONGS FROM TICKLE ME in a slightly different cover as it has the same cover of the 4 reel version I felt something was wrong with the in scripted code on the film…I gave it a watch and I was right…..its an 17 minute abridged version of the complete movie… I did not knew about this release and to make things complete I gave it a mention right here.

    July 21, 2016

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