Elvis on 8 mm / Super 8
By Gerrit De Jong
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.
The 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 (17 minute) versions.
These first four were:
Fun In Acapulco
Girls! Girls! Girls!
A flyer from Ken Films advertising their 4 new Elvis movies on Super 8 (1977).
K-Mart ad for “four classic Elvis films in sound and color” (1977).
In 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).
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, 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.
Two full-page Viacom ads.
To the left (from 1975) Viacom states that big money can be made off the 5 Elvis Presley movies they own.
By the time the 1977 ad to the right was printed, Viacom had released their (now 7) Elvis movies as complete versions on 8mm.
A German imported version of the Viacom release, from the USA, of King Creole on 5 reels.
The official German Inter-Pathé release of the same movie.
The Movie Money 1 x 400 version (of a Viacom print) of Roustabout.
The Movie Money 1 x 400 reel of Paradise, Hawaiian Style, in both the original and Spanish language version.
Then 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.
Derran also released a Songs From Tickle Me 120 meter reel which was far more enjoyable and even better in sound quality.
Paradise, 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).
Then 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.
Stay tuned for more Elvis on Super 8 … SOON!
Great to read, Gerrit. Looking forward to the rest !
Never knew much about these 8mm films.
Thanks for the info.
Just wondering a price range on Elvis Super 8 G.I. Blues and Change Of Habit. Thank you.
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.
Do you want to trade? I have got lots of super 8 films category 3 (unique concert footage, unseen).
Let me know.
If its on super 8 reels (not video) I am always interested, dont know if my wallet is though :-)
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.
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.
Excellent findings! Never seen before. Thank you for showing us!
EDIT: also thanks to Bob-Holland for his excellent view on FECC ‘drjohncarpenter’.
Great full page ads Bob … fantastic!
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.
Depends on the quality Christian. My guess is that you have the one reel abridged version? $30 comes real close.
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
Nice website Gerrit!! You are great.
Naomi, credit goes to Bob as this is his site.
Glad you like the Super 8 Topic!
Great job on this topic my friend!
Nice work, keep it up.
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.
Hi Fred, always nice to meet a Super 8mm collector!
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?
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.
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 as the 4 reel version I felt something was wrong with the inscripted code on the film. I gave it a watch and I was right, it’s a 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.
I have one movie 8 mm with Elvis on four reels and want to
know how attractive these movies are today. I shall search
on Ebay if there are any for sale…..
I have a set of 4 super 8 reels, “Elvis in Concert, Aloha from Hawaii” packaged in a brown box labelled Regent Films and distributed by Red Fox Inc.
I’m looking for a valuation. Any advice?
Try the on-line auctioneers. It’s really difficult for a fan to value such items. Hope this was helpful.
As Robert said, condition is very important. The brown Red Fox box is the original one. Aloha is clearly filmed from a video. My Red Fox versions cost me around 75 dollar. Aloha and that one did not had any fading or reddish.
Very interesting site you have here.
I recently found an Elvis film, GI Blues, it seems to be super 8 but it is over three reels? Can anyone tell me who made it over 3 reels?
I think it was re-edited to three reels because all the versions of Derran, Pathé and Viacom are all 5 reelers.
Why do these films go redish, and can one still find any that are of normal color? (they are still fun to run and play with)
The stock Elvis films ( or pre 1983 films) are not of the highest quality… The Viacom and Derran versions are turning red very quickly… When projecting try a light blue screen, it helps a bit… The Red Fox super 8 films keep their quality as my alpha and Comeback reels are still in excellent condition
Tambem tenho um filme super 8 de Elvis Presley sonoro lingua ingles com o nome TICKLE ME.
Manuel Martins filme completo e com historia.
There are 3 different tickle me versions… Version 1 is a 3/4 parts but slightly edited one… Version 2 is a edited one on 1 reel and de 3rd version is the songs of Tickle Me.
Manuel… There are 3 different tickle me versions… A 4 reeler almost complete one… A 1 reel edited one and the songs of reel
Thanks for this helpful overview of Elvis on 8mm.
Just one comment I’d like to make on Derann’s Tickle Me. I have a WEBSHOP for super 8 collectors, and I just acquired the four-part release of Tickle Me. Both the image quality and the colour of this copy are very good. It may be that the print you saw was from another run, and was printed on a different film stock. For the most part, the brand and type of film stock determine how well colour is preserved over time. My print is on Fuji, which usually holds up colour very well. So while it’s true that the Viacom editions turn red quickly (these are usually printed on Eastman stock), for the Derann editions it depends on the film stock used.
Keep up the good work and best regards,
Thanks for the compliment and also for keeping Super 8 alive with your webpage.
This is a really interesting site and I wonder of any of you might be able to help me identify a 8mm reel I came across?
I bought a box of assorted 8mm reels and some projector equipment at an auction recently. At the bottom of the box in a plastic bag was a 7″ 8mm reel with a handwritten label that says “Jailhouse Rock B/W, £100” (looks like it was probably written in ’70s perhaps judging by appearance). There’s no other identifying features or ‘official’ labels on it.
Was Jailhouse Rock ever released on 8mm or is this likely to be a bootleg do you think?
Many thanks for any help you can offer.
It is been bootlegged just like versions of That’s The Way It Is and Elvis on Tour, I think it was made on demand by Red Fox films
So busy with the forthcoming book on 8mm Elvis but I think its just about coming together If anyone has anything please contact me to fill the gaps .
I have 2 x 600 reels of ‘That’s The Way It Is’. Totally watchable with excellent sound, some wear here and there.
Any idea of value, cant find one to compare to.
The That’s the way it is reels (original 6 reels) we’re bootleged
Late 1970’s together with Elvis on Tour and Jailhouse Rock and on unfortunate on low stock film. Some extreme red coloring appears on many copies….
The value depends on these factors, by the way, I am looking for the That’s the way it is to complete my collection ( I even have an 68 comeback TV special to trade with…
Hope I helped a bit
New book, “Elvis On 8mm”, will be available January 23, 2023
Elvis continutes to sell well on Super 8.
Thanks for the compliment.
Hi Gerrit, I was wondering if you could help me. I recently acquired two Elvis Super 8 reels as part of an auction. One is in the King Creole Pink box (as shown on this page) and the other is in a plain (faded) White box. Now the trouble is that both reels themselves are labelled ‘Jailhouse Rock’ B/W 1 & 2. So did Jailhouse Rock Super 8 come as 2 reels and maybe one of the reels has been put in a King Creole box by mistake? I have no projector to tell either. Thanks in advance.
Jailhouse Rock came as a six-parter.
Not sure as to what pink box you are talking about (the one with movie poster artwork, or the Inter Pathe one?) but Inter Pathe did an abridged two-parter, so it could be labeled by mistake, or maybe you have 2 parts of the Jailhouse Rock six-parter.
Sorry if this does not help you.
Right. 6 parts. Looks like I only have 2 then which ever film it is. Yes, the King Creole box on the bottom right that you have in your top image on this page is the box, but it’s labelled in pen as Jailhouse Rock. Maybe I need to find someone with a projector.