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The Wessex Wire

The Wessex Wire

ARTS COMMENTARY: “Priscilla” reveals the dark side of Elvis Presley

Priscilla and Elvis eventually separate after controversy with love and fame.
Photo obtained from IMDb
Priscilla and Elvis eventually separate after controversy with love and fame.

Society’s obsession with Elivs Presley reigns on as the new hit movie, “Priscilla,” reaches audiences across the globe. On Oct. 27, Priscilla Presley and Sandra Harmon’s book “Elvis and Me” came to life, showing fans the development, marriage and divorce of icons Elvis and Priscilla Presley.

Throughout the course of the movie, viewers can see how Elvis and Priscilla met during his deployment in Germany and how his trip back home impacted their relationship. It shares intimate details about the trials and tribulations of being in love while in the spotlight and eventually shows the downfall of their marriage. Some parts of the movie are no shock to viewers, highlighting familiar pieces of history of the beloved Presley’s, but other scenes reveal a previously unseen, very disturbing side of Elvis. 

The first scene of the movie features Priscilla, played by Cailee Spaeny, sitting at the counter at a local restaurant in Germany when approached by a soldier who asks her if she wants to meet Elvis Presley (Jacob Elordi). Upon convincing her parents to let her go, Priscilla attends a party at Presley’s house, marking the first time the twomeet. She was 14, he was 24. It has since been said that Presley would send out his friends to find young girls in Germany and invite them to his parties. Their first encounter was rather innocent, yet dangerously intentional and predatory. Elvis knew Priscilla was only a Freshman in high school, yet still seeked her attention; they continued to see each other throughout her highschool years.

As their relationship pushes forward, one scene shows Elvis dropping Priscilla off at her home and before her departure, he hands her a pill to take before she goes to bed. This introduces just the beginnings of Elvis’ drug problems and his poor judgment in giving the young Priscilla pills. The first time Elvis flies Priscilla back to the US to visit him, he gives her another pill, this time, putting her to sleep for 2 days. Priscilla was still in high school. 

Elvis’ drug problem might have been prominent during his days in the media, but Priscilla’s exposure to substances at such a young age is often overlooked. Throughout their marriage, Priscilla falls victim to Elvis’ substance abuse and eventually loses the person she knew as a father and as a husband entirely to the effects of drugs. The repercussions of this proved detrimental for Priscilla and their daughter Lisa Marie, who also at times experienced violence and negligence from Elvis. 

As Elvis continued to grow as a music sensation, his travels often required him to stay away from home and away from Priscilla for long periods of time. In these times, it was not uncommon for scandals and rumors to circulate of infidelity. In the movie, Priscilla would find newspaper clippings and letters of Elvis’ relations with other women. When asked about them, Elvis would erratically dismiss Priscilla. It became a common occurrence, one that Priscilla had to live with: sharing her husband with other women. 

At the end of the movie, Priscilla finally leaves Elvis. There was no happy ending or positive reunitement because that’s simply not how their story went. Elvis was beloved, he was talented and broke the music barriers of his time, but “Priscilla” underlines some of his true colors, the ones that were often blurred by his stardom. 

 

Behind the Byline
Gabby Angelo, Editor in Chief
Gabrielle Angelo, but you can call her Gabby, is an Editor in Chief for the 2023-2024 Wessex Wire. She enjoys spending time down the shore swimming in the ocean, eating ice cream and watching the sunsets, and loves anything  "The Vampire Diaries" related! On the weekends you can find her hanging out with friends and family making core memories.  
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