Review by CYNTHIA BIDDLECOMB
“Elvis and Nixon” is a quirky film telling the “untold true story” behind the most requested photo in the National Archives—President Nixon shaking hands with
The story centers around one day, Dec. 21, 1970. For history buffs and trivia chasers, the details behind that photo will tickle your funny bone.
Elvis (Michael Shannon) is distraught watching the televised riots and rampant drug use among the youth of the nation. He wants the President to deputize him as a special agent to help stem the tide of anarchy. President Richard M. Nixon (perfectly played by Kevin Spacey in one long impersonation) is halfway through his first term and needs a PR boost.
Egil “Bud” Krogh (Colin Hanks) is the President’s liaison with the FBI and the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, so it falls to him to handle the meeting between Nixon and Elvis. Nixon needs convincing to take the time for the requested visit. But Elvis is on a mission.
Two famous men with strangely similar political views, strong egos and equal amounts of paranoia will eventually meet in the Oval Office. For that meeting to take place the staff people for each of them must help pave the way. Getting there is half the fun. The other half is the strange conversation during the meeting itself, notably missing from the Nixon tapes. The whole story is odd but true.
Rater “R” for some language, the movie might not interest those who don’t know anything about Elvis (or about Nixon for that matter). For those who do, it will be
entertaining, at the very least. The funniest scene for me was of two Elvis impersonators encountering the real Elvis on a plane and telling him the ways in which his impersonation was wrong.