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Elvis Found Alive

CastCeleste Yarnall, Jon Burrows, Joel Gilbert,
Year released2012
Spoiler alert
Blog entry

Documentary filmmaker Joel Gilbert reaches up to touch a sign: “ELVIS” before he walks past a photo of Elvis Presley. (0:00)

Receptionist Gabriella reads a government document: "Drug Enforcement Agency..."
”You guys are crazy.” (0:05)

Joel reads a bumper sticker: "Reagan... I'm getting very nervous." (0:07)

Joel tells Burrows (actually Elvis Presley), "I'm pretty shocked. I'm pretty shocked to meet you, sir." (0:08)

Joel: "Okay, Mr. Presley, this has been a shocking 24 hours for me..."
Elvis: ”... Offstage I led a secret life as a federal drug enforcement agent...” (0:11)

Subtitle: "Presley may be a drug addict." (0:18)

Joel asks Elvis, "What did you make of the hysteria of the girls, almost a riot at every show?"
Elvis: ”Problem was, mama worried I'd get stabbed. When Mama worried, she drank alcohol.” (0:20)

Theater marquee: "Love Me Tender, The Girl He Left Behind" (0:23)

Elvis, referring to his mother: "... when I was away she drank more and more and mixed it with diet pills combined..."
”... now, Jailhouse Rock was the last straw, ‘cause I was advocating for homosexuality... My going into the army made her even more worried and she drank more... Pretty quick, Mama's liver went out, and she died... Losing mama was the saddest thing that ever happened to me.”
”Well, in Germany, I was worried the whole time about my singing career... mama had worried herself to death on account of me...”
Referring to Debra Paget: ”... she was dating Howard Hughes.”
”... but I still worried... ”
”First picture was G.I. Blues...” (0:24)

Frank Sinatra quote: "Elvis’ music is a rancid aphrodisiac."
Elvis, referring to Juliette Probst: ”She was my co-star in G.I. Blues... I met Charlton Heston... ”
Title: ”Tickle Me
Title: ”Double Trouble
Title: ”Kissin' Cousins
”A blond headed me in Kissin' Cousins...”
”Paramount used it to make Becket for Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton.”
Title: ”Harum Scarum
”Pretty soon, The Beatles were making movies like Help! and A Hard Day's Night, that we're good, and I was doing Girl Happy and Tickle Me... I wasn't surprised when they became a big part of the hippie element and drug culture. They started talking about taking drugs”
Reporter: ”How often have you taken LSD?” (0:37)

Elvis, referring to his father: "He was worried about being poor again." (0:45)

Title: "Bye Bye Birdie" (0:48)

Elvis, referring to Ann-Margret: "She had... a hot acting career, and an ego... I was crazy about Ann."
”After Viva Las Vegas I told Ann I'd marry her if she quit the business...”
Joel: ”What about Celeste Yarnall from Live a Little, Love a Little?”
Elvis: ”I got her cast because I've seen her in Star Trek...”
”I had an awful case of survivor's guilt.” (0:48)

Elvis: "Protest, drugs, bombs, hippies, violence."
”The whole dropout thing was crazy. Do whatever you want to, get everybody to take drugs.”
”And the hippies were pushing LSD on the youth, even as young as 10.”
Boy: ”If you're introduced to LSD, it's a religious experience...”
Elvis: ”Teenagers were dropping out of school and overdosing on drugs.” (0:52)

News footage of policemen carrying a casket (0:57)

Elvis: "I felt I could help America if I became a federal drug enforcement agent."
Joel: ”Are you saying the man who invented cool wanted to become a narc?” (0:58)

Title: "Charro" (0:59)


Elvis: "President Nixon was starting a national crusade against drugs..."
Elvis reads from his letter to President Richard Nixon in which he refers to ”The drug culture...”
”I also said the Beatles had come to this country with their... the drug music... then the president said the drug users were the leaders of anti-American protests and violence, and he said dissent was the result of young people using drugs...”
Joel: ”Was it not ironic that you were offering to help to fight drugs while you yourself were a drug user?”
Elvis: ”I never used drugs... I took prescription medications only.”
”I was an insomniac. I had a history of nightmares and sleepwalking going back to childhood... In the army they issued us dexedrine. It was to help stay awake when you had to.”
Prescription bottle label: ”DEXAMPHETAMINE
”The hippies were using LSD, marijuana, heroin, drugs that were killing people. Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin had died within two weeks of each other.” (1:00)

Elvis, referring to Nixon: "He called it the director of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, and told him to make me a federal drug enforcement agent."
Newspaper headline: ”Presley Gets Narcotics Bureau Badge”
”... American needed me to stop the drug culture...” (1:03)

Elvis: "My job was to set up drug stings on the Weather Underground terrorists... The first thing, I'd put on my Drug Enforcement Agency tracksuit..."
”As soon as I landed I had FBI agents set up surveillance on my hotel, and their informants would put the word out on the street that Elvis's boys and the Memphis Mafia were selling pills and powerful drugs. Dr. Nick wrote the prescriptions for everything: sedatives, narcotics, amphetamines.”
Handwritten list of drugs: ” Dilaudid, Quaalude, Dexedrine, Percodan, Amytal
”The Weathermen were drug users and were dealing to hippies.”
Joel: ”Did you do anything other than the drug stings against the Weathermen?” (1:08)

Joel asks Elvis, "Was performing for the fans as important to you as the drug stings?"
Elvis: ”I'd have to take dexedrine to wake up”
”Why didn't you accept Barbra Streisand's offer to be in A Star is Born?”
Elvis: ”... my character takes illegal drugs, and that was not appropriate for a federal drug enforcement agent.” (1:12)

Drug packages (1:16)

Television reporter: "Drug dealing..." (1:17)

Elvis: "So the colonel booked me into the Las Vegas casinos, and I started the drug stings again. I put on my DEA tracksuit..."
Joel: ”You're saying you set up drug deals between the Memphis Mafia and the real Mafia?”
”I ran drug stings on mob crews who we're dealing drugs, and they were all dealing... drugs, loan sharking...”
”I got so paranoid, they started killing each other.” (1:18)

Elvis, referring to a sting operation: "The first one, because I was so nervous. While he was in prison, Joey Gallo made a deal with the Black Panthers to sell heroin."
Joel: ”Did the mob ever suspect that you were a DEA agent?”
”Were there any big problems with the Mafia drug stings?” (1:20)

Elvis: "Captain Nazi started spreading rumors that I was a drug user, thinking he'd get the DEA to fire me."
Elvis on stage: ”I'm a federal narcotics agent.”
Joel: ”Were you getting worried?”
Elvis: ”A Colombo wise guy named Vinny... came backstage for a drug buy.”
Referring to his gun: ”I was worried it would be traced back to me.”
”So of course I was worried.”
”Well, I was very nervous.” (1:23)

Elvis: "Dr. Nick said it would help me get off the prescriptions... Today, entertainers admitted, and they go to drug rehab"
”Dr. Nick had a terminal patient with no family...”
”On August 15th I put on my DEA staff track suit.”
”Then I took a sedative Dr. Nick had given me... I heard her holler to Joe that I had fainted.”
”The plan was for a DEA helicopter to pick me up.” (1:29)

Television reporter: "People began fainting."
Funeral (1:36)

Elvis: "By July of ‘78 I left witness protection and went back to work for the Drug Enforcement Agency." (1:39)

Elvis, referring to his manager: "Tom Parker was an egotistical, obnoxious old carnie hustler... making money off me to feed his gambling habit."
”I had studied about psychopaths, working with the FBI, and it reminded me of the Colonel's Jekyll and Hyde personality... and the colonel didn't have an empathetic bone in his body, so I pulled the colonels Army records and found out he was discharged for being a psychopath.”
Excerpt from record: ”Psychosis, psychogenic depression,... Psychopathic state” (1:42)

Elvis, referring to Weatherman Bill Ayers, "He was paranoid I'd find him and shoot him dead on the spot... I was hollering for the DEA to bust the gang..."
”I was so disgusted that I quit the DEA.” (1:46)

Newspaper headline: "Elvis: His secret life as an agent in Pres. Nixon's anti-drug squad"
Woman, referring to Elvis: ”I just believed he had a breakdown...” (1:47)

Elvis: "All that made me very nervous."
”... my other step-brother David said it was a suicide.” (1:48)

Elvis: "... two young girls, fans who were standing in line to see the casket, got killed by a drunk driver."
”So I went to see President Reagan.” (1:50)

Elvis: "... I wrote a movie script called Finding Graceland..."
Joel: ”What did you think of the film Honeymoon in Vegas with the flying Elvis?” (1:54)

Elvis: "Being leftist... a mental disorder, not political philosophy."
”America needs another principled leader like Ronald Reagan.” (2:00)

Elvis: "You know, Mama and Daddy got to be extras In Loving You." (2:03)

Joel asks Elvis, "Do you remember that we talked about Live a Little, Love a Little?" (2:10)

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