A follow-up to the 1970 release Elvis: That's the Way it Is, another musical documentary, this film followed Presley as he embarked on a 15-city tour of the United States in April 1972. Elvis on Tour also contains vintage footage of Presley's famous 1956 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and pre-tour rehearsal footage. It also includes footage of enthusiastic fan reactions scattered throughout the film.
Also included are portions of a forty-minute interview that Elvis gave about his life and career before filming began. Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, was unhappy with the inclusion of a scene which mocked Presley's acting career by showing screen kisses taken from a number of his previous films. According to the producers, it was a tongue-in-cheek dig at the repetitiveness of these films by changing the background "but the plot stays the same".
Among those working on this film were Martin Scorsese, who supervised montage sequences, and David Draper. The film was directed by Pierre Adidge and Robert Abel.
The concert film reached #13 on the Variety National Box Office Survey. In general, documentaries were very rarely box office successes. However, despite costing upwards of $1.6 million to produce, most of which was Presley's $1 million fee, the film recouped its production costs after just three days in theaters.
As well as being a financial success, Elvis on Tour proved to also be a critical success by winning the 1972 Golden Globe Award for Best Documentary, making it the only Elvis film to win an award of any kind.
Elvis performing See See Rider and a clip of Proud Mary.
Elvis performing Love Me
Interview with Vernon Presley and George Klein for Elvis On Tour