Orion: The Man Who Would Be KingHD SDH
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About the Movie
August 16, 1977. All of America was stunned by the news of Elvis Presley's untimely passing. Some went so far as to believe that it couldn't be true. Somehow he had faked his death. For the executives at Sun Records that fantasy became an opportunity in the form of Orion, a mysterious masked performer with the voice of The King. First appearing in 1979, Orion recorded 11 albums and performed live to packed houses and rapturous fans around the nation. But who was the man behind the mask? In this stranger-than-fiction true story, Jeanie Finlay exposes the incredible life of an unknown singer plucked from obscurity and thrust into the spotlight with the complicity of a manipulative music industry and a public fan base unwilling to let The King go. Resonant in its themes of identity, fate, and the double-edged nature of fame, Orion is a stylish mystery story that finally gives a name and a face to a gifted artist who had been unjustly deprived of both.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 13
- Fresh: 11
- Rotten: 2
- Average Rating: 6.9/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: It's a curious, bittersweet story, flecked with dashes of bombast and overstatement that Presley himself would have admired.
Fresh: Through dynamic use of archival footage and intimate new interviews with Ellis' friends and family - all of them founts of down-home sincerity - Finlay unearths a fascinating biography filled with reversals, comebacks and false starts.
Fresh: Ellis, who died in 1998, speaks for himself in abashed interview clips. He loved singing and his not-quite-fame, but he yearned to be known for who he was. His music powers the film, and it's well-sung and agreeable Elvis apocrypha.
Rotten: Even at a mere 89 minutes, it goes on for about twice as long as it should.
Thanks for all who participated in making this film happen. A great story of a great talent. I was privileged to see Orion multiple times in concert. Still enjoying his music 25 years after I first discovered it.
Long live the King!
For those of us who still couldn’t come to grips with the loss of the King Orion made life a lot more tolerable. Once I was able to get beyond the mask, which this doc has helped me do, I have a renewed admiration and appreciation for his talent. Great film!