Does Priscilla Treat The Rock And Roll King Fairly?

Priscilla, by Sofia Coppola, is under criticism for the unjust portrayal of Rock and Roll King Elvis Presley. The question is whether the movie did justice to the legend.

Written by Rachel Davis

On Feb 24, 2024 – 3 minutes read


Criticisms are arising against the portrayal of Elvis Presley in the movie, Priscilla, written and directed by Sofia Coppola. The movie is based on Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir, Elvis And Me. The movie portrays the life and romantic relationship of Priscilla. The movie is solely based on Priscilla’s perspective, which created criticisms.

The Depiction Of Elvis In The Movie

Does Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla Treat Elvis Presley Fairly?

The meeting, love, and marriage of the famous couple Elvis and Priscilla is the central plot of the movie. Elvis was a national icon by the time Priscilla met him. The 10-year age gap between the couple created numerous problems in their relationship. The movie depicts the trajectory of Elvis molding a young fan into a controllable person in his life, as recounted by Priscilla in her memoir. 

The legendary Elvis Presley was portrayed mostly as a dictator throughout the movie. The marriage and the incidents that followed were the major part of the movie. According to it, Elvis was portrayed as someone who was “waiting for the right time”. The rumors about his extramarital affairs were highlighted in “Priscilla”. Elvis was seen as an arrogant and short-tempered husband who questioned all the actions of his wife. Priscilla is portrayed as someone who exists only to make the life of Elvis easy and smooth. Priscilla’s accusations of Elvis’ affairs were disregarded by him. Elvis regarded her as someone to ignore such things.

Priscilla’s efforts to match the stardom and her struggles to keep up with her husband are seen in the movie. Elvis who chose her wardrobe, tried to match her according to his outfits. Priscilla was only allowed to wear colors like red, turquoise, emerald green, black and white, and his favorite, blue. He rejected her choices of designs and colors, especially brown. The singer’s behaviour which started as a romantic act, later changed to a sign of his dictatorship. Along with it, the social surveillance and criticisms of the family circle are shown in the movie. 

While most of the incidents in the movie are criticized for defaming the legendary singer, his short-temper and aggressive behavior falls close to reality. In one of the most violent scenes in Priscilla, the singer demonstrates extreme aggression by throwing a dangerous object at his vulnerable wife. There is abundant evidence, both from eyewitness accounts and anecdotes, supporting the assertion that Elvis hurled a chair at Priscilla when she criticized the hit potential of a record. Elvis’s notorious temper and propensity for sudden outbursts of violence are well-documented. Stories circulated about him destroying television sets in anger, particularly when Robert Goulet appeared. While Elvis faced numerous unfair allegations, including tabloid claims that the couple abstained from sex after Lisa Marie’s birth due to alleged sexual issues, the incident with the chair stands as a stark example of his volatile behavior.

Criticized By Lisa Marie Presley!

Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis and Priscilla severely criticized Sofia Coppola for portraying her father in a negative light. She wrote to Sofia asking why she was chasing her father and her family, after reading the early draft of the screenplay. She found the screenplay to be shockingly vengeful and contemptuous. The portrayal of her father as a predator and manipulator provoked her. Lisa said that she could neither find her father nor her mother’s perspective after reading the screenplay. More than 10 pages were immediately deleted from the script after Lisa’s criticism. 

Read more: Kristen Stewart Shuts Criticism Over Gender-Bending Stone Cover

Undoubtedly, the movie is not for Presley fans. The movie does not show the interactions and onscreen performance of the singer. The songs of Presley are absent throughout the movie. Only vague references of his age in depicted in the movie.

  1. Wikipedia (n.d) Priscilla [Online] Available At:

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Hi! I am Rachel; a mom and a hair and makeup artist. I am very old-school and I love sharing my experiences on parenting, marriage, and daily life hacks. What is more fun than that! I believe that to take care of anything, you have to love and give your heart and soul to it. Writing has been my passion ever since I was little and it’s the best way I express myself – my thoughts and dreams. Here, I write about everything that I love.

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