The King

Climb into Elvis’s 1963 Rolls-Royce for a musical road trip and meditation on modern America.

Elvis Presley staring at statue
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
January 28, 2019
90 minutes
  • Nominated laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2019 News and Documentary Emmy Awards-Best Documentary
  • Nominated laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2019 News and Documentary Emmy Awards-Outstanding Historical Documentary
  • Nominated laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2019 Grammy Awards-Best Music Film
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2018 KCRW Best Documentaries of the Year-Best Documentaries of the Year, 2018
  • Director

    Eugene Jarecki

    (Director, Writer, Producer) Eugene Jarecki is an award-winning documentary director and producer. After directing The Trials of Henry Kissinger in 2002, Jarecki won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and a Peabody Award for his 2005 film Why We Fight. In 2010, he created Move Your Money, a viral short encouraging Americans to shift their money from “too big to Show more fail” banks to community banks and credit unions. His Emmy-award winning 2011 film, Reagan, premiered at Sundance before broadcasting on HBO. The House I Live In, his 2013 film about America’s War on Drugs, once again won him the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival as well as a second Peabody Award. He executive produced the Sundance award-winning documentary (T)ERROR, as well as Denial, which aired on PBS in 2017. In 2016, Jarecki directed The Cyclist as part of Amazon's “The New Yorker Presents” series. Show less

    Other ITVS Films
    The House I Live In

    Melinda Shopsin

    Melinda Shopsin is an Emmy, Sundance, and Peabody award-winning producer with 15 years of experience in creating documentary, television, online, and digital content. Working with Laura Israel, Shopsin made the feature documentary Don’t Blink – Robert Frank, a galvanizing portrait of the iconic and elusive photographer. Shopsin produced Gimlet Show more Media’s beloved podcast series Mystery Show which garnered one million listens in its first month of release and reached number one on the iTunes charts. As a longtime colleague of director Eugene Jarecki, Shopsin has played various key roles in the production of the feature films: The Trials of Henry, Why We Fight, Reagan, and The House I Live InShow less

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    The Film

    A cross-country road trip in Elvis’ Presley’s 1963 Rolls-Royce, The King is far more than a musical biopic; it’s a penetrating portrait of America at a critical time in the nation’s history and an unflinching investigation into the state of the American dream. The film traces Elvis’ rise and fall from the Deep South to New York, Las Vegas, and countless points between. Alongside this, the film examines America in parallel, from her auspicious founding to her own struggles with excess power up to the acute challenges of today.