CLICK HERE FOR BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND MYSPACE LAYOUTS »

Saturday, April 18, 2015

ORION: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING

A Tribeca Film Festival 2015 Selection


This is an amazing and true tale of an Elvis Presley lookalike and soundalike named Jimmy Ellis, who struggled to distinguish himself as a singer and then found he was so close to looking and sounding like Elvis that no one wanted to promote his career as a singular performer.  Finally, he found some success as a doppelganger for Elvis, but never achieved the fame he sought.

Noticed while he was still in high school, Jimmy Ellis was good looking and sounded like Elvis.  Unable to sign a record contract to him before he was of age, he went to work training horses in the family's successful business.

And, he was a very successful horse trainer.  He was noted for his abilities, loved by his animals and clients but very unhappy since he really wanted to be a singer.

Unable to get a start with his singing career, when Elvis died in 1977, Shelby Singleton, who took over the Sun Records catalog, offered him a new opportunity.

Ellis became Orion, a masked entertainer who wore a mask like the Lone Ranger, and a glitzy costume like Elvis, and sang with a voice amazingly similar to Presley.  Because he was contractually obligated to wear wear his mask in public, Ellis grew to resent it but in film clips sounds eerily like Elvis.

It's obvious that Jimmy Ellis was a talented singer and performer.  Ironically, this 90 minute film makes clear that what prevented his success both on radio and on stage, was his sounding like Elvis.  The soundtrack of Ellis, in another time, without the constant comparison to Elvis, might have propelled him to fame.