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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.
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Orion: The Man Who Would Be King movie full length review - Sort of Interesting, But Not Quite Enough
ORION tells the story of Jimmy Ellis - an unknown singer plucked from obscurity, and thrust into the spotlight as part of a crazy scheme that had him masquerade as Elvis back from the grave.
I went into this not knowing who Orion was. I feel like if I had know, I probably would have enjoyed it more, because I could learn about a musician that mattered to me. But I was never convinced at any point that he was someone important or worth really knowing about.
Was it interesting that his voice was just like that of Elvis? Sure. But where did this get him? He is not even the most famous Elvis impersonator. I understand the argument that if Elvis never existed, then Orion would have been huge. But is that true? Was Elvis a voice or more than that?