Elvis and Priscilla Presley ‘Got Together’ Because They Loved This Movie

Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley had a storied relationship that began with a love of a certain movie. The film featured a famous singer that the King of Rock and Roll greatly admired. Here’s a look at how Elvis’ love of a certain genre had an impact on his love life — and his posthumous music career.

Elvis Presley holding a toy gun
Elvis Presley | Bettmann / Contributor

One of the most unique albums in Elvis Presley’s catalogue

The King of Rock and Roll died in 1977, however, his estate has been releasing music ever since. Sometimes, the songs are previously unreleased recordings. Other times, his estate simply releases compilations of his work. In 2015, his estate released an odd album whose songs combined old and new.

The album, titled If I Can Dream, includes classic Elvis songs like “It’s Now or Never,” “Burning Love,” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” These recordings have the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s original vocals with new orchestral instrumentation by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. They take his songs into an entirely new genre. Priscilla told Rolling Stone these new recordings reflect her husband’s love of classical music and opera.

“It’s Now or Never” by Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

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“When he’d see a band on television, he’d get up and imitate the maestro and get serious,” she said. She added her husband admired opera singers Mario Lanza and Enrico Caruso. “He loved their drama, their voices, their power,” she added. “When you hear ‘It’s Now or Never,’ that’s Mario Lanza.” Certainly, Elvis shows off some of the same polished vocal chops on “It’s Now or Never” that Lanza showed off during his operatic performances.

Priscilla Presley reveals Elvis Presley watched this film seven times

Elvis especially loved The Student Prince, a film version of the opera of the same name starring Lanza “That’s how we got together, basically,” Priscilla said. “He couldn’t believe a 14-year-old kid had seen The Student Prince and loved Mario Lanza. He was fascinated by that.”

A trailer for The Student Prince

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This isn’t the only time Priscilla discussed Elvis’ love for The Student Prince. During an interview with The Guardian, she discussed her knowledge of her husband’s musical taste. Specifically, Tim Jonze asked her if most people were aware he liked the work of Wolfgang Amadeus Motzart.

“No!” she said. “Even I didn’t know that! I knew he liked Jan Peerce, who was a tenor. I knew he loved Mario Lanza, because he watched The Student Prince I think seven times. He loved opera, because it was drama, it was peaks, lows and highs. But I didn’t know he liked Mozart and Brahms.”

How the world reacted to ‘The Student Prince’

A song from The Student Prince

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The Student Prince apparently had a major impact on Elvis and Priscilla. This raises an interesting question: Did the world care as much about The Student Prince as they did? Lanza’s album Mario Lanza Sings Songs from The Student Prince and The Desert Song didn’t chart on the Billboard 200. The Student Prince didn’t impact the pop charts — but it impacted one of the most famous relationships in pop music history.