The Auction at Graceland•Elvis Week•August 13, 2019
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/13/2019

“A different kind of role” was an accurate description. While still a box-office success, Charro, Elvis Presley’s only film where he did not sing on screen, was not hugely popular with his fans. Originally pitched to Clint Eastwood, this western still remains one of Elvis’ least-viewed, despite his excellent performance as Jess Wade, a former outlaw dragged into a somewhat intricate plot. Co-stars Ina Balin, Victor French and Solomon Sturges come along for the ride in Elvis’ only film for National General Pictures.

On July 22, 1968, Elvis arrived at the Apacheland Movie Ranch in Apache Junction, Arizona to begin principal photography for the film. Elvis’ initial excitement over the script was dashed when he discovered that it had been changed beyond recognition with many scenes dropped or completely changed. The production was in as big a disarray, with a changing title that evolved from Jack Valentine to Johnny Hang to Come Hell or Come Sundown before the final title of Charro was settled. Elvis came to the set with a beard in hopes of portraying an authentic early Western feel, and it was the only movie in which Elvis wore a beard. Despite the chaos, Elvis wrapped up filming on August 28 and threw a buffet dinner for cast and crew. Elvis and some of his entourage (Joe, Charlie, Gee Gee and Alan) stayed at the Superstition Inn just outside Phoenix during filming.

Offered is one of Elvis’ wardrobe shirts produced for the film which contains the “Western Costume Co. / Hollywood” tag. The tag is further marked with Elvis Presley’s typed name as well as the number “2338-2” (most likely a Western Costume internal job/serial number), chest size listed as ”41,” sleeve as “34,” and “collar 15 1/2.” The six-button front, single-button cuff, collared shirt with two chest pockets is currently a faded Army green shade. In a not-uncommon practice, the shirt was dyed green for a later, unrelated production, and it is believed that a extant second shirt from Charro received the same treatment in this shade of green. The stitching on the Western Costume tag is dyed the same color as the shirt, indicating it was in place when the dying occurred. The consignor researched the shirt directly with Western Costume Company who not only identified it as a piece of their wardrobe inventory from the late 1960s but offered to purchase it back. Elvis' character wears the same shirt, and other clothes, basically throughout the entire film, and it was standard procedure that a production would have several examples of each of a leading character's garments in a case such as this. In addition to the offered example, there is the other shirt, also dyed green, which sold publicly some years ago, as mentioned above, as well as two other examples in the Graceland Archive. The Graceland Archive examples match the offered shirt in size, construction and tagging.

As for on-camera use, it is very difficult to identify individual pieces of clothing when there are not clearly identifiable designs or details. In this case, however, there is some compelling evidence that it may have been used in several scenes. The button second down from the collar sits so that it hangs just below the chest seam on the offered shirt, and in several scenes from the film a very similar placement of that same button can be identified.

In much of the film, Elvis is captured wearing this style of shirt, giving him the rugged, cowboy-Western look his role necessitated. This characteristic Western shirt, an ideal choice, measures 28 inches (71.12 cm) in length and 17 inches (43.18 cm) from shoulder seam to shoulder seam, and is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

The shirt was dyed as evidenced by the uneven color tone. The color has faded at the collar and the shirt shows moderate signs of wear and use. The cuffs were temporarily shortened at one stage as noted by an old seam line above the current location of the cuffs. The shirt is in excellent condition overall.
Elvis Presley Wardrobe Shirt from 1969 Film <em>Charro</em>
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $4,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $6,250.00
Estimate: $8,000 - $10,000
Number Bids: 2
Auction closed on Tuesday, August 13, 2019.
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