A follow-up to the 1970 release Elvis: That’s the Way it Is, another musical-documentary, this film followed Presley as he embarked on a 15-city tour of the United States in April 1972. The working title of the film was Standing Room Only and a soundtrack album was planned with this title, but never released. (Elvis on Tour was the only Elvis Presley film not accompanied by some form of official soundtrack release, either in the form of a full album or a single). Elvis on Tour also contains vintage footage of Elvis’ famous 1956 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show
According to the book Elvis: His Life from A to Z by Fred L. Worth and Steve Tamerius, among those working on this film were Martin Scorsese, who supervised montage sequences, and David Draper a former Mr. Universe. The film was directed by Pierre Adidge and Robert Abel.
Elvis on Tour won the 1972 Golden Globe Award for Best Documentary, making it the only Elvis film to win an award of any kind. Reportedly, Elvis was watching TV at Graceland the night of the awards show. When he found out he won, he ran around the house shouting “Son of a bitch, we won the Golden Globe!”.
The 1997 VHS reissue was negatively criticized because of the lack of the multi-screen images that were present on all previously released VHS copies of the film. As of 2009 it is also the only Presley film that has not been released on DVD, but it is available for download on iTunes.
Although Presley would be offered numerous films over the next few years, including, famously, the 1976 remake of A Star Is Born, he would make no more films in his lifetime. Footage from Elvis on Tour would later be reused in the theatrical documentary This is Elvis in the early 1980s.