The New Gladiators
The Elvis Presley Gladiators Movie
The story behind this film is as fascinating as the actual film itself.
In 1974 the producer George Waite had an idea to make a film on martial arts in which Elvis Presley would play a leading role and introduce the real martial arts to the world. His role was to be narrator and demonstrator.
When Waite presented his idea to his Kenpo Karate instructor Ed Parker, who was also Elvis' karate instructor, within minutes he found himself sitting at Elvis' dining room table. "The KING" had on his karate uniform and a bath robe. Parker had called Elvis and set up the meeting right on the spot!
Elvis who liked the idea in theory was leaving within minutes for Las Vegas to do one of his shows, so he said he would think about it and get back to him.
Well the next morning Waite was awakened by Elvis' phone call and before he knew it Elvis had sent his airplane back from Las Vegas to pick up Waite and his wife to come to the show that night in Las Vegas.
When they arrived they were met by Limo and whisked off to the Hilton for the show.
When Waite got to his seat he looked to his right and there sat Charlton Heston and on his left was Sean Connery. Waite was blown away when Elvis introduced him to the audience as the producer of his next movie "The New Gladiators."
After the show everyone met in Elvis' suite for a party, Waite was asked by Elvis to do a demonstration for his friends. Waite complied and after the demo Elvis pulled Waite off to the side, handed him a $50,000 check and said go down stairs cash this and get started tomorrow morning. "I love the idea and I want this to be my Gift to the World of Martial Arts."
The next day he began putting together a team of the best karate fighters in America to take on the world.
Bob Hammer (the director) and George Waite (the producer) worked on the project for the next three years until Elvis' death in 1977 when Waite went into depression over the passing of Elvis and the film then sat in a garage for the next 25 years until......
Twenty Five Years Later
Twenty Five (25) years to the day Elvis passed away this movie was released, August 17th 2002, the way "The KING" wanted it! No chop suey kung fu flick but real karate ka doing real karate.
My Gift to the World of Martial Arts is now complete!
When Waite was approached about the film, he was at first hesitant but then said OK lets go get it and you guys can finish it.
When they went to Waite's house they expected it to be locked up in a safe spot but they found it in a garage in the back of a 1963 GMC pick-up truck!
This fantastic film was finally found, restored and digitally mastered. Purchase your own personal DVD today!
"New Gladiators" is akin to exhibiting the Lost Ark of the Covenant or the Holy Grail....LA Times November 17, 2002
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