When Elvis met Nixon: Film explores famous moment caught on camera

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The Story Behind Elvis Presley's Meeting with Richard Nixon In The Oval


A new film tells the behind-the-scenes story of how the King of Rock and Roll met Richard Nixon in the Oval Office.

The 1970 photo of a bejeweled Elvis Presley shaking hands with the jowled president is the most requested photo from the National Archive.

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Elvis & Nixon details the surreal saga of how Presley, concerned about drugs and anti-war demonstrations, flies to Washington on a whim and delivers a handwritten letter to the White House, requesting a meeting with Nixon.

IE caught up with Colin Hanks, who plays a presidential adviser, during the film's premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.

"You just want to know how on Earth that happened, because it just shouldn't have happened," the actor told us.

Presley wanted to be deputized as an undercover narc, he wrote to Nixon. He also wanted a badge.

Read: 'He Pulled a Gun On Me!' Elvis Girlfriend Reveals Shocking Details

Though Nixon was dubious, the meeting was arranged, on part to help the president's image during a time of widespread rebellion against the Vietnam War.

The King's friend, Jerry Schilling, who helped with the movie, remembers the meeting.

"I was a little intimidated. The president hit me on the arm, like a guy's guy," he told IE.

Watch: Woman Discovers Her Long-Lost Father Is a Famous Elvis Impersonator

See images of Elvis and Priscilla Presley:

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When Elvis met Nixon: Film explores famous moment caught on camera
1st May 1967: American rock musician Elvis Presley (1935 - 1977) and his wife, Priscilla Beaulieu Presley, hugging each other on their wedding day, Las Vegas, Nevada. Priscilla wears her bridal gown and veil, and Elvis wears a shiny paisley jacket. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Elvis and Priscilla Presley cut their wedding cake after exchanging nuptials in the Aladdin Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas in this 1967 photo. (AP Photo/Las Vegas News Bureau)
Singer Elvis Presley and his bride, the former Priscilla Beaulieu, are shown at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev., after their wedding on May 1, 1967. Presley, 32, and Beaulieu, 21, both from Memphis, Tenn., met while he was stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army. (AP Photo)
Singer Elvis Presley and Priscilla Ann Beaulieu are shown being married in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 1, 1967 by Nevada Supreme Court Justice David Zenoff. It was the first marriage for both Elvis and Priscilla. (AP Photo)
Singer Elvis Presley gives his new bride, the former Priscilla Beaulieu, a kiss for photographers just after their wedding May 1, 1967, in Las Vegas. Presley, 32, and Miss Beaulieu, 21, met while he was stationed in Germany with the Army. It is the first wedding for each. They plan to live in Memphis, the hometown of both. (AP Photo)
Elvis Presley poses with wife Priscilla and daughter Lisa Marie, in a room at Baptist hospital in Memphis, Tenn., February 05, 1968. (AP Photo)
FILE - This 1972 file photo shows Elvis Presley, the King of Rock "n" Roll, during a performance. The former Beverly Hills home of the late Elvis Presley and his wife Priscilla is up for sale for a cool $12.9 million. Real estate website operator Trulia says the home hit the market Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (AP Photo, file)
“Fred”, the celebrated cocatoo who was one the stars of the old “ Baretta” television series, gives a kiss to Priscilla Presley, former wife of late singer Elvis Presley and a co-star of ABC’s “those amazing animals” series’ during break in auditions for the show at Universal studios in Los Angeles on Saturday, Jan. 12, 1981. Hundreds of people and pets turned out for the auditions of animals for a possible appearance on the show. (AP Photo/Saxon Reed)
Head and Shoulder shots of Priscilla Presley former wife of Elvis Presley smiling October 17 1979. (AP Photo/Dave Pickoff)
In this photo taken Thursday, May 10, 2012, singer Lisa Marie Presley poses for a photo in West Hollywood, Calif. The only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie started writing music again after moving to Kent, southeast of London, several years ago. This led to her third album, "Storm and Grace," produced by T Bone Burnett with a slow-rolling, swampy but warm Americana sound. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Priscilla Presley stands in the "60 years of Elvis" exhibit inside an annex at Graceland on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. The exhibit, which opens Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 features jump suits worn by Presley, an organ played in his California home, a copy of the original “That’s All Right” record and other miscellaneous Elvis items. (AP Photo/Lance Murphey)
Priscilla Presley poses for a portrait between interviews on Elvis Presley's 75th birthday on Friday, Jan. 8, 2010 in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Elvis and Priscilla Barbie dolls are displayed for sale at Graceland in Memphis, Tenn., Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008. (AP Photo/Greg Campbell)
Priscilla Presley stands in the "60 years of Elvis" exhibit inside an annex at Graceland on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. The exhibit, which opens Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 features jump suits worn by Presley, an organ played in his California home, a copy of the original “That’s All Right” record and other miscellaneous Elvis items. (AP Photo/Lance Murphey)
Outside an airport terminal building, fifteen-year-old American Priscilla Beaulieu stands amid a group of fans as she says goodbye to her then-boyfriend (and future husband) the soon-to-be-discharged US Army Sergeant (and popular singer) Elvis Presley, Friedberg, Germany, March 2, 1960. (Photo by James Whitmore/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
MEMPHIS, TN - CIRCA 1965: Rock and roll singer Elvis Presley's wife Priscilla Beaulieu Presley poses for a portrait holding her little poodle circa 1965 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 01: Wedding Photos of Elvis Presley to Priscilla on May 01,1967 (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Portrait of American rock and roll singer Elvis Presley (1935 - 1977) and his girlfriend and later wife Priscilla Beaulieu, 1960s. (Photo by Max B. Miller/Fotos International/Getty Images)
1st May 1967: Rock and roll singer and actor Elvis Presley (1935 - 1977) holding hands with his bride, Priscilla Beaulieu Presley, on their wedding day, Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Tennessee, USA, 5th February 1968, Rock & Roll star Elvis Presley with his wife Priscilla proudly show their new born baby, 4 day old Lisa Marie, at the Baptist Hospital in Memphis (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)
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