For the star to end all stars, Elvis, this movie is greatness among a movie career that's, well, not so great. Finally on DVD, with beautiful picture quality, I adore this movie. There is no cheese here.
This is not chock full of songs, this is not a musical, and the few musical numbers here are well-done and in context. You don't get a cheesy 1960's sounding song in this 19th century western, the songs actually sound like they belong. Again I must stress, there are only a few songs and they don't take anything away from, rather they add TO the film. That man could sing, but surprise surprise, he could also act.
He is a halfbreed. Part white, part Native American. Constantly he is torn between loyalties, but moreso from this deep desire to remain fair to all in his life. The scenes of tenderness are of the utmost affection, and the scenes of violence express the real anguish of such a life. I'm not exaggerating when I say that sometimes when I watch this movie I feel as if I'm spying on a 19th century scene, it's that convincing, friends.
There is such a magical quality about this movie. It's so different from anything Elvis had done before or since that it almost seems like he would have done the film for free...he loves what he's doing and puts his soul into it.
Note that Col. Parker scoffed at the idea of "his boy" Elvis doing a "political" film like this. The Colonel was not one who liked to stir the pot too much when he felt the mixture was just right. This is one of few occasions where Elvis went ahead and did what he thought was the right project. If anyone is curious, check into the numerous films that were offered to Elvis and refused by the Colonel. Least of which was the now legendary 1968 'Comeback' Special in which Elvis both re-invents and re-establishes his throne as the King of Rock and Roll. The Colonel wanted the 1968 special to be a cheesy xmas show with Elvis in a tuxedo singing to snowmen and Santa (which would have probably been the colonel in a red suit). What a disaster and a loss that would have been.
Anyway - Elvis shines like the bright star he is in Flaming Star. Absolutely terrific, wonderful movie that I can't say enough good things about. I have not one complaint except that there weren't more cast from this dye.