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Flaming Star


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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Fox Video
  • VHS Release Date: Aug. 13 2002
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000068TTT
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,239 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)

Product Description

Product Description

West Texas in the years after the Civil War is an uneasy meeting ground of two cultures, one white. The other native American. Elvis portrays Pacer Burton. The son of a white rancher (John McIntire) and his beatiful Kiowa Indian wife (Dolores DelRio). When fighting breaks out between the settlers and natives, Pacer tries to act as a peace maker, but the "flaming star of death" pulls him irrevocably into the deadly violence.

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Definitely a contender for the underwhelming title of Best Elvis Movie, this handsomely shot Western actually makes Elvis act, rather than coast on his personality. (As though to underscore the point, the two obligatory songs are dispensed with under the opening credits and in the first scene.) Don Siegel was probably the best director the King ever worked with, and he draws a quietly smoldering performance from Elvis, who was still undeniably raw. Even better, Siegel captures an existential starkness to homestead and town, and calmly makes a pro-Native American case without preaching (Elvis plays a half-breed caught between sides in an Indian vs. settlers dustup). Yes, this was 30 years before Dances with Wolves--there were actually quite a few such movies during this era. All in all, a decent picture, and an indication of where Elvis's career might have gone if he hadn't given himself over to fluff. --Robert Horton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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By A Customer on April 6 2004
Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD
This is definitely the best film Elvis Presley ever starred in; he shed his celebrity persona and delivered a great, dramatic performance in a superb action story with teriffic characterizations. No doubt about it, in "Flaming Star," Preseley is an ACTOR. And a damned good one too. (He only sings two songs, and they are presented right at the beginning so the film can then get down to the heavy business.)
Originally, the material was written to star Marlon Brando, but was re-written to accomodate Elvis. He plays a half Kiowa man named Pacer who finds himself jammed in the middle of growing war between the settlers and the Kiowa. In trying not to take sides, he finds his world swirls down into violence and chaos. It is refreshingly devoid of "can't we all get along" cliches and really digs deep into the near-impossibility of life when you are split in two, like Pacer. Elvis really nails the character down.
Director Siegel is at his usual great level of achievement: tight-lipped, boiling drama between the characters, and blasts of sometimes surprising violence. He doesn't let anybody off easily. This isn't a lightweight oater: Siegel took his craft seriously. Helping out are great performances from the superb cast, especially Delores Del Rio as Pacer's Kiowa mother.
If you're looking for an Elvis musical, with the rock star persona in full blast, go for "Jailhouse Rock," his second best film. If you want a fun and silly Elvis movie, go for the endearingly wacky "Via Las Vegas." If you want to see a plain great film with Elvis Preseley showing his potential as a serious actor -- go for FLAMING STAR. You won't regret it.
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Format: VHS Tape
This was Elvis' first attempt at a dramatic non-singing role. (He had done dramas before he went into the army. Both "Jailhouse Rock" & "King Creole", though having music in them, were dramatic roles, albeit tailor-made to fit his persona.)
This movie is a decent western with an important & relevant message on race relations (especially when you consider that it was made during the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement.) Basically, the story takes place in Texas after the Civil War. Elvis' character, Pacer Burton, is the son of a Texas Rancher & a woman of the Kiowa-Indian Tribe. When the whites & Native Americans go to war (is this supposed to be the Red River War of the 1870's?), he & his family are caught in the middle. It's a powerful movie with a simple (and that's the beauty of it) plot that unfortunately, was all too plausible during the settling of the Old West. (Both Quannah Parker & the Bent Brothers were half-caste children of white/Indian parents & they eventually had to choose sides when the U.S. settlers/militia & Southern Plains Tribes went to war.)
That's not to say that this film doesn't have flaws. Some of the dialogue is laughable at times. (Example: "I shall return again when the sun has killed the stars!" Also, "If Earth round, why men on bottom not fall off?") And the scene at the opening birthday party has Elvis singing "A Cane & A High-Starched Collar" to awkward square-dancing! (It's the only on-screen song that Elvis sings in the movie. The title tune is over the credits. Well, at least it's not as bad as Frankie Avalon singing "Gee Whizz, Golly Gee" in "The Tall Men" or Fabian singing "This Wonderful World" in "North To Alaska!
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