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.
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.