Flaming Star [Import]
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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.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Originally written for Marlon Brando, the role of the "half-breed" Kiowa-white man Pacer Burton is well realised by credited writers Clair Huffaker and Nunnally Johnson, and aided by terse direction from Don Siegel. Veteran actors Dolores Del Rio and John McIntire are excellent as Pacer's parents, trapped in an unforgiving society which refuses to recognise the sanctity of marriage between a white man and native American woman.
At the core of this film is the unrelenting antagonism between two cultures: one fighting to preserve its centuries-old values and birth rights, the other equally claiming the land as its own. Both sides of this complex problem are presented starkly as Pacer is forced to ultimately decide which side he must represent: his mother's native people, or those of his father. The resolution is appropriately ambiguous. Pacer's declaration that he can no longer live in a void but must follow his instincts leads to tragedy. The Burton family - father, mother and mixed-blood son - are pawns in the larger politics of 19th century America, and pay the ultimate price. As the only "pure" white in the family, Pacer's half-brother Clint (Steve Forrest in solid form), must ensure that the future lies in reconciliation not destruction. The final scene belies this hope however as Pacer has "seen" the future and knows he (and his "people") no longer belong.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
While his acting has always been criticized, I think this work shows he had some very unrecognized and thus poorly acknowledged talent. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Kelly D. Bryson
A gift for a friend who had been looking for this movie for a long time ,he was so pleased when it arrived.Published 18 months ago by Wendy
Another great movie with Elvis Presley. If you are a fan of Elvis you would love this movie also. Very entertaining.Published on Feb. 14 2014 by Huguette Cox
Our favourite Elvis movie. Good acting by all especially Elvis.One drawback---wide-screen!! I don't like any "black lines" or a narrower picture. DiannePublished on June 12 2013 by Dianne Regier
For the year of filming, this movie is well done and enjoyable.. I think the best movie that Elvis made..Published on April 4 2012 by Delores Dennis
Barbara Eden is Great in the movie playing Steve Forrest's character's girlfriend.Elvis sings the theme song and in the square dance scene he sings a song though he doesn't sing... Read morePublished on May 1 2004