Elvis Presley was a hugely influential performer with one of the most distinctive singing voices of anybody. He embarked on a film career consisting of 33 films from 1956 to 1969, films that did well at the box-office but mostly panned critically (especially his later films) and while he was a highly charismatic performer he was never considered a great actor.
'Flaming Star', to me and most likely many others, is in the top 3 of Elvis' films. The other two being 'Jailhouse Rock' and 'King Creole'. All three living proof that some of Elvis' early films are pretty good or more and that he could give a good performance when his material allowed it. Can definitely understand why his later films are not highly thought of generally. 'Flaming Star' is a different Elvis film, being grittier and more dignified than most of his films as well as one of his most emotional and it is much more of a western than it is a musical (with there only being two songs and both sung early on).
Thankfully it is also a good different Elvis film. Sure the ending is abrupt and there are a few suspension of disbelief moments (i.e. in the desert). However Elvis gives perhaps the second best acting performance he's ever given after 'King Creole', giving a performance of great intensity and honest emotion.
He is very well supported by a top notch cast, including Steve Forrest, Dolores Del Rio and John McIntire. As well as the brilliant direction of Don Siegel, one of the best directing jobs for an Elvis film along with Michael Curtiz's for 'King Creole'. The little songs there are are still hauntingly beautiful, and the rousing but affecting music score is a perfect fit.
Advantaging things further are a surprisingly dignified and meaty script (two adjectives you don't associate often with scripts for an Elvis film) and a story that's gripping in its poignant tragedy and gritty violent nature. The tension is sustained beautifully while the photography and scenery are first-class.
In summary, a different and very good Elvis Presley film. 8/10 Bethany Cox
Action / Western
Action / Western
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 beautiful 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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March 29, 2015 at 04:26 AM