Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Flaming Star / Blue Hawaii DVD Review


Elvis stars as a half breed in this tale of cowboys versus indians. One of his few Westerns, Sam Burton's second wife Neddy is Indian, their son Pacer (Elvis) a half-breed. A struggle starts between the whites and the Kiowas, the Burton family is split between loyalties. Neddy and Sam are killed; Pacer sides with the Indians, his half-brother Clint with the whites.

Released in 1960.

In the years after the civil war, Western Texas is an un-easy meeting ground of two cultures: one white, the other Native-American. Elvis stars as Pacer Burton, the son of a rancher and his beautiful Kiowa wife. When fighting breaks out between the settlers and natives, Pacer is pulled into the deadly violence despite his peace-making efforts.

My review: Don't go looking for a ton of songs by the king in this one. While he does sing a couple, for the most part, it is another attempt of a serious acting role. The story is weak, the plot is weak, and for the most part, there is no big battle scene between the cowboys and indians. Thus, it comes up a little short on the entertaining side, unless you're like me and just love Elvis movies. But for those who haven't seen any Elvis films and want to try one, pass on this. While the acting is pretty good by all (including Elvis himself) the product as a whole will not excite you. On a side note: A very young Barbara Eden co-stars in this film and she is somewhat pleasant to look at. This is one of her earliest works. Most certainly before "I Dream Of Jeanie".

My rating: Even with Barbara Eden riding side saddle in this one with Elvis, I can only honestly give this film a 6 out of 10 stars. The effort is there, the result is not.



  This 1961 film was one of the king's biggest money makers. Chad Gates (Elvis) has just gotten out of the Army, and is happy to be back in Hawaii with his surf-board, his beach buddies, and his girlfriend. His father wants him to go to work at the Great Southern Hawaiian Fruit Company, but Chad is reluctant. So Chad goes to work as a tour guide at his girlfriend's agency. Chad would rather wear an aloha shirt than a white collar. He wants to make it on his own merit, not have everything handed to him by his wealthy father.

My review: This movie starts out too slow for my taste. The only thing that keeps me in it for the first 30 minutes are the multitude of songs he wails out, seemingly one right after the other before the story starts to kick in. But once it does kick in, it's pretty good. One thing is for certain, there are an abundance of good songs in this one, and after all, isn't that what we expect from the king?

My rating: Despite the slow start to the story, the songs really make this whole thing click. This is the movie where he sings one of his biggest hits, "Can't Help Falling In Love". Still, all that aside, I will give this a solid 7 1/2 stars out of 10. On a positive note, Elvis is in his prime in this one. I think it would have been better if he had a major co-star with him though to help carry the movie. Granted, Angela Lansbury is in it, but she plays his mother so ..... 

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