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It didn't surprise me to find that, as a meaningful film, it is arguably among Elvis' worst. The premise is silly, the leading lady (Mary Ann Mobley) has little to do (and little screentime with the King), and the whole thing is pretty hard to take seriously. But then, considering that much of Elvis' film canon was pretty lightweight anyway, it's hard to imagine anyone going into this expecting a meaningful film.
What is left is an Elvis movie that works surprisingly well as a campy B movie. In fact, if it had been released as an MGM dvd, it would've fit well into their (highly entertaining) Midnite Movies line. For starters, while shot using some of the old King of Kings sets, you almost expect to see Kirk and Spock beam in at any moment. There's also a surprising amount of humor in it (both unintentional AND intentional), with Elvis getting off quite a few good one-liners early on. Also good is Jay Novello as that rare comic relief that is actually funny. As the film progresses, you can almost sense Elvis' waning interest, but the rest of the cast puts in a fine effort. And where else can you see Billy Barty bellydancing or Elvis bringing a bullwhip to a fight?
Ironically, Elvis was actually very eager to make this film. He saw it as a chance to create a meaningful character and drew inspiration from Rudolph Valentino in The Sheik. According to Priscilla Presley's Elvis and Me, Elvis was so into the character that he would come home still in costume and keep it on until he went to bed.Read more ›
This is a fun romp, along the same lines as the "Road To..." movies, and Elvis completely throws himself into the proceedings. Mary Ann Mobley is a stunning love interest and the production values are quite lavish (this film was actually shot on the old sets used for Cecil B. DeMille's "King of Kings" in 1925). With Fran Jeffries, Michael Ansara, Billy Barty and Jay Novello.
It has harem girls, a beautiful princess, a hero who is an actor, singer, and karate expert, a scary society of black clad assassins, three beautiful slave girls, a band of good-hearted thieves, and orphans. I mean, no cliche is left unturned! Now, would it hold the interest of kids who are used to the frenetic pace of current kids TV shows? I don't know. I first saw it in a more simple time.
As I mentioned in another recent review, Elvis was an entertaining performer even in the lowest tier of his movies, and this is no exception. There are a limited number of his films, and each provides some reason to get another look at him. So there is no great plotting here, no high drama, and only limited good acting. Still, there is also some charm, and there is Elvis singing every so often. Not a bad deal.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Might as well watch it, but not the best movie for Elvis. Not his fault as he does great, just a very poor producing picture that was apparently done very fast and on a tight... Read morePublished 9 months ago by iwlkk9s
Can readily understand why he was disappointed in this picture. It was not one of the better movies he had to do. Read morePublished 11 months ago by penolope
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