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Harum Scarum (1965)

Elvis Presley , Mary Ann Mobley , Gene Nelson  |  NR |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Elvis Presley, Mary Ann Mobley, Fran Jeffries, Michael Ansara, Jay Novello
  • Directors: Gene Nelson
  • Writers: Gerald Drayson Adams
  • Producers: Sam Katzman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 3, 2004
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00027JY8A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,541 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Harum Scarum" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description


Say this for Harum Scarum: At least it has the virtue of boasting one of the strangest settings of any Elvis Presley vehicle. Elvis plays an action-movie star on a goodwill tour of the Middle East who's kidnapped in a remote country that has turned its back on modernity. Vilified as an "American unbeliever," he is enlisted by the Lord of the Assassins in a plot to kill a monarch (they've mistaken his filmic kung fu fighting skills for the real thing). And this is an Elvis picture? The soundtrack has a particularly mad selection of faux-"Kismet" numbers relating to the setting, with lyrics such as "I'm gonna go where the desert sun is/I'm gonna go where I know the fun is." Hints that the whole thing is a Rudolph Valentino spoof help the early going, but it gets pretty draggy. Elvis looks liveliest in a Vegas sequence... a bit of foreshadowing. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elvis' B Movie Classic August 28, 2004
By James
I avoided this film for years, mainly because it simply looked too embarrassing to sit through as a fan of the King. Since it was included among the newest wave of Elvis dvds, I finally decided to give it a chance.

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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elvis VS Ali Baba February 12, 2008
Ok, this is definitely NOT one of "the King's" better films, but I still enjoyed it. I originally saw it when I saw six years old and loved it because Elvis was fighting with a sword...and frankly that's probably still the best aspect of this movie. Elvis demonstrates some of his modest Karate talents as well. He was a Black Belt believe it or not but in reality Bruce Lee would probably have cleaned his clock. Before you buy "Harum (sic) Scarum" be warned that this is also one of the two WEIRDEST Elvis movies ever made (the other one being "Easy Come Easy Go" where he plays a frogman and sings about Yoga.) The songs in "Harum Scarum" are not among his best...however if you watch carefully it looks like Elvis was having fun in this movie. He probably had a blast running around this old C.B.deMille movie set killing assassins with karate and saber. So, if you buy "Harum Scarum" remember...the movie is pretty bad, the songs mediocre, but the fun level is pretty darned high especially if you like watching Elvis kick assassin butt.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HARUM SCARUM is a colourful excursion into fantasy and music, as Elvis Presley plays an action film star, who gets lost in a world of Arabian Nights-esque intrigue. Former "Miss America" Mary Ann Mobley plays his seven-veiled princess.

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.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ENTERTAINING! July 17, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
THANK YOU WARNER BROTHERS for useing the original MOVIE POSTERS for the covers of these wonderful DVDs! They look EXCELLENT! I wish the other companies that put ELVIS films out would have followed suit BUT instead they air brush a still from the film and think they can make a better cover than the EXPERIENCED MOVIE POSTER artists of the 1950's and 1960's. All you can ask from an ELVIS movie is that it is Entertaining and a GREAT Soundtrack...this film has both. HAREM HOLIDAY, the films' opening track, is a classic.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Even The King Can't Save This Mess June 17, 2004
I am a huge fan of Elvis's music and movies. Own them all on vhs and the DVD's as they've come out. That being said, Harum Scarum is THE WORST piece of trash ever captured on film. It's nearly criminal to watch one of the greatest talents in the history of mankind sleep walk through this pile of rubbish. The Presley estate should do Elvis and the rest of us a favor. Buy the master and burn it in a bonfire celebration at Graceland! (...)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Elvis Presley Comedy Spoof Classic June 26, 2005
By CD King
To me HARUM SCARUM is an excellent comedy spoof. I've enjoyed this great wonder musical classic ever since I saw it in the cinema in the mid-60s when I was a kid. So happy own it now on DVD. It's still as enjoyavle as ever! Many nice songs with an Eastern magic flavor as only Elvis can sings them. I love this movie!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This "Harem" is not at all "Scarem" June 23, 2004
I first saw this movie as a very young teenage male who idolized Elvis. It made a lasting impression on me. It was one of the first records (LP's-remember those?) that I purchased. Yes, the movie IS cheesey, and in acordance with most of the other reviewers on this site, was not worthy of Elvis's presence. However, I recently saw the movie again for the first time in years on one of my satellite channels, and I would suggest some alternate obsevations. 1.) The plot is structured to conform to the typical "travelog" Elvis movie, i.e. "Blue Hawaii", and allows for him to sing some songs, do karate moves, and romance women in an environment that actually seems less contrived than perhaps "G.I. Blues". 2.)Yes, the movie is silly, but I still think that the sountrack has some really beautiful melodies, which I still enjoy singing. 3.)I would assert that Elvis' on-screen redition of "So Close, Yet So Far" was one of the very few songs that he seemed to put his heart in for the camera in all of his movie "career". Try to watch at least that scene with an open heart. The song is pretty, passionate, and well done. 4.)Today, the scene with the slave girl in which Elvis sings "Hey Little Girl" would most certainly not past muster for being "politically correct"-in fact, it may not get past many censors. But sometimes we need to regard things in a perspective of more innocent times. Elvis was staged to do many scenes with children in his movies. 5.)I like this movie because I think it did not pretend to be anything other than insipid ententainment. And, I still think that much of the music is very pretty.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Elvis fans will enjoy!
This is not a high budget film, but Elvis does his best to make it enjoyable. There are some funny moments in this movie. Read more
Published 12 days ago by ace c.
5.0 out of 5 stars I like any thing with Elvis
I like any thing with Elvis.
Published 23 days ago by maryphillips
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad
Seen it one time, and really did not like it, probably EP's worst film.
Published 1 month ago by Joshua W
5.0 out of 5 stars harum scarum is fantastic, i love it
the only thing i can say is: harum scarum is fantastic, i love it.

ildemaro rueda
Published 1 month ago by Ildemaro Rueda
5.0 out of 5 stars This was a gift and I believe the enjoyed it very much
This was a gift and I believe the enjoyed it very much.
Published 3 months ago by Beverly J. Paulus
5.0 out of 5 stars Harum Scarum
I have always love Elvis and his music, movies and every thing about the man. Wish he was still here.
Published 3 months ago by sassy
4.0 out of 5 stars Elvis
It show his great at singing and acting. This should show people his artistry in the music industry and his skill there also.
Published 5 months ago by Ann Tucker
1.0 out of 5 stars A pathetic script
Elvis is given incredibly trite and worthless material here. The direction is TV movie worthy, with no real attempt to bring fun or serious drama to the screen. Read more
Published 9 months ago by John Moeller
4.0 out of 5 stars Elvis in Egypt
Elvis plays a charming sheik, almost the same as Ramon Navarro or the great romantic star in silent movies. He is in love with a girl from a harem. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Terry
5.0 out of 5 stars Daughter is big fan
bought for my daughter she is a really big fan of his movies, me personally never cared for his movies.
Published 20 months ago by bmerobert
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