JOHNNY TYRONNE, ACTION MOVIE STAR AND LADIES MAN, IS TRAVELLING THROUGH THE MIDDLE EAST ON A GOODWILL TOUR TO PROMOTE HIS LATESTMOVIE, SANDS OF THE DESERT.
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