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Kings of the Sun


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Product Details

  • Actors: Yul Brynner, George Chakiris, Shirley Anne Field, Richard Basehart, Brad Dexter
  • Directors: J. Lee Thompson
  • Writers: Elliott Arnold, James R. Webb
  • Producers: Lewis J. Rachmil
  • Format: Color, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: March 25, 2008
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0010YSDA4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,901 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Kings of the Sun" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Yul Brynner, George Chakiris, Shirley Anne Field, Richard Basehart. Chief Black Eagle leads a raid against a recently uprooted Mayan tribe that's encroaching on their territory in Mesoamerica. But later he agrees to bury the hatchet when an old nemesis mounts a furious attack on their peaceful co-existence. 1963/color/108 min/NR/widescreen.

Amazon.com

Fans of Mel Gibson's Apocalypto may well enjoy J. Lee Thompson's 1963 Kings of the Sun, an exotic, widescreen adventure about the ancient Mayan civilization and its rocky relationship with a nomadic tribe. George Chakiris plays Balam, a young and inexperienced Mayan king who must lead his people from one part of Mexico to another via ships. Arriving at a seemingly uninhabited coast, Balam oversees the construction of a new kingdom, complete with a tall temple upon which an altar for human sacrifice rests. The problem for Balam is that he doesn't believe in the need for sacrificing people, creating a conflict when his own high priest (Richard Basehart) demands that Black Eagle (Yul Brynner), wounded chief of a local Indian tribe, be offered up to the Mayan gods. Complicating Balam's life even more is that his love interest, Ixchel (Shirley Anne Field), falls for Black Eagle while nursing him back to health. Everything leads to a kind of social experiment in coexistence that gets shaky whenever the subject of Ixchel comes up. Screenwriter Elliott Arnold (Broken Arrow) does a fine job of alternating the big picture of conflicting traditions and peoples with intimate moments of passion and disappointment. Thompson wraps the story in a fever-dream intensity, underscored by the undeniable sexuality of Brynner (who moves like a bronze cat) and Chakiris (who looks like a haughty demigod). The characters' lurches toward a more modern view of sacrifice and cooperation are fascinating and make Kings of the Sun as thoughtful as it is bigger-than-life. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Not very realistic and not historically accurate.
Willie G. Shaw
I wanted to like this movie, but found it a dull disappointment.
DR BOB
Great quality.... Love this movie yule was a great actor...
Russ

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

106 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Gary Vidmar on December 27, 2007
Format: DVD
Here's an obscure, highly original adventure story that's better than APOCALYPTO and PATHFINDER put together! A United Artists release from the 60's, it's a macho field day for Brynner, who plays a native North American butting heads with the Mayas - particularly chieftan Chakiris. It's eccentric matinee fun, nicely staged, beautifully shot and filled with a pulsating, trademark score by the great Elmer Bernstein. An out-of-print, letterboxed DVD was available in Japan, but this MGM DVD is the first time this picture has been viewed in anamorphic Panavision since it's theatrical run. Terrifically enjoyable stuff!
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Shy Member on December 24, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a such a wondefull movie!!. I can not believe is finally going to be available. I have been waiting years to get a copy. I have no idea it was projected to be release on DVD. What a nice surprice. Sorry I know I do not sound too profesional on my review. I just watched this movie once 35 years ago, and that was enough for me to love it for the rest of my life. 5 stars? 10 stars? ...you name it
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Graham Hill on May 1, 2008
Format: DVD
Having been given a home video release years earlier in Asia of all places, KINGS OF THE SUN finally arrives on these shores. If you're expecting plenty of extras and a really pristine print, unfortunately this is not the case as noted by other reviewers. But we do have a great action/adventure from British director J. Lee Thompson fresh off completing TARAS BULBA with the same star Yul Brynner. Now theres plenty of stunt action in this picture with hundreds of extras and so on, but the added bonus is the pulsating music score of master maestro Elmer Bernstein. In fact as he said himself on a TCM TV screening with Robert Osborne, it's his most requested score by his loyal fans. He was about to re-record the score before he died, but it never happened.

Shot on location on the beaches of Mazatlan and at the Mayan city of Chichen Itza in the Yucatan of Mexico back in 1963, you just know that there are plenty of beach resort hotels spoiling the same views these days. It's a B-movie story that is livened by the action, music, great photography of Joe MacDonald and the uncredited narration of James Coburn, years before he found a retirement career voicing commercials.
It's Yul Brynner's picture for sure and it's his last iconic period piece prior to finally playing the robot gunslinger in WESTWORLD. George Chakiris is passable coming off WEST SIDE STORY, but Shirley Anne Field and her heavy British accent is way miscast. Still THE GUNS OF NAVARONE director Thompson, keeps your attention with the widescreen layout and detail of the scenes.

I personally remember seeing this in London upon it's intial release and I loved it then. So much so, that I saw it three or four times in the theatre.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Andre Villemaire on May 6, 2008
Format: DVD
If you loved Kings of the Sun when you saw it many moons ago...you will
still love it... If you are 25 years old or less, please take in consideration the year the movie was made. There was no CGI in those days,
actors/actresses physically worked for a living and it was not a blue/green screen world. These types of movies were rare, as most movies
dealts with guns/crime/war/murder.
So when a big adventure movie came up we jumped on it and ...this movie
looked big...big cast...pyramids....it was a kid's dream....
So today the movie still hold, is entertaining and Yule never looked better.
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46 of 58 people found the following review helpful By celestial3 on December 15, 2007
Format: DVD
I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO SAY "I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS MOVIE FOR SO LONG". THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS AND SAY EL CID ( WHICH IS ALSO "FINALLY" COMING TO DVD IN JAN ) WHICH WAS AVAILABLE ON OTHER FORMATS, I'VE NEVER SEEN KINGS OF THE SUN AVAILABLE ON VHS OR LASERDISC, AND REMEMBER IT WHEN I WAS YOUNGER AND WATCHED IT MANY TIMES ON TV. THIS IS A FINE ADVENTURE AND EVEN WITH ANY HISTORICAL COMPLAINTS IT IS WELL ACTED BY ALL ESPECIALLY MR. YUL BRYNER AND MR. GEORGE CHAKRIS. ALSO IN WIDESCREEN AT LAST. I'M NOT GIVING ANYTHING AWAY ABOUT THE STORY BECAUSE IT DOES HAVE IT ALL, ACTION, LOVE, EMOTIONS, MORAL REVELATIONS, EVERYTHING. I'M SURE SOMEONE WILL SOON ENOUGH, BECAUSE I JUST SAY, BUY IT. REALLY, FINALLY!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Selitrenny on June 21, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For years I was condemned to watch this movie on an old VHS tape, in Pan & Scan (aaargh), but now, finally we have it in glorious Cinemascope.

As per usual habit of the people at MGM/UA though, there is not very much about special inserts. Also, the sound is not very special. Just a lame Mono or Stereo sound, which seems to be their specialty for most of their titles, unless naturally, treated by someone else (see the Sony treated James Bond Collection and you see what I mean).

Only thing that indeed got a vast improvement is the image. Crystal clear and in the correct widescreen format (for those who actually like the black bars on top and at the bottom of their screens).

The story is not very accurate and takes many liberties with Mayan and Toltech history.

It is, after all, just an adventure movie, with just a hint of historic background intertwined in its plot.
But who would like to miss out on a Yul Brynner movie?

Now, if only they would release "The Ultimate Warrior" on DVD, also starring Yul Brynner, in a perhaps more potent role, then I would really be satisfied...
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