HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
Astronaut
Peanut Butter Falcon, The
Ip Man 4: The Finale
Card, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
   
 
  Harum Scarum Elvis Of Arabia
Year: 1965
Director: Gene Nelson
Stars: Elvis Presley, Mary Ann Mobley, Fran Jeffries, Michael Ansara, Jay Novello, Phillip Reed, Theodore Marcuse, Billy Barty, Dirk Harvey, Jack Constanzo, Larry Chance, Barbara Werle, Brenda Benet, Gail Gilmore, Wilda Taylor, Vicki Malkin, Rick Rydon
Genre: Musical, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Johnny Tyrone (Elvis Presley) is an American movie star who is acting as a goodwill ambassador to the Middle East, by way of presenting his latest film, a romantic desert epic which shows off his singing talents. Once the premiere is over, he steps up to the microphone and sings another song, then is introduced to the local royalty, including Aishah (Fran Jeffries), a lady who catches his eye, so much so that he accepts her invitation to spend the evening with her. However, she has not told him the whole story, and Johnny soon ends up drugged and kidnapped...

Any movie which starts off with the King of Rock 'n' Roll karate chopping a leopard to the ground surely couldn't have been all bad, except Harum Scarum, which does begin in such ridiculous fashion (it's the climax of Johnny's film), was little loved in the canon of Elvis movies, and considering what most of them were like that's saying something. Set in a Hollywood impression of Arabia, and a desperately cheap one at that, this was for the most part resolutely setbound with the scenery provided by a previous production to save cash, an indication of the half-arsed nature of the work from beginning to end.

Apparently the reason for this was getting made was to shift copies of the soundtrack album, which was generally more profitable than the film it came from anyway, and with that in mind Presley broke out into song every couple of minutes, or so it seemed. Not that this helped, for every one of them was unmemorable aside from the number he performed in the prison, a ballad, and even that was no Jailhouse Rock, leaving the feeling of a towering talent being frittered away on trifles. By this stage the star was phoning in his performances, putting the barest effort into them and acting as if he really didn't care about the results, a sad state of affairs when he was capable of so much more.

Nevertheless, as with almost every Elvis movie there was a moment or two standing out, if only for the wrong reasons, therefore here you had the sight of Johnny coming around from his enforced slumber and immediately crooning to the slave girl who meets is gaze, which was amusingly silly. Incidentally, Harum Scarum was a good movie if you liked brunettes, for in lieu of actual Middle Eastern women the producers had assembled a bunch of dark haired lovelies to fill out the ranks to the female cast, not one of them of the origin their characters were meant to be yet typically for this shoddy effort presented as just that. You could excuse that in something like Road to Morocco, but here there was very little to entertain.

Johnny gets mixed up in an assassination plot where he has to kill the King (Phillip Reed) for oil wealth-based reasons or else he will see the friends he has made in the isolated country executed. Apparently someone was impressed with that karate. Incidentally, those friends included a silent Billy Barty and a little girl (Vicki Malkin) who offers one of the most uncomfortable numbers of Elvis's screen career where he croons an inappropriate-sounding tune to her as she gyrated before him. Best stick to the grown-ups really, as they included Mary Ann Mobley, the former Miss America who had been in a previous flick for the King and is the nice girl princess who doesn't know what to think, and as the bad girl Fran Jeffries, a nightclub performer now best recalled for appearing in Playboy twice, both times when she was in her forties, striking a blow for the attractive older lady. But aside from the odd diversion, Harum Scarum was a dreadful bore, all the worse for wanting to be serious when comedy was the best approach.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1796 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: