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Flaming Star

Flaming Star

4.0 3
Director: Don Siegel, Elvis Presley, Steve Forrest, Barbara Eden

Cast: Don Siegel, Elvis Presley, Steve Forrest, Barbara Eden


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Tensely directed by Don Siegel, Flaming Star is the grittiest of Elvis Presley's post-Army films. Elvis plays Pacer Burton, a half-breed youth in the old West, torn between loyalty to the whites, as represented by his father (John McIntyre), and the Indians, represented by his mother (Dolores Del Rio). A series of brutal Kiowa raids, and the subsequent


Tensely directed by Don Siegel, Flaming Star is the grittiest of Elvis Presley's post-Army films. Elvis plays Pacer Burton, a half-breed youth in the old West, torn between loyalty to the whites, as represented by his father (John McIntyre), and the Indians, represented by his mother (Dolores Del Rio). A series of brutal Kiowa raids, and the subsequent reprisals by the white settlers, sorely test Pacer's fortitude. Though offered moral support from his loved ones, Pacer is forced to work things out himself. The film was based on a novel by Clair Huffaker.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Flaming Star is a surprisingly ambitious, if ultimately unsatisfying, Western flick. Nunnally Johnson and Clair Huffaker's screenplay attempts to take a serious look at the conflict between white settlers and Native Americans, and it deserves points for not branding either side as entirely right or wrong, all good or all evil. At the same time, it isn't able to rise above certain melodramatic clichés (or mechanical plot turns) in its dissection of this difficult issue, and lacks the breadth and scope that could imbue the issue with a greater context and deeper meaning. Part of this is due to the casting. Elvis Presley's performance is adequate, but what is called for is something that is elemental and commanding; the character must embody the conflict that is the central core of the movie, and Presley can only indicate this quality, not live or express it. Similarly, Steve Forrest is also good, but lacking in size. Not having to carry such a burden, the supporting cast comes across better, especially Dolores Del Rio, whose turn as the mother is affecting and nuanced. Don Siegel's direction only occasionally achieves the poetry for which the film aims, but it's taut and effective.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Elvis Presley Pacer Burton
Steve Forrest Clint Burton
Barbara Eden Roslyn Pierce
Rodopho (Rudy) Acosta Buffalo Horn
Dolores Del Rio Neddy Burton
John McIntire Sam Burton
Karl Swenson Dred Pierce
Richard Jaeckel Angus Pierce
Ford Rainey Doc Phillips
Anne Benton Dorothy Howard
L.Q. Jones Tom Howard
Douglas Dick Will Howard
Tom Reese Jute
Marian Goldina Ph' Sha Knay
Monte Burkhart Ben Ford
Ted Jacques Hornsby
Perry Lopez Two Moons
Tom Allen Actor
Barbara Beaird Dottie Phillips
Joe Brooks Actor
Jordanaires Vocal Accompaniment
Rodd Redwing Indian Brave
Ray Beltram Indian
Guy Way Actor
Virginia Christine Mrs. Phillips
Henry Amargo Brave (uncredited)

Technical Credits
Don Siegel Director
Adele Balkan Costumes/Costume Designer
G.W. Berntsen Set Decoration/Design
Charles G. Clarke Cinematographer
Duncan Cramer Art Director
Josephine Earl Choreography
Hugh S. Fowler Editor
Clair Huffaker Screenwriter
Nunnally Johnson Screenwriter
Cyril Mockridge Score Composer
Walter Scott Set Decoration/Design
Walter M. Simonds Art Director
David Weisbart Producer

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Flaming Star 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
woman_of_few_words More than 1 year ago
Ask anyone who isn't an Elvis fan what they think of his movies and you'll hear the same thing: "He was a great singer, but man, his films stunk," "He could have been an actor, if he wasn't put in so many sappy movies," "Man couldn't act," "He was an entertainer, not an actor, why expect more?" I used to think the same. I really did, before I could ever see myself buying a million of his songs, being a part of that generation where the mention of his name conjures up images of Halloween costumes and bad impersonators belting out "Hound Dog." At that time, I thought of Elvis as that overweight dead singer that so many grandmas still fantasize about. So I watched this on one of my designated "s#*tty movie nights," expecting an embarrassingly-bad and hefty Elvis in an equally atrocious western. And guess what? That was NOT what I got. He plays Pacer, a half-blood cowboy whose loyalties are divided between the Native Americans of his mother's side and the white settlers of his father's and half-brother's side - a little cliché, but the ending doesn't turn out nicely as per the typical Elvis vehicle, and it was interesting how easily he slid into this role. The cast do a fine enough job, the Indians looked to be legit Native Americans (if you overlook their glossy plastic wigs), and the King of RnR gives a skilled, dramatic side here to his acting (in a tense scene following his mother's death, he tries to kill the doctor who failed to treat her). It's also worth nothing this is probably the most non-romantic film he ever made. In short, Flaming Star shows he wasn't a bad actor after all - take it from someone who loves the classic greats of old Hollywood. It's a crying shame that roles like this for Elvis were the exception and not the rule, because without a doubt, he could act. I've gone on to watch his entire output of 31 films (yes, that is the ultimate test of the die-hard fan) and honestly, his acting was always better than the film itself. There are many cheesy, silly, sugary-sweet, bikini beach films he hated but was forced to make under contract, many with increasingly bad scripts/songs (excepting Charro!, his only straight acting film, and Flaming Star, which has only one song in a beginning scene). Elvis wanted more serious opportunities to act, but fans and his manager thought differently, which has since left us a legacy of mostly mediocre musicals. A huge, sad waste of time for one of the greatest entertainers in history. If you don't mind watching a decent, non-formula Elvis movie, go for the lesser-known ones like Flaming Star, King Creole (his best film, IMO) Wild in the Country, Change of Habit, Jailhouse Rock, Follow that Dream (the only decent comedy he did), and, if you want to see the completely newbie-actor Elvis in his first dying role, Love Me Tender. It Happened At the World's Fair, while not something to get too excited about, should also be seen, and the slightly-sugary G. I. Blues is harmless and relievingly bimbo-free. If you want to see what hordes of shallow 1960's fangirls were paying to see, go for the pretty scenery of Blue Hawaii, Viva Las Vegas or the light, fluffy comedy Girl Happy. While easy on the eye, they are the quintessence of the formulaic plotline.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hollywood had the chance to take Elvis seriously as an actor based on this sterling performance, but they opted for the buffonery of the formula flicks that made him a joke. Don Siegel knew raw talent and he got the most from Elvis in a social conscious western that was rare for 1962. Well crafted and written. It's a glimpse of what could have been for the King.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If Elvis was ever to be taken seriously as an actor, this is his shining moment. This was a showcase of his raw dramatic potential and Don Siegel had the vision to work it to near perfection. Too bad the studios continued to plague The King with throw away projects instead of polishing the rough gem seen here. Solid work across the board. TCB, baby!!!