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Flaming Star

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Don Siegel
Produced by David Weisbart
Written by Clair Huffaker (novel)
Clair Huffaker
Nunnally Johnson
Starring Elvis Presley
Barbara Eden
Dolores del Río
Music by Cyril J. Mockridge
Cinematography Charles G. Clarke
Editing by Hugh S. Fowler
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) December 20, 1960
Running time 101 min.
Country United States
Language English

Flaming Star is a 1960 western film starring Elvis Presley, based on the book Flaming Lance (1958) by Clair Huffaker. A dramatic role, it is said that Elvis Presley gave one of his best acting performances as the mixed-blood "Pacer Burton." The film's working title was Black Star. It was directed by Don Siegel.

Contents

Sypnosis

Elvis Presley plays Pacer Burton, the son of a Kiowa mother and a Texas rancher father. Along with his half-brother, Clint, the four of them live a typical life on the Texas frontier. Life soon becomes anything but typical when a nearby tribe of Kiowa begin raiding neighboring homesteads. Pacer soon finds himself caught between the two worlds, part of both but belonging to neither.

Primary cast

Background

The film rights for Flaming Star had been floating around Hollywood since 1958 when 20th Century Fox finally decided to run Presley in the lead role.[1] Originally Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando were lined up to play the brothers.[1]

Presley's previous film, G.I. Blues, had been a success at the box office and had led to one of his best selling albums to that point.[2] However, determined to be taken serious as an actor, Presley asked for roles with less songs.[1] Flaming Star was initially to include four songs, but after Presley demanded all but two of the songs be removed, it ended up with only the title song and a short number at the beginning.[1]

Barbara Steele, a British actress signed up to play the love interest, was replaced by Barbara Eden after studio executives decided that Steele's accent was too strong.[1]

The film was released only one month after G.I. Blues but failed to ignite the charts, reaching number 12 on the Variety Box Office survey for the week.[1] Presley's next film, Wild in the Country, also failed to impress fans or critics, and Colonel Tom Parker used this to persuade Presley that his audience didn't want to see him in straight acting roles.[1] This led to musical-comedies such as Blue Hawaii and Kid Galahad set the precedent for much of his roles during the 1960's.

Soundtrack

The soundtrack was not released as an album as the film contains only two songs; only "Flaming Star" was released on an EP entitled Elvis By Request - Flaming Star to coincide with the film's release. Two other songs, "Britches" and "Summer Kisses, Winter Tears", were originally scheduled to be part of the movie but in the end were not included. "Summer Kisses" was released on the Elvis by Request EP and would later appear on the compilation album Elvis for Everyone five years later. "Britches" and "Cane and a High Starched Collar" (the second song to actually be included in the film) would not be released until after Presley's death as part of RCA Records' A Legendary Performer series. An early version of "Flaming Star", using the film's working title, "Black Star", was also recorded and not released until the 1990s.

Flaming Star was the first Presley film not to have a full soundtrack release in either LP or EP form (although the Elvis by Request release come close). This would happen again in 1961 with Wild in the Country, and become standard procedure for Presley's later films, beginning with Stay Away, Joe.

Track listing

  1. "Flaming Star" (Sherman Edwards, Sid Wayne)
  2. "A Cane and a High Starched Collar" (Roy C. Bennett, Sid Tepper)

Recording musicians

Trivia

  • This movie's publicity still of Elvis was used by Andy Warhol to create several silkscreens: "Double Elvis", "Triple Elvis", and "Elvis 11 Times".

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Victor, Adam, The Elvis Encyclopaedia, p.167
  2. ^ Victor, Adam, The Elvis Encyclopaedia, p.190

External links

Movie reviews
DVD reviews

Flaming Star
Directed by Don Siegel
Produced by David Weisbart
Written by Clair Huffaker (novel)
Clair Huffaker
Nunnally Johnson
Starring Elvis Presley
Barbara Eden
Dolores del Río
Music by Cyril J. Mockridge
Cinematography Charles G. Clarke
Editing by Hugh S. Fowler
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) December 20, 1960
Running time 101 min.
Country United States
Language English

Flaming Star is a 1960 western film starring Elvis Presley, based on the book Flaming Lance (1958) by Clair Huffaker. It is said that Presley gave one of his best acting performances as the mixed-blood "Pacer Burton", a dramatic role. The film was directed by Don Siegel, and had a working title of Black Star.

Contents

Synopsis

Elvis Presley plays Pacer Burton, the son of a Kiowa mother and a Texas rancher father. His family, including a half-brother, Clint, live a typical life on the Texas frontier. Life becomes anything but typical when a nearby tribe of Kiowa begin raiding neighboring homesteads. Pacer soon finds himself caught between the two worlds, part of both but belonging to neither.

Primary cast

Background

The film rights for Flaming Star had been circulating around Hollywood since 1958 when 20th Century Fox finally decided to cast Presley in the lead role.[1] Originally Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando were lined up to play the brothers.[1]

Presley's previous film, G.I. Blues, had been a success at the box office and had led to one of his best selling albums to that point.[2] However, determined to be taken seriously as an actor, Presley asked for roles with fewer songs.[1] Flaming Star was initially to include four songs, but after Presley demanded two of the songs be removed, it ended up with only the title song and a short number at the beginning.[1]

Barbara Steele, a British actress originally signed to play the love interest, was replaced by Barbara Eden after studio executives decided that Steele's accent was too pronounced.[1]

The film was released only one month after G.I. Blues but failed to ignite the charts, reaching number 12 on the Variety Box Office survey for the week.[1] Presley's next film, Wild in the Country, also failed to impress fans or critics, and Colonel Tom Parker used this to persuade Presley that his audience didn't want to see him in straight acting roles.[1] This led to musical-comedies such as Blue Hawaii and Kid Galahad, which set the precedent for many of his roles during the 1960s.

Publicity stills of Elvis from the film were used by Andy Warhol to create several silkscreens: "Double Elvis," "Triple Elvis," and "Elvis 11 Times."

Soundtrack

Elvis By Request
[[file:‎|frameless|alt=|]]
EP by Elvis Presley
Released February 1961
Recorded August-October 1960
Genre Soundtrack
Length 11:02
Label RCA Records
Producer Urban Thielmann
Recording sessions took place on August 8 and October 7, 1960, at Radio Recorders in Hollywood. Initially, four songs were composed for the movie, but "Britches" and "Summer Kisses Winter Tears" were dropped.[3] The soundtrack music in the film consists of only two songs, "Flaming Star" and "A Cane and A High Starched Collar." An early version of "Flaming Star," using the film's working title "Black Star," was recorded and later released in the 1990s.

Two months after the film's premiere, RCA released the extended play single Elvis By Request - Flaming Star, catalogue LPC 128, which peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100.[4] It contained the title track and one of the rejected songs, "Summer Kisses, Winter Tears," along with two of Presley's chart-topping 1960 singles, "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" and "It's Now or Never." "Summer Kisses" would appear on the anniversary compilation album Elvis for Everyone five years later, and "A Cane and A High Starched Collar" would be released on Elvis: A Legendary Performer Volume 2.

The song "Flaming Star" would be the title track of Elvis Sings Flaming Star, available at first only through select retail stores featuring products by the Singer sewing machine company as a promotional tie-in with Presley's 1968 Christmas television special, which Singer had sponsored. This album would begin the series of Presley budget releases on the RCA Camden subsidiary label.

Personnel

Track listing

Side one

Track Recorded Song Title Writers Time
1. 10/7/60 Flaming Star Sherman Edwards and Sid Wayne 2:25
2. 8/8/60 Summer Kisses Winter Tears Ben Weisman, Fred Wise, Jack Lloyd 2:17

Side two

Track Recorded Catalogue Release Date Chart Peak Song Title Writers Time
1. 4/3/60 47-7810 11/1/60 #1 Are You Lonesome Tonight? Lou Handman and Roy Turk 3:05
2. 4/3/60 47-7777 7/5/60 #1 It's Now or Never Eduardo di Capua, Aaron Schroeder, Wally Gold 3:15

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Victor, Adam, The Elvis Encyclopaedia, p.167
  2. ^ Victor, Adam, The Elvis Encyclopaedia, p.190
  3. ^ Jorgensen, Ernst. Elvis Presley A Life in Music: The Complete Recording Sessions. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998; p. 137.
  4. ^ Jorgensen, op. cit., p.414.

External links

Movie reviews
DVD reviews








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