West Texas in the years after the Civil War is an uneasy meeting ground of two cultures, one white. The other native American. Elvis portrays Pacer Burton. The son of a white rancher (John ...
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West Texas in the years after the Civil War is an uneasy meeting ground of two cultures, one white. The other native American. Elvis portrays Pacer Burton. The son of a white rancher (John McIntire) and his beautiful Kiowa Indian wife (Dolores DelRio). When fighting breaks out between the settlers and natives, Pacer tries to act as a peace maker, but the "flaming star of death" pulls him irrevocably into the deadly violence.
Elvis Presley had another song in the film, "Summer Kisses, Winter Tears", which was cut after preview audiences laughed at the staging (Elvis singing to the Indians around a campfire, accompanied by a chief on war drums). A studio version of the tune was recorded, but the original "Indian" version was only resurrected recently on the German "Elvis: Double Features" CD collection. See more »
When Sam Burton is hit deadly by three Indian arrows in his back, the Indian Warrior who shot the last arrow into his victim approaches the dying man in order to take his scalp. Sam lies with the front of his body to the ground the three arrows protruding out of his back. The Indian reaches Sam, turns him around and is shot by Sam who uses his last vitality strength to kill his murderer: to achieve this goal he has to lift his right arm to fire his colt on the Indian Brave thereby revealing that the three arrows that had been sticking in his back one second before are gone! They are not broken but still sticking in his body as would be the case in real life, no, they have dissolved into nothingness. See more »
All Ma and me ever got from Whites is mean looks and don't get uppish with us.
Oh, that's not true.
You were the worst. You made me feel it the worst. When I was little I liked you a lot. You were the only girl I ever liked a whole lot. But ever since you've been old enough to know, you never looked at me once without saying something in the back of your head. "He's Kiowa. Clint's all right, but watch out for Pacer."
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Basically, Elvis does not sing much in this one. It is a dramatic role in which he plays a half-breed youth, raised in his father's white world, but now caught in the midst of an Indian war.
This film is a sad statement of what might have been. Here we glimpse the natural dramatic talent that was never allowed to blossom. There would be no "From Here to Eternity" for Elvis as there was for Sinatra. Contracts later forced him in to the musical-comedy roles that he grew to hate. He was told you will do these movies with this starlet or that starlet, sing this bad music with ducks or cows in the background, play the race car driver, the speed boat driver, the motorcycle racer, or you won't work at all.
The truly sad thing is that if this part of Elvis' talent had been cultivated, if his musical career had been kept separate from a dramatic acting career, perhaps his life would have traveled a very different road. It is a horrible thing to know that you have talent & to want to be able to use that talent, but be forced to waste it. IMHO, it was something that gnawed at him and played no small part in his own self-destruction.
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