4.7/10
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Harum Scarum (1965)

American singer Johnny Tyrone is enlisted by sinister forces to assassinate an Arab king whose daughter he has fallen in love with.

Director:

Gene Nelson
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Elvis Presley ... Johnny Tyronne
Mary Ann Mobley ... Princess Shalimar
Fran Jeffries ... Aishah
Michael Ansara ... Prince Dragna
Jay Novello ... Zacha
Phillip Reed ... King Toranshah (as Philip Reed)
Theodore Marcuse ... Sinan (as Theo Marcuse)
Billy Barty ... Baba
Dirk Harvey Dirk Harvey ... Makar
Jack Costanzo ... Julna
Larry Chance ... Capt. Herat
Barbara Werle ... Leilah
Brenda Benet Brenda Benet ... Emerald
Gail Gilmore Gail Gilmore ... Sapphire
Wilda Taylor ... Amethyst
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Storyline

Johnny Tyronne, action movie star and ladies man, is travelling through the Middle East on a goodwill tour to promote his latest movie, "Sands of the Desert". Once he arrives, however, he is kidnapped by a gang of assassins who were so impressed with his on-screen adventures that they want to hire him to carry out an assassination for them. He naturally refuses, and following his daring escape he makes his way across the desert back to civilization, pausing every now and then to sing a song or two. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

1001 Swingin' Nights! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 December 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Harem Scarum See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,400,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,500,000, 31 December 1965
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Four-Leaf Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Opening weekend position in Variety's list was 11th. See more »

Goofs

In the climactic fight scene, set at night, the lighting changes from torchlit darkness to broad daylight, and back, several times. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Johnny Tyronne: This is about the wildest audience I've ever played to, Ambassador.
U.S. Ambassador McCord: Yes, they seem very interested. You have no idea how important this occasion is. Your good will tour of this part of the world will be most helpful to the State Department.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening title, the drama mask seen directly below Leo the Lion in the MGM logo is replaced by a caricature of Elvis. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Peanut Butter Solution (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

GO EAST YOUNG MAN
(uncredited)
Written by Bill Giant, Bernie Baum and Florence Kaye
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Elvis' movie career hits rock bottom
19 July 2008 | by dave13-1See all my reviews

Widely considered to be Elvis' dumbest movie ever and the source of many prime gags in Top Secret, Harum Scarum is worth watching only for those Elvis fans interested in answering the question of what went wrong with his movie career. The answer was quite simply that, to Colonel Parker, Elvis was a carnival concession. He was getting million dollar offers to keep at the same old formula junk and since Parker had no idea how good movies were made he kept agreeing to the deals while the money was there. Harum Scarum shows the formula at its most derivative. Elvis himself looked bored and distracted at times on screen and even messed up some of his lip synching! The bulk of the songs are strictly for the Pat Boone set and badly out of date before the movie even came out. At a time of rapid change and great excitement in the music world (the Beatles made HELP around the same time) the music in Elvis' movies did not evolve or change, it just got recycled. The sets are also retreads, studio back lot leftovers from earlier better movies which look about as authentically middle eastern as a Moroccan restaurant in Brentwood. The costumes are a bad joke, and look like I Dream of Jeannie cast-offs. Elvis himself spends most of the movie looking foolish (and a bit like a Popsicle) in lime green pants. Add in a ridiculously predictable hand-me-down story about intrigue in the palace of the sultan and a few unfunny minor characters, and there is not much to like here, even for die hard Elvis fans. Even Elvis haters looking for a cheap laugh will find themselves bored by this exercise.


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