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  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  • French: Dolby Digital Mono
  • German: Dolby Digital Mono
  • English: Dolby Digital 3.1
    English, French, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish
  • 3 Theatrical trailer - Flaming Star, Love Me Tender, Wild In The Country

Flaming Star

20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox . R4 . COLOR . 88 mins . PG . PAL


Before Elvis made the sort of tacky films that dogged him until his dying day on a toilet, he starred in the old Hollywood favourite - Westerns. They were still popular at the time, and other than a few poncey looking blokes in spangly outfits before him, no-one had quite managed to mix the heartthrob muso with the squinty-eyed cowboy look before.

Watching these first forays into the movie world, you can't help but admire the fact that he wasn't half bad at this gig. This makes it all the more depressing that later on he would miss out on some pearler roles and instead wind up singing about coconuts to buxom blondes on some beach where the sun always shone out of his clacker.

Flaming Star has him playing at being a half-breed. With a white father and an Indian mum, his family straddle the fine line of acceptance and weariness by the locals and friends in dusty 1887 Shit Creek, America. When a war is about to erupt between the whites and the Indians, both sides try to force his loyalty against the other, but in the end it will end in tragedy for him and his family.

If this all sounds a bit heavy, because you're more accustomed to hearing that the plot to his films involve him flying to Hawaii to help an old friend "interview" go-go dancers for a new nightclub, or racing a sports car to earn money to open a club, or join a circus to earn money to buy a club, it's because he didn't always make those kinds of films.

Sure, those films had Elvis singing, good looking girls, coconuts, Elvis singing, clambakes, car races, Elvis singing, boxing, fistfights, Elvis singing, circus freaks, go-go dancers and Elvis singing, but his earlier works were usually more straight-laced, less tongue-in-some-girl's-cheek affairs (with Elvis singing, of course).

Keep in mind these aren't quite Clint Eastwood calibre westerns, but they're harmless enough for an entertaining look at The King in action in his early movie days, showing a potential that was never fully realised.


Having re-run Elvis films on television for decades on end, you'd be forgiven for thinking they were all made in the full frame format. Wait until you see him strut his stuff on widescreen DVDs though, and you'll want to see all his films again just to see what you've missed. This one is framed at 2.35:1, is anamorphic, and looks fantastic. The clarity of the print, the encoding, the detail, the colour, all look far better than you'd imagine. I found myself constantly surprised at the the quality of the picture, and a quick look at my bitrate meter showed that the DVD player was doing some heavy bit pushing to render the image throughout. If this DVD is an indication of what to expect, I can't wait to give the others a run.


This is the first 3.1 audio mix I've ever listened to, and it's a mixed bag result, but with things leaning in its favour. The soundstage can sometimes sound a bit odd, with only a minor stereo impression making this feel like a small step up from mono. You will probably have to run the dial on your receiver a little higher than usual to get the right sound level as it's a little on the quiet side. But then some louder bits, such as shouting, gunfire, the score kicking in, etc, can sound a bit shrill, but it's tolerable. Once you've settled in it all goes along swimmingly and is a relatively pleasant listen.


Not much added value to be found, just a trailer for this film, a trailer for Wild in the Country, and another for Love Me Tender. If anything, they show that the promotion of his films clearly centred around him singing, whether the songs - or the films - were good or not.


Flaming Star is a movie that tries to be better than it really is, yet it's still entertaining for the novelty of Elvis really trying to act and not being too bad with the material. Definitely get a hold of this one if you want to build a collection of his films. You won't be disappointed with the transfer, especially in regards to the picture, nor the performance.

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      And I quote...
    "Elvis acts! Elvis sings! Elvis kills! "
    - Vince Carrozza
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          Sony DVP-525
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          Sony 68cm
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    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale s500
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          Polk Audio CS245
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale WH-2
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    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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