Harum Scarum (1965)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Elvis Presley plays singer/actor Johnny Tyronne in this formulated quickie directed by Gene Nelson. While on a promotional tour of Pakistan, Johnny is drugged, kidnapped, and whisked away to a mythical Middle East country. Jay Novello plays the scheming Zacha who vows (for a price) to help Johnny in a world that is 2,000 years behind the times and sealed off from the outside world. With the help of Baba (Billy Barty), they hope to get Johnny back to the comforts of the modern world. Elvis shows off some neat karate moves, but he looks bored and resigned to the fact no one in Hollywood (or Colonel Tom Parker) will give him a serious screen role. Filmed on sets that were originally used for Kismet (1944) and Cecile B. DeMille's silent classic The Ten Commandments. As for the songs, only Mirage and Hey Little Girl are memorable. The generous Presley, perhaps feeling nostalgic, donated $50,000 to the motion picture relief fund after completing the film. On hand at the celebrity press conference were such luminaries as Frank Sinatra, Bud Abbott, and silent-screen veteran Chester Conklin. … More
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as Johnny Tyronne
as Princess Shalimar
as Prince Dragna
as King Toranshah
as Capt. Herat
as Scarred Bedouin
as Heroine of Film
as King Toranshah
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Critic Reviews for Harum Scarum
Audience Reviews for Harum Scarum
Dumb junk is a perfect illustration of why Elvis' movie career ended up being a joke. While any movie with him singing has some value and Mary Ann Mobley was an incredibly beautiful woman the songs in this are inane, the direction lackluster and most if not all the acting amateurish. Elvis' charm is in full view but even it can not save a turkey like this.
Honestly not as bad as people say, no worse than the last couple Elvis films. Really on par with a bad episode of Star Trek, Buncha white people with afghan hounds and belly dresses... this movie should just take place in an alternate Middle Eastern/Moroccan inspired planet because there's nothing remotely arabic about it otherwise and that would make more sense.
Wow, this is hokey even for an Elvis film. Very poor art direction, the songs aren't very memorable, the acting is poor, the costumes are gaudy. It's amusing, mostly when it shouldn't be. But it does have Elvis and the lovely Mary Ann Mobley.
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