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I've finally seen Harem Scarum

Mon Jul 04, 2005 5:23 am

I bought the 6-MGM film collection yesterday, and watched HS this afternoon. Poor Elvis. I kept telling myself that this was intended as a deliberate spoof, but I really don't believe it. It's like they shoe-horned the Elvis formula film into a pre-existing script that had been written for Martin & Lewis or Hope & Crosby.

On a positive note when Elvis started to sing Shake That Tambourine, my son, who hadn't been interested in the film up to that point, suddenly looked up at the t.v. and said "Elvis sounds good!" Go figure! ..... Or maybe I should be worried? :shock:

Mon Jul 04, 2005 9:31 am

:cry: Worry :cry:

Mon Jul 04, 2005 9:36 am

Lassie....did i tell you about me playing Johnny B Goode?

:wink:

Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:02 am

Hey Pete, good 4 you buddy, Harum Scarum ROCKS!!!

It still blows my mind that a decent Rock song, (especially for an Elvis flick) like Hey Little Girl was negated and used singing it to a lil orphan girl!?

"...Go eat and drink and feast...

Go East Young Man"!!! :cry: :cry: :cry:

Mon Jul 04, 2005 11:12 am

Pete -

You never mentioned how dreamily gorgeous he looked in that turban.

So I won't.

Mon Jul 04, 2005 1:21 pm

Pete -
Didn't you have anything better to do on a Sunday afternoon?

There are many more exciting things you could have been doing. You could have been sitting in your closet all day with the door shut. How about driving back and forth over a speed bump all day? Why didn't you go out and count the total of red cars that passed by in a 12 hour period? See, there are so many more exciting things that you could have been doing other than watching that flick.

Mon Jul 04, 2005 2:50 pm

I too saw HS only recently for the first time. I was expecting something worse. That is not to say that the movie is good but I thought that it wasn't as bad as I've expected. Purely taken as a camp humour it can even be entertaining. IMO the worst Elvis movie is Double Trouble. The three cops that are supposed to be funny are just boring to me and the movie sucks anyway. It's just like Elvis said to Priscilla after doing Old McDonald: "Has it really come to this?"

Mon Jul 04, 2005 4:45 pm

I like "Animal Instinct", something about the instrumental arrangement. Oh wait, that song is reported to have been in in the Far East copy only......

To me HS is more watchable than DT and PHS.
Can't beat the bathing cap that just screams Flower Power. :roll:
I doubt that any of these movies had script writers.
I don't count them as movies.

The Doris Day/ Rock Hudson formula never got that low.

Didn't E think he would finally shoot a serious film again and his preparation was running around dressed up as a sheik for days ? He should have taken a look at the script.

"Hello, I am the Sheik Of Larabee."

Oh what a Harem Holiday it turns out to be for the famous American singer Johnny Tyronne. Not Jailhouse Rock, it is Jailed-Turban Rock this time !!! And his karate chop can now kill a leopard. You see it is not fake, it just looks fake! Yes folks, the same lethal hand that has killed the talking camel, but not the midget. And this just in: The mob annouced today that Mister Tyronne is going to make his arabic themed comeback in Vegas, Turban Las Vegas.

----

June 18 1965 - A viewing of "Harum Scarum" challenges even The Colonel's belief. For one of the few times in his professional association with Elvis, he gives free reign to his critical faculties, blasting the films incoherence and seemingly doubting even his own judgement in agreeing to a so hurried production schedule. It would take "a fifty-fifth cousin to P.T Barnum" to sell this movie, he declares, and maybe the best thing to do would be to "book it fast, get the money, then try again". He even comes up with a suggestion a month later to add a talking camel as narrator so that the ridiculousness of this movie appears intentional.
Last edited by Melanie on Mon Jul 04, 2005 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mon Jul 04, 2005 5:10 pm

I didn't find Paradise Hawaiian Style; Double Trouble; or Easy Come, Easy Go as embarrassing as HS. I saw DT for the first time last summer. I was expecting to do a lot of cringing when I started watching it, but when all was said and done I didn't find it to be near as bad as I'd expected.

But as I watched HS I found myself feeling sorry for Elvis. He even had a sort of 'resigned to his fate' look in his eyes.

Mon Jul 04, 2005 5:41 pm

There are good scenes in all of these movies.
It hardly makes up for the wasted time though.
I have more fun watching "Stay Away, Joe."
But to think that this is the only Sixties pro footage. :cry:
I am not talking about the '68 Special, because that material is a class of its own.

I can't bare to watch PHS, because it is far below "Blue Hawai." And E reportedly felt miserable (not that this was the first film where he did) and intentionally delayed shooting. He looks the part. It is nice to see his collie Baba in a cameo role. And we get to hear his real laugh during the "A Dog's Life" and "Datin" outtakes.

Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:28 am

Hm. I once tried to watch that movie on german TV, but even at the age of 14 I thought it was absolutely ridiculous and switched from channel to channel.

At least I often think by myself when watching some of his mid to late 60's movies that it must have been a long hard run for Elvis himself from songs like "Heartbreak Hotel" to "Kismet" or "Golden Coins".

What a waist of talent that was.

Joern

Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:46 am

Joe E said on that Elvis 50th Anniv. documentary that if Elvis wanted to change his film career, he could have. That it was ultimately up to him, not the Colonel, not the studios.

But how much control did Elvis really have?

He signs a contract, he's bound to that damn contract and the filmmakers arrange pretty much whatever they want to shoot him in. They decide directors, scripts, sets, co-stars, etc. right?

It's a well-known fact that damn Parker picked the name "Clambake"
he's titling an Elvis film himself!

so how much authority did Movie Star Elvis really have...or want?


----- I concur that PHS sucks. The songs suck.
But it did give him a chance to visit Hawaii again.
And that time, see the completed USS Arizona memorial for which its building he performed to raise money...five years earlier.

Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:58 am

This is getting worse! Earlier today I tried to get my daugher to watch Viva Las Vegas with me by saying: "Let's watch a good Elvis movie to make up for that bad one we watched yesterday." My daughter responded: "Dad, I liked the movie we watched yesterday." God help me!

Tue Jul 05, 2005 1:01 am

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Don't go any further.
Don't try "King Creole"...

Joern

Tue Jul 05, 2005 1:11 am

Pete Dube wrote:I didn't find Paradise Hawaiian Style; Double Trouble; or Easy Come, Easy Go as embarrassing as HS. I saw DT for the first time last summer. I was expecting to do a lot of cringing when I started watching it, but when all was said and done I didn't find it to be near as bad as I'd expected.

But as I watched HS I found myself feeling sorry for Elvis. He even had a sort of 'resigned to his fate' look in his eyes.


Pete, speaking of Double Trouble, that movie came on today at about noon and my 2 boys and wife started watchin' it. my wife was like, "Hun, it's Elvis, aren't ya gonna watch"? (she hadn't seen this movie yet) I jus nodded my head and headed for outside.

I came back after about 50 minutes and they were still watchin' it. my boyz seemed to be really into it, but my wife finally looked up at me and said...

"I can't believe he made these bad acting, corny as hell movies..."!

before I even started to explain, she said she knew all about it...(we've discussed Elvis' movie career many times!) :shock:

IMO, Harum Scarum was a bit better than Double Trouble, but It's sad to watch Elvis goin' thru the motions and that often look on his face like "What The Hell Am I Doing in This Lame Ass Flick..."???

Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:30 am

I think some good songs can salvage a bad script.

At a family reunion this weekend, an aunt and I were talking about Elvis and she said she didn't like the one where he's a boxer. I knew which film she meant and I replied, "But it had some good songs"

I Got Lucky & King of the Whole Wide World are 2 good songs, imo, despite the cinematic context of their use.

Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:02 am

[quote="Graceland Gardener"]


----- I concur that PHS sucks. The songs suck.

I kinda like the use of Paradise Hawaiian Style over the helicopter landing during the Aloha From Hawaii special.

Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:09 am

TCB TED wrote:
Graceland Gardener wrote:

----- I concur that PHS sucks. The songs suck.

I kinda like the use of Paradise Hawaiian Style over the helicopter landing during the Aloha From Hawaii special.


Ted, that's a good point. hearing it in that 1973 reprisal, the song is justified perhaps more than in its 1966 usage.

on that same note, I think the 1956 "Love Me Tender" song is boring
but the 1970s rendition is better served for TTWII kiss-greet-fans concert settings

Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:35 am

TCB TED wrote:
Graceland Gardener wrote:

----- I concur that PHS sucks. The songs suck.

I kinda like the use of Paradise Hawaiian Style over the helicopter landing during the Aloha From Hawaii special.


oh man, and I jus ordered the FTD soundtrack to Paradise, Hawaiian Style!!! :shock: :oops:

Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:37 am

minkahed -
That's because you are a fan through and through. Keep up the good work.

I have it too.

Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:46 am

Rob wrote:minkahed -

I have it too.


LMAO!!! :lol:

Thanks Rob...You ROCK!!!

Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:04 am

You gotta love the movie for the bountiful scenery that permeates thru the film alone! *ahem ahem* :wink:

Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:25 am

Drums of the islands your beating in my heart...

Your with me no matter where I roam...
:wink:

Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:15 pm

I think there are some funny scenes in Double Trouble and on the whole a rather amusing story. Unfortunately Elvis' acting is not the best. But not everyone likes the humor in this movie..

Paradise Hawaiian Style may be his absolutely worst movie with boring songs, bad acting and bad story. He is also physically not in shape (=fat) during this movie. See how he always has a shirt on even though it's sunny Hawaii.

Harum Scarum is also a strong contender for the worst movie. The most disturbing thing for me is that it is so easy to see that it's all in a bad looking studio. The plot is thinner than air and even Elvis seems bothered at times. A few scenes are better performed while in most Elvis seems to know exactly how the movie will look on the screen. This could have been an interesting movie with a good director and set and less songs. And a little more content in the script of course.

Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:36 pm

By the time Elvis got out of the army, the top film actors of the day were no longer signing long term studio contracts, the studio system had had its day. But i can well understand why Elvis sought the security of these contracts after leaving the army, to a maybe uncertain future. And dont forget, as much as a "rock`n`roller" that Elvis was, he was basically an old school entertainer, and making films was the natural way to go.

All the old time film stars, Bogart, Cagney, Flynn, Davis, etc all had major run ins with their studios about the quality of the films they were making, but they all still managed to make at least a few very good or even superb films each.

Even after being stuck with the film contracts, Elvis still could have made better films if he had the guts to stand up for himself. How many other artists would have suffered the artistic humiliation Elvis did in the mid 60`s, no matter how much money was involved ?