11/27/2014  
Day of the Mummy on DVD Dec 9Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special on DVD Dec 9Field Of Lost Shoes on DVD Dec 2What If on DVD & Blu-ray Nov 25Hart To Hart: Season 3 on DVD Dec 9The Simpsons: Season 17 on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 2Robin Williams Remembered - Pioneers of Television on DVD Dec 2

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

"Dancing with the Stars" season 19 crowns a winner ...
Day of the Mummy on DVD Dec 9...
Demi Lovato Talks Miley Cyrus: "I Have Nothing in Commo...
5 Things That Should Be In Katy Perry's Super Bowl Half...
Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special on DVD Dec...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE (BLU-RAY)...
AIN'T IN IT FOR MY HEALTH: A FILM ABOUT LEVON HELM (BLU...
THE LADY (BLU-RAY)...
SWAMP THING (BLU-RAY)...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
DARK SHADOWS: THE GREATEST EPISODES COLLECTION - FAN FA...
JACK KEROUAC - KING OF THE BEATS...

MZ Mark Zimmer

Take Part in a Film Restoration...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...
LOST KEATON...
BLACK NARCISSUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY (BLU-...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...
BASEBALL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1986 WORLD SERIES GAME 6...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...
THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY...
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS...
ANATOMY OF A MURDER...
BASIL DEARDEN'S LONDON UNDERGROUND (ECLIPSE SERIES 25)...

RR Rich Rosell

AFTER.LIFE...
MYSTERY TRAIN (BLU-RAY)...
PANDORUM...
NOTE BY NOTE: THE MAKING OF STEINWAY L1037...
DARK MIRROR...

JC Joel Cunningham

WINGS OF DESIRE...
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS...
MONSOON WEDDING...
PIERROT LE FOU...
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

DH Dan Heaton

NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

JU Jeff Ulmer

THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Warner Home Video presents
Harum Scarum (1965)

"Besides you, who do I have to kill?"
- Johnny Tyronne (Elvis Presley)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: August 01, 2004

Stars: Elvis Presley, Mary Ann Mobley, Fran Jeffries, Michael Ansara
Other Stars: Jay Novello, Philip Reed, Theo Marcuse, Billy Barty
Director: Gene Nelson

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (mild violence, whipping)
Run Time: 01h:25m:17s
Release Date: August 03, 2004
UPC: 012569515222
Genre: musical


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B B-A-B+ D+

DVD Review

It must have been tough being the high concept guy who was stuck having to come up with something different for each of the long string of musical vehicles for Elvis Presley in the early 1960s. But whoever he was, he really outdid himself with this outlandish little tale of modern-day Arabian Nights. Although it doesn't entirely work (in part due to a leaden effort from the leading man), it still manages significant appeal with its totally outlandish scenario.

Action film star Johnny Tyronne (Elvis) is on a goodwill tour of the Middle East when he's kidnapped by a cult of Assassins headed by the sinister Sinan (Theo Marcuse) and the sultry Aishah (Fran Jeffries). Johnny's film exploits and martial arts skills are in demand among the Assassins to kill King Toranshah (Philip Reed) of Lunarkan, a nation that has had no contact with the West in 2000 years. Johnny manages to engineer an escape with the leader of the marketplace thieves guild, the mercenary Zacha (Jay Novello), after briefly meeting the king's daughter, Princess Shalimar (Miss America Mary Ann Mobley) and immediately falling in love with her. But the Assassins aren't done with Elvis just yet, and he finds himself torn between his love and saving his own neck.

The proceedings have a definite fairy tale quality to them, occasionally interrupted by Elvis' Americanisms and repeated references to American foreign aid. But this Middle East seems like a fantabulous place dripping with gold and jewels, populated with dancing girls, talented midgets (such as Billy Barty) and magical pools (not to mention an odd ability to speak perfect English, despite having no contact with the West). There's a measure of pro forma barbarity too, of course, but it's all played pretty much tongue in cheek. One scene that feels jarring today is a sexualized (if not fetishized) dance by little Sari (Vicki Malkin), who can't be more than ten years old, while Elvis leers at her. It's creepy beyond belief, but before long things turn back to more wholesome fun.

About the only person who doesn't seem to be having a good time is Presley. This was made near the end of his long run of films, and he's clearly just going through the motions here for the most part. The exception comes in the martial arts sequences, where he seems to be getting into the action aspect. Perhaps if the action genre had been more developed in the 1960s he might have followed that course for his film career. Mobley is pretty much just window dressing with a dull look of bewilderment through most of her scenes. Fran Jeffries, on the other hand, oozes sensuality with every move. Novello plays Zacha way over the top and he's plenty of fun to watch, and the same goes for Marcuse, who drips venom with every word.

Director Gene Nelson keeps the pacing pretty sprightly throughout, with some ingenious stagings of the musical numbers. This film had a better-than-average soundtrack album; although there aren't any big hits, the tunes are hummable and the performances are reasonably good. The songs are:

Harem Holiday
My Desert Serenade
Go East, Young Man
Mirage
Kismet
Shake That Tambourine
Hey Little Girl
Golden Coins
So Close, Yet So Far
Harem Holiday (reprise)


Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The anamorphic widescreen picture is quite attractive for the most part, with a filmlike appearance. Colors are quite vivid and fine detail is evident throughout (for instance, one can see Elvis had a pretty bad skin condition). On a few shots, there are vertical line artifacts visible on skin tones for some reason, but for the most part they look fine. Shadow detail is excellent and black levels are very good. The source print is in fine condition, with only the occasional speckle marring the viewing experience.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: Only a 1.0 audio is included, but it's reasonably good. Dialogue is never a problem, and the music sounds fine and lacks distortion. Bass levels aren't overwhelming but range and depth are better than acceptable. The percussion for some reason sounds particularly realistic on this mix.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 25 cues and remote access
Music/Song Access with 10 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Korean, Bahasa Indonesian with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Jailhouse Rock, Viva Las Vegas, Tickle Me, It Happened at the World's Fair
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The only extras are a set of five anamorphic widescreen trailers for Elvis films (including this one). Chaptering is adequate.

Extras Grade: D+

 

Final Comments

An off-the-wall entry in the Elvis canon, with some good songs and an interesting setting, even if Elvis doesn't seem as if he wants to be bothered. The transfer's quite good but not much for extras.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, dancing with the stars, alfonso ribeiro, witney carson, sadie robertson, mark ballas, janel parrish, val chmerkovskiy, horror, celebrity, demi lavato, miley cyrus, the tj show, heart attack, sonny with a chance, disney channel stars, music, sports, katy perry, superbowl, half time, comedy, drama, saturday night live, michael che, bill cosby, cameron diaz, beyonce, 7/11, american music awards, sunday, movie, hunger games: mockingjay-part 1, danny strong, christian toto, john nolte, sarah seltzer, documentary, action, foo fighters, beat the bots tour, 2015, sonic highways, fenway park in boston, wrigley field in chicago, citi field in new york, rfk stadium in washington d.c., chris pratt, guardians of the galaxy, dave chappelle, shailene woodley, ansel elgort, steve carell, michael sam, judi dench, esio trot, bbc, philomena, dustin hoffman, richard curtis, sci-fi, james bond, christoph waltz, daniel craig, ralph fiennes, ben whishaw, naomie harris, patrick schwarzenegger, adore you, arnold schwarzenegger, maria schriver, family, the big bang theory, mrs. wolowitz, carol ann susi, breast cancer, jennifer actress, plunging neckline, movies, christopher nolan, big hero 6, interstellar, gone girl, st. vincent

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store