Harum Scarum (1965) starring Elvis Presley, Mary Ann Mobley, Fran Jeffries, Michael Ansara, Jay Novello, Phillip Reed, Theodore Marcuse directed by Gene Nelson Movie Review

Harum Scarum (1965)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Elvis Presley in Harum Scarum (1965)

Hokum Harum

I've said it before and many others have said it as well Elvis Presley could have had a good movie career but ended up becoming disillusioned with the tripe he was being given to appear in. Talking of tripe "Harum Scarum" is a big load of smelly tripe a poor Elvis movie if there ever was one which relies on 3 basic things; Elvis, Songs and Beauties. You can see that Elvis didn't care for the movie or the mostly forgettable songs he is given to sing and only seems to smile when it comes to the perks of having a lot of beautiful women surrounding him and getting to kiss a few of them.

Film star Johnny Tyronne (Elvis Presley - Roustabout) is on a diplomatic tour of the middle east to promote his latest movie "Sands of the Desert" when he gets kidnapped. His kidnappers take him to a secret group called the Assassins who having seen Johnny use his martial arts skills on the big screen want him to assassinate a king. But Johnny is no killer and so escapes his captors and heads across the desert.

Mary Ann Mobley in Harum Scarum (1965)

I've watched and reviewed quite a few Elvis movies and as a fan I often find myself defending him as an actor but sometimes it is just impossible. "Harum Scarum" is one of those movies which even for a fan of Presley is painful because it is such a lot of hokum which is built on the Elvis movie formula of the man himself, songs and attractive co-stars. The storyline is one of the worst I have come across and is tedious beyond belief with the only good thing about it being that they used the sets from Cecil B. DeMille's "King of Kings" which makes it look half decent.

But then you come to the two main things and firstly Elvis looks like he is bored out of his brain and not even trying to act, just doing what he is told because his contract forced him to make the movie. In fairness Elvis doesn't look in bad condition and he does try and sell some of the movies humorous scenes but for the most he looks uninterested. But then there is the other thing and that is the array of songs which he gets to sing. Whilst the songs aren't terrible and of course Elvis's smooth voice makes them pleasant they are completely forgettable.

Aside from that we there is the third thing and Elvis finds himself surrounded by a variety of attractive women including Mary Ann Mobley and Fran Jeffries. But in typical Elvis movie fashion these lovely women don't have the best of characters to play and really just have the right look for the movie.

What this all boils down to is that "Harum Scarum" is a poor movie and that is coming from someone who tends to enjoy Elvis movies. Is it the worst Elvis movie that is debatable but it is one of his worst?