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Flaming Star Reviews

This was Presley's best film, far superior to the moronic material he was usually given. Here he plays a young man who is forced to choose between his white father, McIntire, and his Kiowa mother, Del Rio. Despite his parents' attempts to stay out of local racial hostilities, Del Rio is killed by a white man, and McIntire later dies in an Indian raid. By this time Presley has joined the Indians, while Forrest, his brother, tries to avenge McIntire's death by attacking the Kiowas singlehandedly. He ambushes and kills the chief but is severely wounded. Presley ties his brother to a horse and sends him to safety while fighting off the attacking tribe. Eden then tends to Forrest's wounds and tries to keep him in bed, but Forrest struggles off to help Presley. However, in the end he can only watch as the mortally wounded Presley rides off into the mountains to die. This violent western about prejudice focuses on the consequences of racism, rather than the causes. Siegel's crafty direction shapes the material into a strong story, and the film proves that, with an intelligent script, Presley could be a forceful actor. The film is refreshingly lacking in the record-peddling that dominates other Presley vehicles (there isn't a song sung after the first 10 minutes). The script was initially written for Marlon Brando by Johnson, then rewritten for Presley by Huffaker. Ten minutes were cut from the original version of the film. Classic Elvis!