ⓘ Harum Scarum (film)


ⓘ Harum Scarum (film)

Harum Scarum is a 1965 American musical comedy film starring Elvis Presley, which was shot on the original Cecil B. DeMille set from the film The King of Kings, with additional footage shot on location at the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Los Angeles. Some of the film was based on Rudolph Valentinos The Sheik released in 1921. The film reached #11 on the Variety national weekly box office chart, earned million at the box office, and finished #40 on the year end list of the top-grossing films of 1965. The film is listed in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilsons book The Official Razzie Movie Guide as one of The 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made.


1. Synopsis

American movie star Johnny Tyrone goes to the Middle East to premiere his new picture. He is seduced by the lovely Aishah, then kidnapped by a man named Sinan who wants Johnny to help him kill the king in the town of Bar Esalaam. Johnny escapes the palace with the help of a slave girl, Shalimar. Once out of the palace walls Johnny tells her that he was brought to the Middle-East to assassinate the king which causes Shalimar to run off in fear as she turns out to be the kings daughter.

Johnny meets up with his fellow escapee Zacha and make a plan to foil the assassination plan by joining a troupe of musicians who will be going to entertain the people of Bar Esalam on the last day of Ramadan. Johnny successfully befriends the troupe but that night they are ambushed by Aishah and her men after being betrayed by Zacha. Aishah orders Johnny to go through with the assassination after threatening the lives of the musicians and their children. Meanwhile Princess Shalimar can not shake the feelings she has for Johnny. On the day of the festivities Johnny reluctantly moves in to kill the King but is thwarted by Shalimar. Johnny, the musicians and the kids are sentenced to death.

The troupe is spared death after they are rescued by their associate, a dwarf named Baba. Johnny breaks into the Kings room and convinces him that he was blackmailed into the plot by Sinan and also confesses his love for Shalimar. The King believes Johnny and helps him infiltrate Sinans lair where it is revealed that the man who orchestrated the assassination plot was none other than the Kings brother Prince Dragna. Johnny manages to overpower Sinan but learns that his army has grown in number and taken the town by force.

Johnny, The King, Shalimar, the musicians and the remorseful Zacha gather as many of the Kings most loyal servants to battle the assassins and take back the town while the King enters Dragnas hideout vowing revenge. However it is revealed that rather than kill Dragna he has chosen to banish him after besting him in a game of chess. Johnny asks the King not to banish him to the United States. With order restored, Johnny and his new royal bride honeymoon in Las Vegas, along with a few of her dancing girls.


2. Primary cast

  • Michael Ansara as Prince Dragna
  • Jack Costanzo as Julna
  • Mary Ann Mobley as Princess Shalimar
  • Barbara Werle as Leilah
  • Philip Reed as King Toranshah
  • Larry Chance as Captain Herat
  • Jay Novello as Zacha
  • Billy Barty as Baba
  • Joey Russo as Yussef
  • Fran Jeffries as Aishah
  • Dirk Harvey as Mokar
  • Vicki Malkin as Sari
  • Ryck Rydon as Mustapha
  • Elvis Presley as Johnny Tyronne
  • Theo Marcuse as Sinan
  • Wilda Taylor as Amethyst
  • Gail Gilmore as Sapphire
  • Brenda Benet as Emerald

3. Production

Upon hearing about the movie for the first time, Elvis loved the idea of his character as being similar to a sheik. Eventually, he grew tired of the film because his character was made to look like a fool.

Similar to Elvis misconception of the script, Colonel Tom Parker thought the film was a comedy and suggested introducing a talking camel in the movie.

The film would go on to be the first starring Elvis to not make a box-office profit, due in part to the million dollar paycheck Presley received for his work.


4. Reception

Vincent Canby of The New York Times wrote in a negative review that Presley walked through the film "with all the animation of a man under deep sedation, but then he had read the script". Variety wrote that the picture "suffers from a lack of imagination" in providing Presley with a "substantial showcase", but that the eight song numbers in the film would "probably meet with response similar to Presleys past entries". Margaret Harford of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Nobody, least of all Elvis, can bring parody to heel in this effort from MGM, directed by Gene Nelson. Presley isnt Bob Hope and Mary Ann Mobley, beauty winner though she is, wont pass for Dorothy Lamour. Put them together and you realize right off that Harum Scarum isnt going to be much fun." Jack Shaheen listed Harum Scarum in his "Worst List" of films with anti-Arab stereotypes.

  • Harum Scarum may refer to: Harum Scarum film 1965 film starring Elvis Presley Harum Scarum album soundtrack of the film Harem Scarem disambiguation
  • Harum Scarum is the eleventh soundtrack album by American singer and musician Elvis Presley, released by RCA Victor in mono and stereo, LPM LSP 3468, in
  • Harum is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: Gisela Harum Austrian chess master Harem disambiguation Harum Scarum a 1965 musical comedy
  • This film - related list is incomplete you can help by expanding it. Harum Scarum film Exodus 1960 film Lawrence of Arabia film The Sheik film Introduction
  • also appeared as King Toranshah in the 1965 Elvis Presley musical film Harum Scarum Reed died in 1996 and was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery
  • Rabbit, an early Disney character Harem disambiguation Harum Scarum a 1965 musical comedy film starring Elvis Presley and the soundtrack album with the
  • 2013 Bulgarian Eurovision entry Kismet a song by Elvis Presley from Harum Scarum Kismet a song by Bond from Born Kismet a song by Flowing Tears
  • Carter s character, Julia Sugarbaker. She made two films with Elvis Presley in 1965, Girl Happy and Harum Scarum They were friends, as they were both from Mississippi
  • Dream Frankie and Johnny Fun in Acapulco Girl Happy Girls Girls Girls Harum Scarum Kissin Cousins Live a Little, Love a Little Paradise, Hawaiian Style
  • Henderson What Are We Going to Do? Written by Charles Henderson Harum Scarum Baron of the Harmonium Written by Charles Henderson And Her Golden