In 1960 two iconic actors, Elvis Presley and Barbara Eden, teamed up for a popular film.
The two starred in “Flaming Star” together. It was a western film based on a book by Clair Huffaker and directed by Don Siegel.
In the film, Elvis Presley plays Pacer Burton, the son of a Kiowa mother and a Texas-born father. He is working as a rancher on a frontier with his family. Suddenly, a nearby Kiowa tribe begins to raid neighboring homesteads.
However, due to his heritage, Burton finds himself trapped between two different groups. He has to work out where he belongs, although he feels like he’s never truly completely been a part of either. He tries to act as a peacekeeper, but deadly violence erupts.
Barbara Eden, known for her role on “I Dream of Jeannie,” stars alongside “The King” as Roslyn Pierce.
She is a part of his Texas environment. In the movie, he says to her, “You were the worst. You made me feel it the worst. When I was little I liked you a lot. You were the only girl I ever liked a whole lot. But ever since you’ve been old enough to know, you never looked at me once without saying something in the back of your head. “He’s Kiowa. Clint’s all right, but watch out for Pacer.'”
Reception of the Film
Originally, the film was going to star Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando as the two brothers in the film. Elvis Presley ended up with the role after the success of his mvoie “G.I. Blues.”
This film is considered one of Presley’s best performances. Critics gave mostly positive reviews and praised him for his improvements.
According to Variety, the role is a “demanding” one for newcomer Presley. However, they called the film “disturbingly familiar and not altogether convincing, but the film is attractively mounted and consistently diverting.”
The film also used Elvis Presley’s talents as a musician, although he did fight on this. There were two songs by Presley, the theme song and a short number during a birthday party scene.
Working Alongside Elvis Presley
As for working with Elvis Presley, Barbara Eden only had kind things to say as well.
“He was a lovely man. Well brought up. Was a hard worker. A very good actor and wanted to be. This was the only film that he really had a chance of showing he could act. He got excellent reviews on the film. And, of course, it didn’t make a penny because… he didn’t sing a song. That wasn’t what his fans wanted. But he was excellent,” Eden told Fox News.
In another interview, she praised Elvis Presley for his professionalism, his manners, and his ability to please viewers with amazing performances.
“God, what a talent he was! I remember the first time I saw him. It was on television. I had a job dancing, and one of the girls took me home to rehearse, and her sister came running in the room and said, ‘Look! Look! Quick! Stop!’ It was the Ed Sullivan Show,” Eden said.