Sunday, 31 October 2010


Some might call KINGS OF THE SUN a guilty pleasure but why should we feel guilty about innocent pleasure. Reading the IMDb discussion boards there seem to be a lot of people who feel the same about this movie as I do. Many years ago when George Chakiris visited by hometown I asked him about the film and he said that it was great fun to make. And that, I think, sums the movie up. So what have we got? Well, for a start the film is about Mayans which means the characters get to wear flower pots on their heads or more spectacular headgear that looks like it had been liberated from the wardrobe of Carmen Miranda. The Mayans are forced to flee their homeland in the Yucatan Peninsula because they are being attacked by Leo Gordon (and in movies being attacked by Leo is a serious matter). They end up somewhere in Texas where they come into contact with Native Americans led by a Russian from Vladivostok who bears a remarkable resemblance to the King of Siam. The plot is pretty silly but like many silly things it is great fun. One of the real pleasures is watching the actors for a variety of reasons. Brad Dexter copes bravely trying not to look silly with a flowerpot on his head while Richard Basehart manfully deals with the ridiculous wig he has to wear before giving up and committing suicide. Then there is the strange case of Shirley Ann Field. She was probably a very nice girl but I never really saw any sign of acting ability - her lines here and in all her films being spoken in a droning monotone that destroys any dramatic value they may have had. She is, to say the least, a very unconvincing Mayan (and to stand out on that account in this film is something of an achievement). And then there is Yul Brynner - sinuous, charismatic, panther-like and the epitome of a star. When Brynner is on screen nobody else stands a chance. Enjoy. Rating ***

1 comment:

Cerpts said...

Sounds like fun! Of course, this is your blog for your "innocent pleasures" -- you need another blog to chronicle your "guilty pleasures". No children under 17 admitted.