Thursday, August 22, 2019

By the Gods!

George Chakiris and Yul Brynner in KINGS OF THE SUN (1963)

What do you think of this movie? I watched it last night and I'm conflicted with this one. Part of it I really like (production values), parts of it I really do not like (story). It's like a pulp magazine cover from MAN'S WORLD come to life. There are so many things to say about it, a lot negative and positive stuff. Today, in these politically correct times, this movie would be seen as racist. Chakiris is an odd casting choice. Some of the costumes, though nice, look more like 'costumes' than something someone actually wore back in the day. Then there's Brynner who's nearly naked throughout. His body is in full display. There are so many issues with it but the main one which irks me is the fact that in reality the two groups wouldn't be able to communicate since they spoke different languages but in this movie, they're able to communicate with ease. No language barrier. I know most films are like this, from Hollywood or Europe, but for some reason this obvious important detail makes it appear less realistic.


Steven Lester said...

Chekaris shows his abs off briefly at the beginning. And this was how the Aztecs took over at the beginning of their reign after the Eagle showed them where to settle. They played the other tribes that already lived at the Lake against each other, with themselves in the lead, of course.

Richard Svensson said...

I object to the notion that adapting art from a culture other than my own is racist. I look at the stories of humankind as our mutual heritage. It's a petty, limiting look at something that ought to be available to all of us. Was Mario Bava racist when he did Italian Viking movies? Of course not -the privilege of being offended in this matter is only reserved for some cultures, and we are all aware of this fact, no matter what side of the argument you stand. Some cultures aren't even interested in making movies (for example) based on their myths and legends or history. Why not let those who are interested do it instead?

Brrrodie the Westie said...

Yes, it's a fantasy, but also is a rollicking good adventure story that doesn't involve modern-day folks. It's no more fanciful than MACISTE AGAINST THE SONS OF THE SUN, although that's not saying much.

Yul's oiled, writhing body as he's tied down with the love interest hovering over him, is something to behold. The Elmer Bernstein score is pulsing and one of his best. I saw this as a boy at the local neighborhood movie house and was thrilled. This was just released on Blu-ray from Twilight Time and it's a great presentation