Saturday, 24 May 2014

Charro! (1969)

God Elvis was gorgeous wasn't he? And I say that as a straight man!

Yup, even with a beard he's gorgeous.

Charro! sees The King play it straight and never once sings (apart from over the opening titles) in the role of Jess Wade, a former outlaw double crossed, framed and branded upon the neck by his old gang. It's a part that was turned down by Clint Eastwood and, whilst Elvis was no Clint when it came to the acting stakes, its fair to say he does give a very good account of himself here in what is a fine looking and watchable late 60s western with the requisite amount of grittiness and bold soundtrack (from Hugo Montenegro) in the wake of the harder hitting Spaghetti sub-genre which Charro! clearly hopes to emulate.

Charles Marquis Warren, a veteran of TV westerns, wrote, produced and directed this offbeat Presley vehicle and whilst it is competent enough it may have benefited from a more edgy directorial style (again, akin to the Spaghetti's) to make it truly stand out and, who knows, perhaps have given The King a new direction in terms of acting.

Look out for a young James B Sikking (pictured holding Elvis at gunpoint above) laconic and quirky as always, playing one of the gang.

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