Saturday, May 02, 2009

Kings of the Sun

One of the things that I always do when I am in North America is look for DVDs I can't get at home. My DVD player is actually a Pioneer bought in the US which also plays Region 2 (and everywhere else) DVDs as well so buying Region 1 over here isn't a problem.

Actually filmed at Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, Mexico

A film that I have been looking for for a long time but which only came out on DVD last year was the Yul Brynner epic Kings of the Sun (1963) which I fondly remember as one of the first films I say on colour TV. I just picked it up in HMV in Vancouver.

" White man speak with forked tongue. Good job we all speak English."

Brynner plays an Indian chief in conflict with invading Mayans led by King with a conscience Geroge Chakiris who thinks that all this human sacrifice stuff is just wrong.

It all gets complicated when they both chase after a hopelessly miscast Shirley Anne Field (it killed her Hollywood career stone dead) as a Mayan princess. In some other interesting casting we have Richard Basehart (from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea -which had one of the great TV series theme tunes ever) and Barry Morse (Space 1999 -which didn't (sorry Barry Gray, but it hasn't aged as well as Thunderbirds!)) as Mayan priests.

Excellent art from the poster!

I remember it having a couple of really good battle scenes and a better script and story than most epics of the time. Apparently it has been brilliantly remastered which should show off the genuine Mexican locations to perfection. Sadly my laptop isn't multi region so I will have to wait untill I get home before I can watch it (unless one of my other hotels has a DVD player)!

Now, who makes a 1/56 scale Mayan pyramid...?

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