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4.5 out of 5 stars
39
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 9 June 2015
Very happy. .thankyou..I saw this film long ago
when I a young child. Now having been diagnosed with a Terminal Cancer .
I wanted to See again films from my 'past' &
Amazon were able to 'Help'.Which I thank them
Film was sent from Sweden ...Swedish subtiiles
But Hey I been trying to get this film for a while So happy Amazon made my dream.
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on 8 June 2017
very good
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on 3 September 2016
great
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on 15 August 2017
a classic
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 November 2011
Kings of the Sun is directed by J. Lee Thompson and co-written by Elliott Arnold and James R. Webb. It stars Yul Brynner, George Chakiris and Shirley Anne Field. A Panavision production with colour by DeLuxe, it is filmed on location in Mexico at Mazatlan and Chichen Itza. Photography is by Joseph Macdonald and the music scored by Elmer Bernstein.

When the Mayan tribe are attacked by Hunac Ceel's (Leo Gordon) army, the King is killed and his son Balam (Chakiris) succeeds the throne. Balam leads his people to new land in the American Gulf Coast region, where they set up a new home from which to flourish again. However, the region is already occupied by an Indian tribe led by Black Eagle (Brynner), can it be possible for two different cultures to co-exist? They need to work it out one way or another because Hunac Ceel and his army are on their way to finish the Mayan's off for good.

As with many other historical epics, Kings of the Sun is no history lesson. But for those who don't mind a dialogue driven narrative that's dressed up splendidly in colour and scenery? Then this should more than cater for your needs. The problems with the film are evident quite early in the piece, non native actors playing different race characters is always a bit iffy, but when they are the centre piece of the story it's never going to go away during the film watching experience. Thankfully Brynner is an exception, he manfully carries the film on his considerable frame and offsets considerably the badly cast Chakiris and the pasty faced (and blue eyed!) Field. The latter of which isn't acting badly, she just looks hopelessly out of place. Brynner is panther like in movements, and able to exude the raw emotion required for the role of Black Eagle.

Other strong points in the film are Bernstein's score, which lands in the ears and rattles the brain with historical thunder, Macdonald's "Panavision" photography around the exotic Mexico locations, and the battle sequence for the big finale. J. Lee Thompson was a fine director of action, and so he proves here with a near 8 minute construction of gutsy sword and arrow play that features reams of extras and high quality stunt work. If it's a battle sequence to win around those who have been bored by the long stretches of chatter and love triangle dalliances? That can't be guaranteed, but it is a blood and thunder battle fit to be mentioned with the best the historical epic genre has to offer.

Thompson (Ice-Cold In Alex/The Guns of Navarone/Cape Fear) copped some flak from the critics for this film, but really the fault lies with the casting director and the writers. You would think that since they were re-jigging history anyway, they may as well have written in some exciting machismo fuelled passages of play long before that final battle, they did after all have the right director for such moments. Still, I liked it quite a bit, yes it's very talky, but there is good interest value in the two different races trying to co-exist, with the big cloud of human sacrifice proving to be the hot topic central to the human interest story that drives the picture on. 7/10
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on 21 May 2010
I remember watching this a child (many years ago) and many of the scenes stuck in my memory. I was glad to see it out on DVD at last. Not one of the great movie epics of all time but covers an unusual period and story line. Not as brutal or gory as Mel Gibson's 'Apocolypco' but some good set pieces.
Yul Brynner looks the part of a native American chief but George Chakiris with his bushy air doesn't strike me as a typical Mayan. But it's good fun and I enjoyed it.
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This is a very honest adventure film and I watched it rather with pleasure, even if it shows a little bit its age. It is the story of a group of Pre-Colombian Mayan refugees who, having lost a war against another city-state, escape through the sea from Yukatan peninsula to what seems to be southern Texas and there try to start a new life.

There are some weak spots which could spoil your pleasure, so you better be prepared for a vision of Mayas who look VERY European (lots of them are blue-eyed) and who use metal (bronze) weapons - when in reality Pre-Colombian Mesoamericans fought with weapons made with wood, stone, bone and horn (they knew copper, silver and gold, but those metals were too soft for military use). Dialogues between the Mayans are not exactly the strongest point of this film either, the "romance" between the Mayan chief (Balam) and one of his female subjects (Ixchel) seems to be very forced and is completely unconvincing, the fighting scenes are really, but really weak and finally, the main villain (Hunac Ceel), although supposedly a great conqueror, wages war like a total fool...

There are however also many good points which make this film quite watchable and even enjoyable:

- Yul Brynner is the main treasure of this film. He plays Black Eagle, the chief of a local (Texan) warlike tribe (probably the ancestral nation of Apaches), which the refugees meet in their new land. His character is extremely impressive and he plays this proud warrior in a purely incredible way.

- the main female character, Ixchel, is very interesting and she is played by a very attractive British actress, Shirley Anne Field. She doesn't look very much like a Mayan woman, but on another hand she certainly has more brains and class than the chief of her nation (Balam) or the "evil" Mayan warlord Hunac Ceel.

- the whole idea of a terrible trek of refugees who search to find a new land after their world collapsed is very appealing and rather well filmed. The struggle to create a new city-state in a new, hostile territory is very interesting and it was filmed well.

So, all in all, this is a honest, quite watchable old adventure movie, which I liked and I am going to keep it on my DVDs shelf. Still, this is one old film which could definitely use a more modern remake, without blue-eyed Mayans and bronze weapons and with a little bit more of realistic Pre-Colombian warfare. Although, I do not think anybody could replace Yul Brynner as Black Eagle...
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on 11 March 2010
A classic movie from an unknown part of South/North American History, Yul Brunner is perfect as usual. A gret pleasure! ;o) (Sorry for my poor english I'm French).
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on 18 February 2012
OK: this film is not historically correct, some of the actors 'stick out' compared to the natives they are impersonating, but what the heck! It is a great adventure and the overall quality of the material is very good, considering it dates from 1963. The acting and snake-like movements of Yul Brynner alone are word the investment! Sit back and relax in the old fashioned way.

One thing: I had to buy my copy elsewere, because I needed Dutch subtitling for my fellow viewers and Amazon could not help me with that.
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on 4 September 2014
Its ok but I liked it after having seen it as a boy
Leo G Gordon is great as Hunac Cel. George Chakaris was uneasy as the youn king, he always seem to be looking for Route 66.
Brynner very good as the native american chief.

the Mayas however looked more like Aztecs or Toltecs or Mixtecs.
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