‘I Dream of Jeannie’ Star Barbara Eden Has a Theory Why the Movie She Made With Elvis Presley ‘Didn’t Make a Penny’

Elvis Presley made movies with a lot of stars, including Barbara Eden of I Dream of Jeannie fame. During the production of the film, Eden got to know the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Subsequently, she revealed why she thought the movie they made together was a flop.

Elvis Presley with a microphone
Elvis Presley | Frank Carroll/Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

How ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ star Barbara Eden got a role in an Elvis Presley movie

In her book Jeannie Out of the Bottle, Eden revealed horror movie icon Barbara Steele was originally going to star alongside Elvis in the movie Flaming Star. However, Steele’s accent was deemed too strong for her to play a cowgirl. Eden got the role instead, five years before she became a television icon on I Dream of Jeannie.

Eden was happy to appear in Flaming Star. She liked playing a cowgirl because she didn’t have to focus so much on her clothes and makeup. At the same time, she was nervous about meeting Elvis. She previously watched him perform on The Ed Sullivan Show and she was in awe of “his intense star quality and sex appeal.”

Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman in front of a wall in 'I Dream of Jeannie'
Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman in ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ | NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

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Why Barbara Eden thinks the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s fans didn’t like the movie

During an interview with Fox News, Eden discussed what she thought of the “Kentucky Rain” singer. “He was a lovely man,” she opined. “Well brought up. Was a hard worker. A very good actor and wanted to be. This was the only film that he really had a chance of showing he could act.”

Eden said the good reviews Elvis received for Flaming Star didn’t help the film at the box office. “He got excellent reviews on the film,” she recalled. “And, of course, it didn’t make a penny because … he didn’t sing a song. That wasn’t what his fans wanted. But he was excellent.”

Eden’s statement here is an exaggeration. There are two Elvis songs in the film. Regardless, the film still has far fewer songs than more famous films starring the “Heartbreak Hotel” singer such as Viva Las Vegas and Blue Hawaii. The smaller number of songs could have contributed to Flaming Star becoming a relatively obscure movie in the singer’s filmography.

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The way the world reacted to Elvis Presley’s song ‘Flaming Star’

While there weren’t a large number of songs in the film, the songs from Flaming Star found some success. The title track reached No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for seven weeks. The song appeared on the compilation album Elvis Sings Flaming Star reached No. 96 on the Billboard 200, remaining on the chart for 16 weeks.

The Official Charts Company reports “Flaming Star” did not chart in the United Kingdom. An album containing the song called Flaming Star and Summer Kisses reached No. 11 in the U.K., staying on the charts for four weeks. While Flaming Star and its music were not hugely successful, Eden has fond memories of Elvis.