Genghis Khan

1965

Adventure / Drama / History / War

5
IMDb Rating 6 10 1740

Synopsis


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August 19, 2018 at 06:00 AM

Director

Cast

Eli Wallach as The Shah Of Khwarezm
Omar Sharif as Genghis Khan / Temujin-Genghis Khan
James Mason as Kam Ling
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.01 GB
1280*544
English
NR
23.976 fps
2hr 0 min
P/S 9 / 17
1.97 GB
1920*816
English
NR
23.976 fps
2hr 0 min
P/S 11 / 18

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Gooper 9 / 10

Why Worry About Authenticity? Enjoy!

Historical accuracy is not very likely in an epic like this, but that's not the point, especially after so many years have passed since it was made. Considering 'Genghis Khan' now, it stands out as a dandy museum piece, not only in the 'they don't make 'em like this any more' category, but because it's such a full-blown try at making a splash in the epic film sweepstakes of the 1960s.

Yeah, it's a tinker-toy epic, but great fun, despite aiming at serious drama. Only 'Marco the Magnificent' outdoes it for 'Mutinational Production Prize' of its era.

Interestingly, it's a 'gap-filler' epic. That is, in the years when every ancient or legendary subject/culture seemed to be tackled by producers, hoping to strike 'Ben-Hur' gold, filmmakers shopped around history, looking for unique subjects to make an impression. Sooner or later the great Khan's number was going to come up. 'The Conqueror' with John Wayne seems more like a western (duh!), while 'Genghis' actually has a central Asian feel to it. Like its mate, 'The Long Ships', this is a Yugoslavian-filmed venture, a mini attempt to emulate Sam Bronston's epic production efforts over in Spain.

After Bronston's great empire unfortunately folded, other attempts to take up the epic gauntlet were made. This is one of the most sincere. A great cast, pretty respectable art direction, a sense of epic sweep, and a predictable but often witty script, they're all here. I'm sure the distinguished cast did it for the money, but at least they probably had a good time doing it. At its best it's a decent try at being epic. At its worst, it's a curiosity, but a pretty amusing one.

Highlights: - Dusan Radic's fantastic score. He achieves a Rosza-like standard, I think.

  • Michael Hordern yelling 'TEMM-U-JEEN!!!' endlessly.


  • Omar Sharif's yoke. Enthusiasts can see who wears his longer: Omar or John Wayne.


  • James Mason's Mandarin parody. Politically correct it ain't.


  • Bob Morley steals the show (as usual), as the effete emperor. The only character in cinema history who is killed just by WATCHING fireworks. Best line, as he hands a featherweight fan to a servant: 'Take it, it grows heavy'.


  • Orson Welles WASN'T in this one, but should have been.


  • Francoise Dorleac is of course very Euro, but not bad to look at.


  • Any picture with Geoffrey Unsworth behind the camera is going to have some stuff going for it. Seeing it in full Panavision on the big screen would certainly give this picture more respectability.


I await its' much-deserved DVD appearance.

Reviewed by krdement 4 / 10

Confused, Revisionist Epic

I remembered enjoying this film when I saw it as a pre-teen on television in the '60's. I have remained an avid fan of adventure films and epics. So, when it was aired yesterday on TCM, I tuned in with anticipation. It had not aged well. Perhaps all of the anomalies are more difficult for a mature movie fan to accept.

The best parts of this film are the locations, the sets, the costumes and the props. Even so, the sets are never quite convincingly grand enough. They retain the flavor of sets. The photography never captures the locations in a way that conveys the vastness of Central Asia. And the impact of the costumes and props is diminished by the fact that they are at the service of a predominantly Caucasian cast attempting to portray the tribes of Mongolia.

Blonde Francoise Dorleac, who portrays Genghis Khan's wife is the most glaring racial anomaly. But the entire cast is similarly anomalous. At least Stephen Boyd and Omar Shariff aren't blond. But Englishmen, James Mason and Robert Morley look hopelessly out of place. (I personally wondered how people of Oriental heritage reacted to Mason's stereotypical pronunciation of the letter "L" as an "R!") I don't really find a lot of fault with the portrayals offered by Mason and Morley, although I do agree with the suggestion of several reviewers that they seem like they wandered in from a production of the Mikado.

Lastly, I cringed at the soundtrack - typically Occidental-sounding pseudo-epic orchestrations with grandiose flourishes. The heroic-sounding 4/4 marches were typical of the Sword and Sandal epics of the day. Only a stray chord here and there suggested an Oriental setting.

In that era, it was inconceivable to cast Orientals in the principal roles of a film of this one's pretensions. Under the circumstances Hollywood would have done better to simply avoid attempts to depict tales of Asian peoples.

In the end, bizarre casting and completely Occidental-sounding music render this film difficult to swallow for a film-goer looking for anything beyond a shallow adventure story. With the number of Oriental actors in Hollywood films today, a GOOD portrayal of the life of Genghis Khan is ripe for filming!

Reviewed by qorda 3 / 10

pathetic historical

Want to see an example of how to make a useless historical movie, then watch this. Bad casting, poor direction, weak acting and ignorance of history all combined here. Omar Sharif plays the great mongol with "arabic accent".Physically he is a weakling, totally unsuitable to represent a man whose life was full of severe hardships. He never manages to give an impression of greatness. Director seems to have forgotten that the film was about Mongolians. None of the characters except extras are of oriental origin, and except for Robert Morley (Chinese emperor)and James Mason (emperor's courtier and envoy), no other character has a makeup good enough to resemble that race. Incidentally only these two acters manage to impress with their acting. The story of the movie is typically that of a cowboy movie just in a different setting. It is not focussed and has got just a bit of this, that and every thing. Stunts and war scenes are ordinary. The writer neither studied the history nor had a decent knowledge of customs of asian races. The "Conqueror" starring John Wayne is a much better movie on Chengez Khan.

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