Omar Khayyam was among the greatest of Persian poets. He was also a brilliant mathematician. Though his quatrains were written in the 11th century, they are still popular the world over. The details of his life are unknown, so this movie invents a biography for him and includes in it his real achievements - the invention of a new calendar and the penning of those epigrammatic poems. This film has him losing the love of his life to his ruler, and foiling an assassin sect's plot to kill that ruler, the empire's shah.Written by
In April 1957, this film was distributed on a double bill at many drive-in theaters with Dino (1957) starring Sal Mineo. See more »
As Omar leaves the council of the Grand Master. See more »
They call you Chosen One... the Seventh Excellent Creature.Are you also to be appointed Caliph, interpreting the Will of God, Supreme Ruler above all earthly kings?
If it were not so, I could not wear these robes nor hold this office.
You have named me your Counsellor, but
I am happier with lesser matters, like this strip of vellum on which I have reduced the year to better reckoning. These figures will guide the lives of men when our mouths have been stopped with the dust of a thousand ...
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Leaving aside whether this film has some accuracy on the Persian poet and matemathician's life or not (history doesn't know much about him), I agree with a review here that states a better movie could have been made with this story.
The picture is very slow in its first part -almost boring- and it gets more interesting when the plot to kill the Sultan by the Assassins appears and some action with it. The settings are acceptable -no more than that- if we consider this a 1957 product and so are the costumes and the musical score by Victor Young.
But I think the major flaw in this movie is Cornel Wilde's casting as the main character. Wilde was never a more than average actor and here he is unable to support the weight of a film in which he is the center. He lacks charisma, strength and presence as Kayyahm and renders a dull performance. The rest of the cast is standard with the exception of Michael Rennie who plays a great villain worthy of a much better effort.
Perhaps if the movie had focused on the second part only -that is the the Assassins sinister plans and the fight against them- and included a much more suitable actor in the main role, we would be talking about a really enjoyable epic adventure film.
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