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Omar Khayyam (1957)

During the 11th century, Persian poet Omar Khayyam's lover marries the Shah but the Shah, whose life is threatened by a sect of assassins, appoints Omar royal advisor.

Director:

William Dieterle

Writer:

Barré Lyndon
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cornel Wilde ... Omar Khayyam
Michael Rennie ... Hasani Sabah
Debra Paget ... Sharain
John Derek ... Young Prince Malik
Raymond Massey ... The Shah
Yma Sumac ... Karina
Margaret Hayes ... Queen Zarada
Joan Taylor ... Yaffa
Sebastian Cabot ... The Nizam
Perry Lopez ... Prince Ahmud
Morris Ankrum ... Imam Nowaffak
Abraham Sofaer ... Tutush
Edward Platt ... Jayhan
James Griffith ... Buzorg
Peter Adams Peter Adams ... Master Herald
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Riding high with spectacular action and excitement !


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 August 1957 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

The Loves of Omar Khayyam See more »

Filming Locations:

Indio, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)| Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In April 1957, this film was distributed on a double bill at many drive-in theaters with Dino (1957) starring Sal Mineo. See more »

Goofs

As Omar leaves the council of the Grand Master. See more »

Quotes

Yaffa: Slaves are trained to please, wives are not.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Budd Boetticher: A Man Can Do That (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Loves of Omar Khayyam
Music and Lyrics by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
See more »

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User Reviews

Typical "Arabian Nights" film of the 1950s
22 April 2001 | by sundar-2See all my reviews

The 11th century mathematician-poet Omar Khayyam who lived in Baghdad wrote quatrains in Persian which are still quoted. The exact details of his life are unknown, so Hollywood wrote a biography on the tabula rasa of his life. Cornel Wilde plays the often-drunk Omar Khayyam who longs for his sweetheart who the Sultan keeps in his harem as his third wife. Omar Khayyam works in the Sultan's court as a mathematician who is drawing up a new calendar. When the Sultan dies, Omar Khayyam stumbles upon a plot to kill off the Sultan's successor. The poet then goes off to foil the plot. He crosses swords with the Assassin sect whose members are deluded by their leader into thinking that they are in paradise when they actually are in a hashish-induced zombie-like state. In fact, the word "assassin" means "hashish-eaters".

Cornel Wilde who plays Omar Khayyam is unable to be a debonair swashbuckler because he has to play a tortured poet. Michael Rennie as the sinister Hasani is wonderful. His aquiline features suit his Arab role. The rest of the cast is unremarkable. "Omar Khayyam" has all the Arabian Nights cliches - harems, slaves, sultans, thieves and intrigues. It is a type of movie which will not be made again because, these days, the Middle East brings up visions of fanatical terrorists, not innocuous fables of highly intellectual Arabs amidst the magnificence of ancient Baghdad.

(Reviewed by Sundar Narayan)


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