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John M. Stahl
Mostly fictionalized account of the life of Ghenghis Khan, the Mongol warlord whose 13th century armies conquered much of the known world. Named Temujin, he was taken prisoner by the rival warlord Jamuga and as punishment was forced to wear a large round wooden stock that severely restricted his movements. With the help of two supporters, the wise-man Geen and the strongman Sengal he manages to escape. He now begins his quest to unify all of the Mongol tribes. He faces great success but his old nemesis Jemuga keeps appearing at various times in his life leader to a final battle between the two.Written by
Not quite as bad as John Wayne's famed turkey THE CONQUEROR, but getting there. Problem was with this flick, the makers dumped historical accuracy in favor of developing a Ben-Hur-Messala type confrontation between Genghis Khan (Sharif, at the height of his popularity) and his nemesis, a scowling bewhiskered Jamuga (none other than "Messala" himself - Stephen Boyd)
Plenty of Mongol action and cruelty and the concluding battle between Sharif and Boyd is pretty in-your-face stuff. Production values were OK and suitably epic-ish in feel. The wheels start to fall off though with Robert Morley as the Chinese Emperor, some throwback to his role in 55 DAYS IN PEKING and worse, mega-british James Mason as Kam Ling, as likely a chinese adviser to Morley as Adam Sandler playing Abraham Lincoln. In a minor role as Subatai, Kenneth Cope is struggling to hold down any credibility whatsoever, having been first-string comic relief to David Frost on the THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS TV show.
Not for the epic Hall of Fame I'm afraid!
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