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Genghis Khan (1965)

During the thirteenth century, the shy Mongol boy Temujin (Carlo Cura) becomes the fearless leader Genghis Khan (Omar Sharif), who unites all Mongol tribes and conquers most of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Director:

Henry Levin

Writers:

Clarke Reynolds (screenplay), Beverley Cross (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Boyd ... Jamuga
Omar Sharif ... Genghis Khan / Temujin-Genghis Khan
James Mason ... Kam Ling
Eli Wallach ... The Shah Of Khwarezm
Françoise Dorléac ... Bortei (as Francoise Dorleac)
Telly Savalas ... Shan
Robert Morley ... The Emperor Of China
Michael Hordern ... Geen
Yvonne Mitchell ... Katke
Woody Strode ... Sengal
Kenneth Cope ... Subodai
Roger Croucher Roger Croucher ... Kassar
Don Borisenko Don Borisenko ... Jebai
Patrick Holt ... Kuchluk
Susanne Hsiao Susanne Hsiao ... Chin Yu (as Suzanne Hsaio)
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Storyline

Mostly fictionalized account of the life of Genghis Khan (Omar Sharif), the Mongol warlord whose thirteenth century armies conquered much of the known world. Named Temujin (Carlo Cura), he was taken prisoner by the rival warlord Jamuga (Stephen Boyd), and as punishment, was forced to wear a large round wooden stock that severely restricted his movements. With the help of two supporters, the wiseman Geen (Sir Michael Hordern) and the strongman Sengal (Woody Strode), he manages to escape. He now begins his quest to unify all of the Mongol tribes. He faces great success, but his old nemesis Jamuga keeps appearing at various times in his life, leading to a final battle between the two. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Conqueror Of The World's Mightiest Empire! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | West Germany | Yugoslavia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 June 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Genghis Khan See more »

Filming Locations:

Yugoslavia

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Claire Bloom was attached to this project at one point. See more »

Goofs

Genghis Khan didn't start the war at Khwarezm (although he might have had intentions about it). The Shah killed the messengers of Genghis Khan who then started a bloodbath in revenge. See more »

Quotes

Bortei: [about Jamuga] As long as this man lives, none of his tribe will join with you. They can't! You know their laws. And our laws too.
Temujin, later Genghis Khan: Killing him would be an act of mercy.
Bortei: We're not talking of mercy, but of common sense!
See more »

Alternate Versions

All UK releases are cut by 1 min 3 secs. The cinema version was cut for nudity and later video releases also included additional edits for horse-falls and to a rape scene. See more »

Connections

Referenced in James Mason: The Star They Loved to Hate (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Why Worry About Authenticity? Enjoy!
1 March 2008 | by GooperSee all my reviews

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.


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