Genghis Khan DVD
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Directed by Henry Levin
Produced in 1965
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - American film
With exemplary cinematography and art direction, Henry Levin's 12th-century fantasy offers enjoyable, if historically contentious, entertainment, says David Parkinson.
It's never an entirely comfortable experience watching an actor playing a different race, but Egyptian Omar Sharif is undoubtedly a better fit for Mongol leader Temujin than John Wayne was in The Conqueror (1956).
Coming at the tail end of the epic boom that had started with the coming of widescreen in 1953, Henry Levin's 12th-century fantasy has the feel of a co-production, with Yugoslavia doubling for Asia and a cosmopolitan cast working hard to make the best of unsuitable roles and occasionally awkward dialogue. Yet, Geoffrey Unsworth's photography and Maurice Carter's art direction are admirable and this has several standout moments, with the rivalry between Sharif and Stephen Boyd (as his mortal enemy Jamuga) inspiring the odd heated exchange and some imposing battle sequences.
Sharif also sparks well with Françoise Dorleac, as his abducted paramour, and Robert Morley and James Mason, as the Chinese emperor and his minister (although both indulge in some regrettably unPC antics). Thus, with Dusan Radic's rousing score providing the impetus, this makes for enjoyably undemanding, if historically contentious entertainment.
David Parkinson on 6th February 2012
Author of 191 reviews
Omar Sharif plays the Mongolian chieftain Genghis Khan in this spectacular re-telling of the warlord's life.
Born into royalty, raised in slavery, led by prophecy, the young warlord Temujin flees the war-ravaged plains of Mongolia for the decadence and splendour of Imperial China. Held there in pampered captivity, he gains the title Genghis Khan – Prince of Conquerors – before seizing the throne of the Emperor and turning his attentions West to the empires of India, Persia and the Russian Steppes...
Packed with breathtaking battle scenes and boasting a truly distinguished cast which includes James Mason, Eli Wallach, Telly Savalas, Robert Morley, Francoise Dorleac and Michael Hordern, Genghis Khan ranks with the great historical screen epics.
Publisher: Sony Pictures
Length: 119 mins
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Cat No: CDR10362
Format: DVD Colour