Genghis Khan (1965, Omar Sharif, James Mason)

Genghis Khan

Eight centuries ago, Temujin, Genghis Khan ruled the world. Here, he is played by the inimitable Omar Sharif in Henry Levin’s biopic of the Prince of Conquerors.

The story is centred on a continuing rivalry between evil Merkit tribal chief Jamuga (Stephen Boyd) and Temujin, Genghis Khan. When Temujin’s Mongol chieftain father is murdered, Temujin is brought up as a slave in Jamuga’s camp only to escape to the mountains with two companions. But he sets about creating a Mongol tribe of his own, even spiriting away Jamuga’s future wife, Bortei (Francoise Dorléac). But Bortei is re-captured by Jamuga and raped before Temujin can rescue her and head for China.

There, Temujin resists the Emperor’s (Robert Morley) attempts to surround his men with luxury and raises a Mongol army to crush the invading forces of Jamuga. The grateful Emperor rewards Temujin with the title Genghis Khan but, when Temujin insists on leaving China, the Emperor is convinced he will come back to invade and arranges for Jamuga to assassinate the new Prince of Conquerors.

Gengis Khan

Omar Sharif as Genghis Khan

Temujin escapes with his army, defeats the opposing Merkit force and kills Jamuga, paving the way for his dream of a united Mongolian state to come true.

As the Daily Mail said, “Henry Levin’s direction packs a colourful punch,” while the Daily Telegraph called it “a prodigious spectacle.”

USA / 1965

Director: Henry Levin
Writers: Beverley Cross, Berkley Mather

Cast: Omar Sharif, Stephen Boyd, James Mason, Eli Wallach, Francoise Dorléac, Telly Savalas, Yvonne Mitchell, Robert Morley,