It stars Omar Shariff as Mongol Temujin who becomes the fearless leader Genghis Khan and unites all Mongol tribes and conquers most of Asia . This Genghis Khan¨ (1965) professional though regularly directed by Henry Levin boasts a good cast as Stephen Boyd , Françoise Dorléac , Telly Savalas , James Mason , Robert Morley , Eli Wallach , Yvonne Mitchell , Michael Hordern , Woody Strode , among others . In this film , there is epic , mammoth spectacle , hokey historical events , a love story , camp dialog to spare , wonderful landscapes and results to be a failed as well a little boring film , at times . Set during the 13th century in which the brutal warrior Mongol chief Temujin conquers most of Asia , Europe and the Middle-East . Temujin was taken prisoner by the rival warlord , the ruthless leader Jamuga and as punishment was forced to wear a large round wooden stock that severely restricted his movements , but with the help of Bortei he manages to getaway . As the fearless Temujin (recently deceased Omar Shariff) battles armies led by Jamuga (Stephen Boyd) and for the love of a princess Bortei (Francoise Dorleac , though Claire Bloom was attached to this project at one point) . He overcomes all of his hardships to become one of the greatest conquerors the world has ever known and now starts his quest to unify all of the Mongol tribes . Genghis gets big hits , but his old nemesis keeps appearing at various times in his life leader to a final fight between the two . As Genghis Khan, ruthless leader of the Mongols and sovereign over the vastest empire ever ruled by a single man, was both god and devil , not just in the Middle Ages , but for centuries to come . Temujin with the help of his underlings (Telly Savalas along with his brother George Savalas , Michael Hordern , Yvonne Mitchell , Woody Strode) becomes the emperor of Mongols , the great Gengis Khan . Temujin conquers the Chinese empire and overthrows the Emperor of China (Robert Morley). He subsequently takes on the Shah of Khwarezm (Eli Wallach) who is backed by his eternal enemy , the brutal and revenger Jamuga . Finally , Temujin conquers Khawrezn , India , Persia , Bokara and Samarkanda . Only once in the furied history of adventure and conquest...did one man rule so vast an empire .
This expensive epic film in familiar drawling fashion contains clichéd barbarian dialogue , noisy action , great production design , monumental battles and a cast of thousands . It results to be a little embarrassing film with some unintentionally hilarious images about Chinese scenarios and failed at box office . Colorful cinematography in 70mm blow-up version by the British , Geoffrey Unsworth , being mostly shot in marvelous exteriors ; although the movie takes place in Asia, the film was shot in Yugoslavia . Rousing as well as evocative musical score by Dusan Radic who also composed another historical film : ¨The long ships¨. This sweeping oriental drama was backed by the great producer Irving Allen , being lavishly financed , in fact , at the time , 1965 , surpassed anything ever filmed before .
The motion picture was middlingly directed by Henry Levin . Ex-actor , director Henry Levin was a previous stage player who had a prolific and long career as filmmaker entering the directing in 1943 about every genre over the next 36 years . His heyday was in the 1960s , when he turned out several bright and frothy sex comedies, notably ¨Belles on their toes , Come fly with me , Honeymoon hotel¨ , his greatest films were on the adventure genre as ¨¨ The wonderful world of Brothers Grimm¨ , ¨The bandit of Sherwood Forest¨ , ¨The return of Monte Cristo¨ and ¨Journey to the center of the earth¨ . Although Levin's forte was light comedies, one of his most interesting films was a dark, brooding western ¨Lonely man¨ (1957) and ¨Desperados¨ , both of them with Jack Palance . He finished his career piloting made-for-television movies, and died on the final day of shooting ¨Scout's Honor¨ (1980) (TV) . Other films dealing with this historical figure , ¨Genghis Khan¨ , are the followings : 1956 version titled ¨The conqueror¨ directed by former movie star Dick Powell and financially supported by eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes and lousily directed by Dick Powell starred by John Wayne , Susan Hayward , Pedro Armendáriz , Agnes Moorehead , John Hoyt , Ted De Corsia ; ¨Gengis Khan¨ (2005) by Edward Bazalgette and the best : ¨Mongol¨(2007) by Sergey Bodrov .