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Genghis Khan ()

directed by
featuring Stephen Boyd, Omar Sharif, James Mason, Eli Wallach, Françoise Dorléac

The internationally produced historical epic Genghis Khan sometimes wavers uncertainly between spectacle and self-parody. Though Omar Sharif essays the title role, top billing is bestowed upon Stephen Boyd as Genghis Khan's mentor-turned-enemy Jamuga. It's hard to generate audience sympathy for a Mongolian leader who laid waste to much of the civilized world, but Sharif manages to pull it off. While the battle scenes are impressive, the most memorable sequence involves an outsized fireworks display (which turns out to be a clever bit of military strategy). James Mason is amusing as an epigrammatic Chinese leader, Eli Wallach is appropriately hissable as the film's main villain, and the late Francoise Dorleac is decorative as the romantic bone of contention between Genghis Khan and Jamuga. Most of the film was lensed in Yugoslavia, a country that served as a generic location for many a historical pageant of the 1960s and 1970s. Hal Erickson, Rovi Hide synopsis

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