Release Date(s)1965 (July 17, 2018)
Studio(s)Columbia Pictures (Twilight Time)
- Film/Program Grade: B
- Video Grade: A
- Audio Grade: A
- Extras Grade: D
Genghis Khan is an epic adventure tale about the infamous world conqueror from the 13th century. Filmed in Yugoslavia on a budget of over four million dollars, it wasn’t quite the epic it was meant to be, but it’s still solid entertainment. The film begins with Temujin (Omar Sharif), a young Mongol boy who has witnessed his father being tortured and murdered by Jamuga (Stephen Boyd) and his tribe. He, along with his two allies Geen (Michael Hordern) and Sengal (Woody Strode), manage to escape, vowing vengeance against the Mongol tribes. When Temujin helps a Chinese diplomat back into China, he decides to stay to develop and harness the skills necessary to lead and conquer, earning his moniker when a Mongol army led by Shah of Khwarezm (Eli Wallach) comes to China to do battle with him.
Genghis Khan is a well-done adventure movie. It has excellent production value and beautiful sets and locations. Director Henry Levin did a fine job overall, but the pacing could have been better, which was possibly improved by the short but well-staged battle during the film’s climax. Stephen Boyd is outstanding as the fierce Jamuga, and Omar Sharif is excellent in his portrayal of Temujin/Genghis Khan. Sorely miscast is James Mason as Chinese leader Kam Ling, which could have been his worst, or at the very least, his most ridiculous role. He doesn’t appear to take it seriously, but he isn’t nearly as hammy as Robert Morley, who was also miscast as the Emperor of China. So while not historically accurate, Genghis Khan is certainly enjoyable.
Twilight Time gives Genghis Khan a much needed Blu-ray release. Shot in Technicolor and presented via an HD master from Sony Pictures, the film has never looked better. The beautiful Yugoslavian locations are just ravishing with vivid, deep colors. Everything from the rich blue skies to the costumes have never looked so sharp. Reds look especially strong as well. The interiors of the Asian temples are also quite lavish with great detail. In a nutshell, this looks tremendous! An English 1.0 DTS-HD audio track is provided for this release with optional subtitles in English SDH. Everything, including dialogue and gunfire, is more than adequate. Supplementary material includes an isolated score track, the original theatrical trailer, a scroll-through of the current Twilight Time catalogue, and an excellent 8-page insert booklet written by Julie Kirgo.
Seeing Genghis Khan in high definition is a welcome sight to behold and makes the viewing experience even more enjoyable.
- David Steigman