Genghis Khan is an introspective biopic about the Mongol chief Temujin who unified Asia’s warring tribes in the Dark Ages. An international cast delivers okay performances in occasionally trite script which emphasizes personal motivation rather than sweeping pageantry.
The screenplay, from story by Berkely Mather, hinges on continuing vendetta between tribal chieftain Stephen Boyd and Omar Sharif, once enslaved by Boyd but escaping to forge an empire that threatened western and eastern civilization some eight centuries back.
Sharif does a near-excellent job in projecting with ease the zeal which propelled Temujin from bondage to a political education in China, and finally to realizing at death his dream of Mongol unity. Boyd is less successful as the brutish thorn in Sharif’s side, being overall too restrained for sustained characterization despite flashes of earthiness.
Most unusual characterization is essayed by James Mason, playing the neatly-contrasting urbane imperial counsellor who mentors political savvy.