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Omar Khayyam


Adventure / Biography / Romance

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Raymond Massey Photo
Raymond Massey as The Shah
Debra Paget Photo
Debra Paget as Sharain
Cornel Wilde Photo
Cornel Wilde as Omar Khayyam
Dick Elliott Photo
Dick Elliott as Tavern Owner
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
924.95 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 40 min
P/S 13 / 29
1.68 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 40 min
P/S 10 / 84

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing6 / 10

Cornel Coins the Rhymes, Rennie Starts the Rebellion

Omar Khayyam, medieval poet and scholar and quite the scientist as it turns out in this film, stars Cornel Wilde in the title role. Khayyam is a guy content to do his scholarly thing, but there's a whole lot of treachery going in Persia and it's coming from people close to him.

The legend of Omar Khayyam has him involved with two others, a rich merchant Hisreini who becomes leader of the assassin cult and Nizam who is prime minister to the Shah, played respectively by Michael Rennie and Sebastian Cabot. Rennie who is as always cultured and refined, is the 12th century Osama Bin-Laden of the piece. His is probably the best performance of the film.

By the way Omar Khayyam gives one an opportunity to see both the men who Cecil B. DeMille considered for the role of Joshua in The Ten Commandments in the same film. John Derek who is the crown prince played Joshua and Wilde was the one originally offered the part.

The film was done at Paramount which was a bit unusual itself because the Arabian knights type films were an in house staple of Universal Studios.

Probably Cornel got the part after Tyrone Power who was freelancing then turned it down. It was that way all Wilde's life, getting sloppy seconds from either Power or Errol Flynn.

The film is all right, but should have had Wilde doing a bit more swordplay. He was in real life a champion at fencing.

Reviewed by AFernandez587 / 10

Great story, average movie

"Omar Khayyam" is in many ways a typical 50s Hollywood oriental sword and sandal epic but with a few twists and tremendous (unmet) potential. The actual story of three friends (Hassan, Omar and Nizam) goes back hundreds of years and is pretty engaging. The historical personalities of Omar and Hassan al-Sabbah are quite interesting characters. There is potentially a great film here.

The actual production is not great but it has some nice things: Michael Rennie gives a great performance as Hassani. It is one of his best things, right up there with the alien in "The Day the Earth Stood Still." It also has Raymond Massey and the great Abraham Sofaer, a distinctive character actor, as Tutush, the Sultan's brother. It has a fine score by Victor Young and some neat matte paintings of Alamut. Some of the lines are great: "I know of some other heads that should be sealed with wax and honey." But in the end it is too formulaic of a Hollywood spectacular. Cornel Wilde is too stolid. Such a rich historical backdrop and fascinating subject matter is worthy of a better film.

Reviewed by crselvz8 / 10

The moving finger amazing tale ( a reply to sunda-2 )

With respect, I submit that it is the mindset of 50 years ago that cannot be remade, rather than the film itself, which was an admirable effort in its time, eerily prescient in its relevance to our present-day fears and therefore practically commanding a newly-filmed version ( or, at the very least, greater attention given to the original ).

Sad but nonetheless true it may be, that gone indeed are the days when the Middle East and Islam itself conjured up in the Western ( read "Hollywood" ) mind only quaint and archaic tropes of the "Thousand-and-One Nights"---'harems, slaves, sultans, thieves and intrigues', decked in robes and turbans and speaking in a quaintly flowery fashion ( "By the beard of the Prophet!"),moving in and out of gaudy buildings capped everywhere by onion-domes. Then the Arabs found themselves in a position once more to make their power felt on a world scale, and perceptions ( and stereotypes ) changed irrevocably---the new images generally being of languid Saudis replacing Texans as the archetype of the oil zillionaire, and wild-eyed, wild-bearded, greasy fanatics ready to throw bombs in support of their beliefs ( the Arabs here merely being the latest to fill an archetype going back at least a century-and-a-half to the anarchists of Europe ).

The great days of Islamic glory in the arts and sciences well deserve to be brought back into the Western ( read "Hollywood" ) consciousness. It was due in great part to the efforts of Islamic scholars that the heritage of the Greco-Roman classics was preserved while Europe sank into Christian dogmatics. Much of the ancient observations were improved upon by Arabs from Cordoba to Ferghana, most notably in astronomy---and here Omar Khayyam may be said to enter the scene. Well versed in the natural sciences and mathematics, Omar was indeed the author of an improved Muslim calendar ( which unfortunately was rejected by the more traditional-minded in power ). Renowned also as a warrior, his greatest fame stems from the collection of quatrains called the "Rubaiyat", which gave us---by Hargreaves's translation---such familiar lines as 'A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou' and 'Could you and I alone with Fate conspire' (both of which are to be heard in this movie).

Oh yes, this movie---I should get round to that now. EXCELLENT settings and costumage, entertainingly photographed. Cornel Wilde may seem too subdued to be the swashbuckler, but he plays the gentle poet and scholar foremost, a quiet and stolid center around which tumultuous events unfold and chase each other. A stellar cast supports him---Debra ('The Ten Commandments') Paget as the great love of his life, Raymond ('Things to Come') Massey as the dignified yet wry old Shah, John ('The Ten Commandments') Derek as handsome young Prince Malik, and---as Omar's old schoolmates---the always endearing Sebastian ('Family Affair') Cabot as the minister Nizam al-Mulk, and Michael ('The Day the Earth Stood Still') Rennie as the imposing, capable Hassan-i Sabah. Other colorful characters keep things hopping---a scheming Queen, her petulant son and half-brother to Malik, a timid but loyal slave girl and, just when you think it can't get any better---Edward ('Get Smart') Platt as a prior in the sect known commonly as the 'Assassins', who menace the Shah's rule from within while the Byzantine Romans threaten from without.

This movie should be seen today if for no other reason than that the machinations of the Assassins will easily bring to mind the plottings of Osama bin-Laden and al-Qaeda, and Omar's ringing, climactic speech to the Assassin's ruler is both uneasily accurate but also heartening to us of today who face their spiritual descendants. It really ought to be remade for that reason if for no other...but there is just so much else about Omar---and his world in particular---that is deserving of big-budget attention today, to return it to Westerners' ( read "Hollywood's" ) attention.

Posted on 23 August 2007 (the 50th anniversary of the film's premiere).

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