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Omar Khayyam (1957)

During the 11th century, Persian poet Omar Khayyam's lover marries the Shah but the Shah, whose life is threatened by a sect of assassins, appoints Omar royal advisor.

Director:

William Dieterle

Writer:

Barré Lyndon
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cornel Wilde ... Omar Khayyam
Michael Rennie ... Hasani Sabah
Debra Paget ... Sharain
John Derek ... Young Prince Malik
Raymond Massey ... The Shah
Yma Sumac ... Karina
Margaret Hayes ... Queen Zarada
Joan Taylor ... Yaffa
Sebastian Cabot ... The Nizam
Perry Lopez ... Prince Ahmud
Morris Ankrum ... Imam Nowaffak
Abraham Sofaer ... Tutush
Edward Platt ... Jayhan
James Griffith ... Buzorg
Peter Adams Peter Adams ... Master Herald
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Storyline

Omar Khayyam was among the greatest of Persian poets. He was also a brilliant mathematician. Though his quatrains were written in the 11th century, they are still popular the world over. The details of his life are unknown, so this movie invents a biography for him and includes in it his real achievements - the invention of a new calendar and the penning of those epigrammatic poems. This film has him losing the love of his life to his ruler, and foiling an assassin sect's plot to kill that ruler, the empire's shah. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Riding high with spectacular action and excitement !


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 August 1957 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

The Loves of Omar Khayyam See more »

Filming Locations:

Indio, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In April 1957, this film was distributed on a double bill at many drive-in theaters with Dino (1957) starring Sal Mineo. See more »

Goofs

As Omar leaves the council of the Grand Master. See more »

Quotes

Yaffa: Slaves are trained to please, wives are not.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Budd Boetticher: A Man Can Do That (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Lament
Written by Moises Vivanco
Performed by Yma Sumac
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another great biography parodies into fluff. Kitsch Entertainment
17 August 2009 | by NYLuxSee all my reviews

Unfortunately we do not have a lot of biographical detail on Omar Khayyam, one of the world's greatest mathematician, astronomer and poet, and a philosopher as well. His tomb, still existent in Iran is a great monument of Islamic architecture. This movie is a monument to Hollywood's inability to capture any of those values and turn it all instead into a vapid adventure story with miles of cheap fabrics that look 'exotic'. We even get a band of "assasins' that is very similar in spirit, logical plan and training to today's Taliban.

Cornell Wilde is unable to project the charisma and genius of this Persian poet. He looks like a retired banker that lives in NY, has a mild interest in the theater and is doing this movie because he wants to have a tax right-off. He should have been played by Omar Shariff. Margaret Hayes is great camp as Queen Zarada, the queen mother whose ambition will stop at nothing to secure the throne for her sons. She is also capable of sustaining a platinum blond mane in the midst of the harem with great aplomb, as a symbol and reminder that all queens should be white, blond and preferably from Philadelphia. She is always trailing several yards of Technicolor blue cape behind her every move. Joan Taylor is so ferociously loyal and annoyingly organized as Yaffa, Omar's slave, that one is relieved to see her being pushed from a cliff. Debra Paget plays Sharain, Omar's great love and inspiration for his poems, as a secular nun who also clearly has a cross-eyed problem. This role should understandably have gone to Arabian Night-resident-Hollywood-expert Maureen O'Hara. Michael Rennie is the EVIL Hasani Sabah, and gives the best performance in his role as the ruthless leader of the Assassins sect. One laments not to see him shirtless and wearing a pendant cabochon emerald from one of his handsome earlobes.

As a vapid Arabian Night action movie it has all the polyester, plated gold, architectural plaster and Technicolor spectrum of saturated glamorama to while away a lazy summer afternoon. Great double feature with a Sinbad or Baghdad movie.


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