Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Genghis Khan

Ever have those movies you see once and they stick with you? Genghis Khan was one. I saw it once sometime during early high school years when I was home with the flu and it was on tv during the long miserable day. I watched the entire thing, avidly. Could have been the fever. Could have just been Stephen Boyd's presence. Anyway around, it stayed with me. It never seemed to come on TV again and I haven't seen it in twenty-five years.

I just finally watched it again yesterday. The beginning was nearly exactly as I remembered it, Stephen Boyd as handsome and ruthless as I remembered, and then the main titles kicked in, and what I found I really remembered was the music. I couldn't have sung it to you in the interim years, but it was sitting there lurking in my memory ready to be recalled.

The rest of the film came back as I watched. Mostly Boyd's sections, naturally. He's always had a very special place in my heart. But I'd completely forgotten both Telly Savalas and Eli Wallach was in it. Eli Wallach amused me greatly. "Somehow I don't feel they've come to surrender." LOL! Unsurprisingly, I'd forgotten almost entirely about the girl. I remembered her at the end, standing by Genghis Khan, but that was about the extent of it. Didn't even remember the violence around her. This is one of the few movies I liked Omar Sharif in. The movie was still entertaining, had some good parts, beautiful scenery, great costumes, but was a bit shallow and bloated.

What surprised me the most, is that I've had a scene in my head, that's been associated with this movie forever -- and it wasn't in this movie. if it's not here, where is it?

It was a rather gruesome scene. I've sort of always been cursed with having movie death scenes stay with me. Some of them scar me for life (like The Green Berets), some just sort of linger with me (like Lawrence of Arabia) and when I can't tell you anything else about the movie, I can tell you about those deaths. I thought Genghis Khan was one of those films. I distinctly remember at the end of the movie, them laying rug/blankets over a man and then riding horses over him until he was broken and dead. And I remember my mom saying how difficult it was to get horses to step on things. I couldn't actually remember who it was who got trampled -- I vaguely assumed over the years that it had to be Stephen Boyd, even though that never felt quite right. Which means that nasty trample death is in some other movie. Hmph. So much for my memory! Maybe it's from some forgotten Western? Or another historical epic?

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