A brief single-slide show sets the stage for one of Hollywood’s greatest beauties and unsung talents: Miss Debra Paget—in her role as Sharain in “Omar Khayyam” (1957). Debra’s Sharain is a Persian queen as well as the true love (and lover) of Omar Khayyam, the astronomer-poet of Persia.
Living about nine centuries ago, the real-life Khayyam earned fame—at least in the Western world— with his RUBAIYAT, a series of poetic quatrains translated into eloquent English by Edward FitzGerald. A mix of fact and fiction., the film “Omar Khayyam” is invested with outstanding creative talent/production values: director William Dieterle, cinematographer Ernest Laszlo, composer Victor Young, and cast members Cornel Wilde as Omar, Raymond Massey as the Shah, and John Derek as a Prince. Exotica singer Yma Sumac even makes a few audio and/or visual cameos.
“Omar Khayyam” is an essential Debra Paget film. In it, her virtues as an actress–sincerity; exquisite delivery of her lines; feminine grace and sensual appeal—are clear and gloriously present.
Featured here are several prime Sharain clips. Enjoy!
Note: that’s Debra singing “Strange are the Ways of Love” over the slide-show that closes this video. Hers was a one-shot recording made in the 1950s.
Comments or questions are welcome; however, lewd or derogatory remarks will be promptly tomahawked.
If it hasn’t occurred by the time you read this: would you like to see “Omar Khayyam” restored and released to its original VistaVision glory on DVD? Please petition the studio!