Kings of the Sun

Synopsis: In order to flee from powerful enemies, young Mayan king Balam leads his people north across the Gulf of Mexico to the coast of what will become the United States. They build a home in the new land but come into conflict with a tribe of Native Americans led by their chief, Black Eagle, while both Balam and Black Eagle fall in love the beautiful Mayan princess Ixchel.
Director(s): J. Lee Thompson
Production: Lewis J. Rachmil Productions
108 min

unique in all history, the Mayans.

Greece and Rome had become

ancient legends in ancient books,

and the European cicilizations

had entered into the age of the barbarians.

But in the tropical jungles

of Central America,

a cicilization had burst into full flower.

Without metals, without horses,

without wheels,

these incredible people

built roads, pyramids,

temples worthy of ancient Egypt.

They charted the heacens,

decised a higher system

of mathematics than the Romans,

and created a calendar as accurate

as the one we use today.

But despite the maturity

of their art and their science,

in the most important part of their lices,

the worship of their gods,

they remained primitice.

Balam, the jaguar, eight times king!

Balam, the prince!

NARRA TOR. To the Mayans, the gods were

demanding gods, fierce and greedy,

granting nothing except for a price,

and that price was blood.

ln their profound desire

to win facor from the deities,

the Mayans made human sacrifice

the keystone of their religion.

To die as a bearer

of a message to the gods

was the most exalted honor

a man could experience,

for when he was selected to be sacrificed,

in that moment, he himself became a god.

He was worshiped as a god,

granted any wish that came into his heart,

until the moment he was put to death.

NARRA TOR. For centuries, in small,

scattered kingdoms,

these people liced in peace

with themselces and their gods.

But then came conquerors from the West,

with metal swords,

which made them incincible

against the wooden weapons

of the Mayans.

One by one,

they swallowed up the little kingdoms,

until the last, the final stronghold,

Chichn ltz was theirs.

And their leader, Hunac Kell,

already as cruel as any god,

now felt himself as powerful as one.

l have served your father,

and l have loved you as a son.

Now l shall serve you

and love you as my king.

Balam ! Nine times king!

Balam, the jaguar, nine times king!

There is still time to let Hunac Kell

know that the Mayans are men.


You must flee and preserve your life.

And become a coward before Hunac Kell?

You no longer belong to yourself, Balam.

You belong to your people.

-And how do l serve them? By deserting?

-Dead, you desert your people.

There's a time for fighting

and a time to make ready to fight.

He speaks wisely.

Let us lick our wounds, and then

make the invader choke on his sword.

There is no place to run.

Hunac Kell and his men

will scour the land.

lf we are going to die, let us die here.

l've said your life is not yours to lose.

You're a king.

Act like a king!

We'll disperse,

join forces when we're strong again.


No, that's the one thing we must never do.

My father once told me

of an ancient legend,

of the time of the great earthquakes

when the land shook like the sea,

and men took to boats

and crossed the waters to the North.

Cross the waters?

We'd slide off the world.

The legend has no truth.

There's no record of it on any stele.

My father told it to me, Priest.

Ah Haleb.

There is a fishing village on the coast

not 10 days journey from here.

We will leave from there.

Men do not vanish into air.

There is a hidden passage.

Find it, and find the body of the king

and of his son as well.

Until l know that not one drop

of that blood remains alive,

l am not King of Chichn ltz.

ls your village near?

This is your king, Balam.


lt's just beyond that point.

We'll take to the boats

and cross the great sea.

But you will all die.

The legend says nothing

about boats coming back.

The legend does say that land was found.

Who brought back the word?

But why do your soldiers take our fish?

The catch will be useful to us

on the voyage.

-How many boats do you have?

-What you see there.

We will need all of them.

-The king has means of payment?

-No. But it will please the gods.

And be very displeasing

to the boat owners.

Seize this man who puts men before gods.


You do acknowledge that l am your king?

Kings have always seemed far away.

Small in the distance like wars.

And defeated kings even smaller.

Listen, old man, tell your people

to fill every boat with supplies

and anything else that will be useful to us

in the new land.

-But how will we live after you go?

-Your people are coming with me.

To cross the water to their death?

lf crossing the waters frightens you,

then you know little of Hunac Kell.

Every soldier that you see here

was once a hundred,

and their women are now slaves.

To my people, slavery may sound better

than the unknown.

l have ordered you and your people

to come with me.

Now tell them !

ln spite of your youth,

you have the habit of command,

but habit is not always enough.

You dare to disobey?

This is Balam, king and son of kings

to the ninth generation.

And a stranger here.

My people respect the voice they know.

-Then give them the word.

-lf l refuse?

-Ordinarily, l kill only as a duty.

-Leave him !

-Who is this girl?

-My daughter, lxchel.

lnstruct your father,

he does not argue with the king.

And has the king the right to order

our people to their death?

Until today this was a place of peace.

l will not surrender to Hunac Kell.

We must go to a new land

and grow strong and then come back.

Men alone cannot build a new race

in a new land.

That is why l need your people,

your women and your children.

Now tell them to get into the boats.

You are a new king, Balam,

young and brave and untried.

lf my people go with you,

they will have many doubts

and great fears.

You should have someone at your side

whom they know and love.

l do not wear my father's crown

to share it with you.

Not with me, Balam.

With your queen, my daughter, lxchel.

When the time comes,

l shall choose my own queen.

To my people, l am as royal as you,

so is my daughter.

Priests and soldiers in a womanless land.

Are you destined

to be king of a dying race, Balam?


Hunac Kell. Less than a league away.

Hunac Kell is not a league away.

You have not felt his wrath, we have.

He is completely without mercy.

His strength is a sword of metal,

and we are powerless against it.

So you have no choice.

lf we are all to survive,

you must come with me at once.

So l order you, gather your belongings

and go to the boats.

-Obey your king!

-They await my word.

-Then give it.

-After you have given me yours.

Will your greed

settle for nothing less, old man?

-Nothing less.

-We could take all of his people by force.

And be another Hunac Kell?

Very well.

lf l live, l will marry her in the new land.

-The king vows this?

-By the gods, l swear it.

Obey the king!

Why did you do that?

Do you think l have no pride?

When you share his throne,

you will have no need to speak of pride.

Hurry! Load as fast as you can!


-Leave him ! Leave him !



No! No!

The sea is not big enough

to keep us apart, Balam.

Wherever you go, l will find you!

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Elliott Arnold

Elliott Arnold (September 13, 1912 – May 13, 1980) was an American newspaper feature writer, novelist, and screenwriter. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and became a feature writer with the New York World-Telegram. Among his books, Elliott Arnold is probably best known for his 1947 novel Blood Brother that was adapted as the acclaimed 1950 motion picture Broken Arrow and a 1956 TV series of the same name. The popular Indian Wedding Blessing is based on a passage from Blood Brother. His 1949 biography of Sigmund Romberg was made into the 1954 musical film, Deep in My Heart. Elliott Arnold died in New York City in 1980 at the age of sixty-seven. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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