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When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier whom tried to rape her, a commoner begins a revolt and leads Scottish warriors against the cruel English tyrant who rules Scotland with an iron-fist.
In ancient times, the Mongolian warlord Temujin must do battle against the rival tribe that killed his father. The battles pale in comparison with Temujin's home life, as he attempts to woo the heart of the red-haired Tartar prisoner Bortai whom he has captured in a raid. He must also deal with various intrigues within his palace. Eventually, Bortai falls to his manly charms, Temujin defeats his enemies within and without, and is crowned Genghis Khan. Written by
According to "The Hollywood Hall of Shame," the screenplay was written with Marlon Brando in mind for the lead. John Wayne was about to make the last film of a three-picture deal for RKO Radio, and Dick Powell had been assigned to direct. They were going over various scripts in Powell's office when Powell was called away for a few minutes. When he returned, he found Wayne enthusiastically looking over the screenplay for "The Conqueror", which Powell had intended to throw away. Powell tried to talk him out of it, but Wayne insisted that it was the film he wanted to make. As Powell later said, "Who am I to turn down John Wayne?" See more »
When Temujin throws a spear at a man in a stream, the wire guiding it is visible. The spear's trajectory is also wobbly. See more »
One of the all-time bad movies, an unintentional joke that actually stays funny for over two hours. John Wayne as Genghis Khan is one of the worst examples of miscasting in the history in Hollywood, but that's not what makes the movie so funny. What makes the movie funny is Wayne attempting to say the ridiculous purple prose of the script, the whole thing is written in this sort of pseudo-Shakesperian English, and John Wayne was always one of those rare actors who had serious trouble with anything like a grammatical sentence. Whenever things start to lag Wayne has to say something like "I ree-gret that Ah am without sufficient spittle to sa-lute you as you dee-serve" or the classic "Yore beautiful in yore wrath".
Also memorable for bad supporting performances by Agnes Moorehead and William Conrad, the sight of Wayne in Asiatic eye-makeup and Fu-Manchu moustace (the only biography of Khan I've read says he was white anyway), Susan Hayward doing a clumsy sword dance, a rape scene that would embarrass the tackiest Bodice-ripper, kitschy sets, and a Las Vegas revue act featuring a female dancer in a white leotard with a patch of fringe right *there*.
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