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
I saw this film at age 9 when it was newly released, back in the sunset years of the Technicolor historical spectacular. I knew immediately that it was bad, GLORIOUSLY in-your-face bad! I eagerly taped it about fifteen years ago off a television broadcast and have gleefully lent the tape to friends and acquaintances many times since to spread the word.
The incomprehensible miscasting of John Wayne aside, THE CONQUEROR is bad in so many ways that's it's difficult to focus on the best (or worst) elements. Perhaps most delightfully awful is the dialogue:
"She is woman, Jamuga...much woman. Should her perfidy be less than that of other women?" (John Wayne to Pedro Armendariz)
"Kumlik's daughter! Spawn of the devil! Let your men make sport with her!" "No, mo-ther, I will keep this wo-man for my own plea-sure!" (Exchange between mom Agnes Moorehead and son John Wayne)
"You will love me, Bortai...you will love me of your own will before the sun rises!" "Before that day dawns, Mongol, the vultures will feast upon your heart!" (Love chat between Wayne and Hayward)
These are three of literally dozens of examples of prime dialogue kitsch with which THE CONQUEROR abounds. It is priceless...see it!
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