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The Conqueror (1956)

Approved | | Adventure, Biography, History | 28 March 1956 (USA)
Mongol chief Temujin battles against Tartar armies and for the love of the Tartar princess Bortai. Temujin becomes the emperor Genghis Khan.




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Complete credited cast:
Jamuga (as Pedro Armendariz)
Wang Khan
Leslie Bradley ...
Tartar Captain
Captain of Wang's guard


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 <crow_steve@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mighty in scope! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 March 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Conqueror of the Desert  »

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)


$4,500,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes backed the film financially. He later paid an extra $12 million (estimated) for every existing copy because of guilt; he paid to ship 60 tons of soil contaminated with radiation to Hollywood for retakes. He kept a tight hold on the film, not even allowing it to be shown on television, for years. Universal bought the rights to the film in 1979, and according to "The Hollywood Reporter", it had not been seen by the public for 21 years prior to the purchase (allegedly, Paramount obtained reissue rights in 1974). 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 »


[His bride-to-be tries to escape]
Temujin: I stole you. I will keep you. Before the sun sets you will come willingly to my arms.
See more »


Featured in David Walliams' Awfully Good: Awfully Good Movies (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the great ones!
12 June 2001 | by (San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

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!

45 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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