6.7/10
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21 user 13 critic

Conquest (1937)

Approved | | Drama, History, Romance | 22 October 1937 (USA)
A Polish countess becomes Napoleon Bonaparte's mistress at the urging of Polish leaders, who feel she could influence him to make Poland independent.

Directors:

, (uncredited)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Countess Marie Walewska
... Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte
... Tallyrand
... Capt. d'Ornano
... Count Anastas Walewski
... Paul Lachinski (as Leif Erikson)
... Laetitia Bonaparte (as Dame May Whitty)
... Countess Pelagia Walewska
... Prince Poniatowski
... Stephan (Marie's servant)
... Dying soldier
... Grand Marshal George Duroc
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Storyline

After a brief informal meeting two months earlier when they were impressed with each other, Countess Marie Walewska formally meets Napoleon Bonaparte at a ball in Warsaw. When Napoleon notes her husband is three times her age, and as he is taken with her charms, he unsuccessfully tries to seduce her. She ignores his frequent letters and flowers until a few grim Polish leaders led by Senator Malachowski urge her to give into his desires as a personal sacrifice in order to save Poland. She goes to him despite the humiliation of her husband, who leaves for Rome to annul their marriage. They are extremely happy for a while; Napoleon divorces childless Empress Josephine and Marie eventually becomes pregnant. She is about to tell Napoleon about her baby when he tells her he decided to marry Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria. He explains it will be a political marriage to insure his future son could rule securely with Hapsburg blood in him. It will not affect their relationship, he says, ... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Mightiest! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 October 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beloved  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,732,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$730,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,411,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film lost more money for MGM than any other of its films during the period from 1920 to 1949. See more »

Quotes

Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte: Against my will, I love you.
Countess Marie Walewska: I believe in you.
Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte: Come with me, Marie.
Countess Marie Walewska: I shall never long for Spring again. In the Spring, you'll have to go forth to war. You'll be in danger, fighting. I shall long always for Winter - when you'll be safe.
Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte: I have signed many treaties. But, this is the first time, I am at peace.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Zodiac (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Opus 74, 'Pathétique' (1893)
(uncredited)
Second movement, Allegro con grazia
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Half of it is brilliant! The other half, well...
4 September 2001 | by See all my reviews

This movie has two halves to evaluate. The first half is brilliant, among the best scenes ever put on film. Boyer gives the performance of his life as the "Little Corporal" trying to woo an obscure (and obscurely beautiful) Polish Countess. Sadly, once she is wooed the movie is lost in a muddle of syrupy sentiment and questionable history lessons.

Boyer is outstanding all the way through the movie. This is the role he was born to play. He is funny, abrupt, insane, and believeable. He puts his whole body into this role. But Garbo - *sigh* - she's better at portraying melancholy than happiness. When she's in love in this movie, it's irritating. Excepting her scene with Dame May Whitty as Napoleon's mother, I just can't stand it.

The second half is just mush. It's plodding, for the most part uninteresting, and sheds no light on Napoleon as a historical figure. Maybe the first half of the movie had so much energy that it was impossible to sustain. In any case, I recommend this movie, if only for Boyer's performance and the opening sequence.


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