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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.

Director:

Dick Powell

Writer:

Oscar Millard
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Wayne ... Temujin - later Genghis Khan
Susan Hayward ... Bortai
Pedro Armendáriz ... Jamuga (as Pedro Armendariz)
Agnes Moorehead ... Hunlun
Thomas Gomez ... Wang Khan
John Hoyt ... Shaman
William Conrad ... Kasar
Ted de Corsia ... Kumlek
Leslie Bradley ... Targutai
Lee Van Cleef ... Chepei
Peter Mamakos ... Bogurchi
Leo Gordon ... Tartar Captain
Richard Loo ... Captain of Wang's Guard
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Spectacular as its barbaric passions and savage conquests! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Conqueror of the Desert See more »

Filming Locations:

Warner Canyon, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes backed the film financially. He paid to ship 60 tons of soil to Hollywood for retakes, unaware it was radioactive. He later paid $12 million for every existing copy because of guilt after many cast and crew were diagnosed with cancer. 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 hadn't been seen by the public for 21 years prior to the purchase (allegedly, Paramount obtained reissue rights in 1974). Hughes reportedly called the choice of the film's shooting location the worst mistake of his life. See more »

Goofs

When Temujin shoots a flaming arrow to signal his troops to enter Urga, it is night, but when the troops see the arrow, it is daylight. See more »

Quotes

Bortai: For me, there is no peace while you live, Mongol.
Temujin: You're beautiful in your wrath.
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the great ones!
12 June 2001 | by mspedantSee 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!


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