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The Conqueror (1956)

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)

Gross USA:

$4,500,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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). 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

Worst Miscasting Ever
31 December 1998 | by Scott-8See all my reviews

John Wayne is the consummate cowboy, only Clint Eastwood comes close to approaching the title. So it's really jarring to the sensibilities to see Wayne standing there in a Mongol costume and a cheesy "fu manchu" moustache spouting barbarian lines in his trademark western drawl. It's like seeing Alec Guinness start acting like Pee-Wee Herman; some serious misalignment of the heavens has happened and maybe that guy on the corner saying "the end of the world is nigh" was right.

That aside, "The Conqueror" plays like an epic Cecil B. DeMille movie, with epic lines, epic scenery, and epic music. Say what you want about modern cinema, recent movies as a whole tend to be better researched, with characters, clothing, and sets that are historically accurate. This movie makes it clear they had no concept what Genghis Khan and his time was like. People, Wayne included, simply say grandiose lines without any inflection, as if they had no idea how to act the part.

Through it all, I kept expecting Susan Hayward to claim she was an alien or had fallen through a time machine. I doubt very many 12th century Mogolian women had red permed hair and wore low cut dresses. "The Conqueror" is either one of the worst movies you ever saw or one of the funniest.


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