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The Conqueror [DVD]

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Pedro Armendariz, Agnes Moorehead, Thomas Gomez
  • Directors: Dick Powell
  • Producers: Dick Powell
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Universal
  • DVD Release Date: 4 April 2005
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007N1B94
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 171,599 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Set in 13th century Asia, this lavish epic historical adventure film stars John Wayne as Mongol chieftain Temujin, better known as Ghengis Khan. Susan Hayward co-stars as Bortai, the Tartar princess who is captured by Ghengis Khan and eventually falls in love with him.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The Conqueror has taken a good deal of kicking over the years, not least because of it's ill-deserved inclusion in Harry and Michael Medved's book, The Fifty Worst Movies of All Time. They, like most writers who poke fun at this film, omit to mention that while the critics hated it, the paying public made it a huge hit at the time. Most of the criticism - and mockery - is usually levelled at the clunky dialogue, which very often verges on the unsayable - or should that be unspeakable? - of which the Duke gets, easily, the lion's share. By 1956, when this film was originally released, Wayne had enough clout to have had the script seriously doctored to suit his style of delivery and he certainly should have. However, when he saw the script, on director Dick Powell's desk, so the story goes, he insisted on taking the role - which was never written with him in mind - regardless. Though many consider him to be miscast, he certainly looks more comortable in this role than in, say, The Barbarian and the Geisha (1958), which was the only Wayne film to lose money - ever.
Stilted dialogue aside, The Conqueror is a quite spectacular, action packed epic, which makes excellent use of the panoramic Utah locations. This was R.K.O.'s first and only use of CinemaScope, under licence from 20th Century-Fox, a fact that irked Howard Hughes so much that he ordered the developement of his own widescreen lens, Superscope and, subsequently, Superscope 235 (RKO Scope in its 2:1 aspect ratio variant), the latter still being in use today in the form of Super 35, James Cameron's favourite format.
The plot takes a few liberties with history, but not nearly so many as Irving Allen's 1965 version, Genghis Khan, which starred Omar Sharif.
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Format: DVD
"The Conqueror" is a movie that is infamous in Hollywood history for two reasons, neither of which is a good. First, it is a movie that has John Wayne playing Genghis Khan with Susan Hayward, Pedro Armendáriz, Agnes Morehead, and William Conrad also playing Orientals. Wayne spouts lines of dialogue like "I feel this Tartar woman is for me, and my blood says, take her," "We'll chase them like rats across the tundra," and "I am bereft of spit," in what must count as the most surreal performance of his career (the role was originally written by Marlon Brando). The decision to cast the Duke as Genghis Khan is, to say, the least, bizarre, and it is hard to take your eyes away from what he is doing on screen (there is a legendary Hollywood joke that the only thing worse would have been casting Mickey Rooney as Jesus in "King of Kings").
Second, 13 week of this 1956 movie week spent filming in Utah a bit more than 100 miles from the site of a nuclear testing ground in Nevada and the set was contaminated by nuclear fallout from 11 blasts in 1953. After location shooting was concluded, producer Howard Hughes paid to have 60 tons of dirt shipped back to Hollywood so it could be used to match interior shootings. Of the 220 persons who worked on "The Conqueror" at least 91 had contracted cancer by the early 1980s and over half that number died of it, including stars Wayne, Hayward, and Morehead, and director Dick Powell (Armendáriz committed suicide when learning he was terminally ill). Statistically speaking out of a group that size only 30 people should end up with cancer.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Another wide screen 1950's film presented in 2.35:1(4:3) and not 2.35:1(16:9).
I would have thought that manufactures would have given up on 4:3 aspect ratio by now , but we still get them churned out.
The print is good and its an enjoyable film even though a bit dated acting wise.
Even channel four was able to transmit it in HD and 2.35:1( 16:9 widescreen version.) so why not on DVD.
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Format: DVD
Shot in 1956 by Howard Hughes, in the Utah proving grounds just 3 years after an atomic explosion, 91 of the 220 film cast and crew died of cancer (three times the average for this number of people), this included Wayne himself.

Initially panned by the critics in 1956, and subsequently withdrawn by Hughes until after his death, this movie has much going for it, a great cast, an original story and great scenery.

The only negative would be that Wayne is typcast as a cowboy in manyh peoples minds, and playing a Mongol Warlord may not imediatley suit his style. However, I found that after the first few minutes you realise that wayne is actually carrying it off.

I would recommend you give this film a viewing.
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