The Conqueror - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Conqueror Reviews

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½ August 22, 2011
It's got nice scenery and beautiful landscape that is chewed up severly by the embarassment of this laughably inept film. Tartars versus Mongrols in the atomic deserts of Utah, where John Wayne plays Ghenghis Khan as if he playing a cowboy hero in his westerns. I suppose the plot of this film is he wants his people the Mongrols to conquer the world and rid the area of Tartars. In that respect, Susan Hayward plays the deer-trapped-in-headlights princess of Tartars who is also conquered by John Wayne and his Texas accent. It doesn't take an idiot to know why this film stinks, which is what the body odour of most of characters in this movie was probably like. I think John Wayne was still stuck in his Ethan Edwards' role of "The Searchers" (which hilariously was released the same month of "The Conqueror" in 1956!!!!!!). A career nadir for all the talents involved.
August 17, 2011
John Wayne plays Genghis Khan. Abandon all hope ye who enter.
July 30, 2011
½ June 24, 2011
Great Movie, if you can get past the fact that Studios back then used their contact Actors in Roles that didn't suit them ..John Wayne was Darkened & had his eyes skin slanted to look like Genghis Khan.After awhile you get use to it, as he does a pretty good job.
May 22, 2011
it's not visually incompetent, but the writing and acting is so dementedly awful. It deserves its reputation as one of the worst films ever made.
April 28, 2011
A whole American picturesque about Dzingis Khan... a cowboy twist in Mongolian costumes :)
½ April 10, 2011
Certainly one of the more ridiculous instances of so-called "yellow-face" cinema. It's not a good movie, but it's hardly deserving of being called "one of the worst films ever made".
½ February 20, 2011
The most American cast of ancient chinese people ever and yet it is surprisingly awesome, much as John Wayne will never exactly be convincing as Genghis Khan he doesn't do a terrible job. Really quite a lot of fun.
September 3, 2010
I don?t need to explain why this is cited as one of the worst movies of the 1950?s , just five simple words make THE CONQUEROR sound bad and those words are ?JOHN WAYNE AS GENGHIS KHAN?. That?s right ?THE DUKE? portrayed Genghis Kahn on the big screen, holy s$%t what was RKO PICUTRES thinking (looking at the opening credits of the film) HOWARD HUGHES PRESENTS THE CONQUEROR oh that explains it. Honestly of all the major F&*k up?s the major studios have done with films like GIGLI (2003), BATTLEFEILD EARTH (2000), HOWARD THE DUCK (1985), and THE GIANT CLAW (1957) this is one of the strangest, after all RKO STUDIOS were the ones responsible for classics films like THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951), KING KONG (1933) and every critics favourite film , CITZEN KANE (1941) you would expect the studio to have a lest though it to think things through. Anyway there are three things to cover in this review, my opinion the film itself, my honest thoughts on why it?s been dubbed one of the worst films ever and the films saddest story the real life drama of THE CANCER CONTROVERSY.

THE REVIEW: So THE CONQUEROR is one of the worst films of the 50?s and after one viewing of this film that statement is true. On the badness factor it?s just the same as PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE and ROBOT MONSTER, it?s so bad it?s so good. The film opens in the vast plains of Mongolia or in actual fact the deserts of Utah were an enemy tribe of the Mongols who are passing through their land with stunning red headed would be-bride called Bortai (played by Susan Hayward) of the enemy chief. Anyway Mongol chief Temujin or A.K.A Genghis Khan shows up were we get THE DUKE giving his horrible performance as Khan, Wayne puts on another typical male all American heroic portrayal is as the bandit warrior and sadly it doesn?t work at all. Hell I was expecting him half the time to say ?LETS GO RAPING AND PILLAGING PILGRIM ?and to make things even more comically bad Wayne?s skin is slightly darken with a fake moustache to accompany this. I could go on at what?s wrong with Wayne?s biggest mistake of his career but back to the plot outline Khan lays eyes upon Bortai and in a good old Hollywood Epic fashion he falls in love with her. So the logical thing to do is raid the group and take her, were we get the weirdest and most priceless scene of the film occurs. Temujin rips off Bortai?s dress while romantic music swells before kidnapping her, ahh hello that?s not romantic at all and don?t get me started why that is considered to be morally wrong. So in the next scene we meet Temujin?s mother who is played by Angus Moorhead who most will know as Endora in the classic sitcom BEWITCHED who is upset to find out that Bortial is the daughter of the chief that killed Temujins father. So over the rest of the film we see Temujin trying to woo Bortial in any way possible whether it involves slapping her or trying to have his way with her. Then for no logical reason she stops hating him and starts to love him :-{ what the hell was the write thinking no woman in her right mind would fall in love with a man that tries to woo her with physical assault or stripping her naked. Oh and Temujin in the main plot fights for power over all of his enemies before he becomes Genghis Khan. Overall this film is so poorly put together and suffers from of the typical aspects of your average Bad Movie , lack of plot logic , terrible acting (and this is coming from THE DUKE of all people) , and weird scripting. But hey it?s brilliantly funny for all the wrong reasons.


Aside from the obvious flats with this film there is one big aspect why the film is rated one of the worst of the decade along with Ed Wood?s films like PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, GLEN OR GLENDA and BRIDE OF THE MONSTER, Phil Tuckers ROBOT MONSTER and THE GIANT CLAW has to come down to two things. For one the film is just like your average epic piece from the era while it falls flat due to its faults and Howard Hughes personally felt responsible for the total balls up with this film, after a bad box office run Hughes had every print of the film removed from circulation well into the 1970?s where the rights of the film were brought by UNIVERSAL STUDIOS which resulted in it being screen on T.V. Since this film was a huge disaster for RKO studio?s its no wonder the company when broke.

Before I end this review I must talk about the cancer controversy surrounding this film.
Since the film was shot in the deserts of Utah, the production of the film was down wind of were a nuclear test site and since Hughes brought the dirt of the desert back from the area for the shooting of the interior sequences of the film it?s no wonder why a lot of people that were involved died of cancer. John Wayne himself died of cancer so did many of the films cast and crew, hell the film it was even dubbed ?AN RKO RADIOACTIVE PICTURE?.

Overall THE CONQUER is a so bad, so good film id recommend it to anyone . Rating 6/10
½ August 3, 2010
Wayne is woefully miscast as the Mongal leader, which he can't pull off iith any credibility. However to be fair it's an awful story anyway, with an unconvincing Mongolian setting.
July 20, 2010
Long before Ed Wood stamped his authority on bad movies came this prize turkey. Quite easily one of the worst films ever made, with John Wayne playing Genghis Khan as if he was a cowboy gunslinger.
May 2, 2010
Just to see how awful this apparently is.
½ April 1, 2010
The man should really stick to westerns. Not only does he not pass for Mongolian well at all, the movie also seems to be lacking much of a plot. At the end we asked ourselves "what suddenly happened that it's over?" with no success.
February 11, 2010
All should be embarassed (and they were) about this horrid movie. Susan Hayward, a red headed Tartar Princess? Dancing the dance of the veils? Not good!
November 26, 2009
Sounds like one of those that's so bad it's good.
½ November 24, 2009
So what do you get, when you make film with John Wayne as medieval Mongolian conqueror Ghengis Khan and Susan Hayward as his wife-to-be Börte? Well, the result is lavishly mounted adventure, for instance, but the treatment of horses in battle scenes deserves negative rating.
November 13, 2009
Not a movie for me started to see it but got tired off it and never finished it. Perhaps I would have liked it if I saw it in the 50`s when it was new.
November 2, 2009
This has to be seen to be believed.John Wayne as Ghengas Khan!..Oh yes,absolutely true..not only does he look ridiculous but his dialogue is farcial..I bet during the filming he was tempted to slap on his six-shooters and don his cowboy hat..this may have made a better film.Sad thing was that most of the cast&crew died of radio-active poisoning in time as the movie was filmed very near an A-bomb site in the desert.
August 8, 2009
This movie is so surreal. A product of the 1950's all-star white cast in "asian" face. Wayne gives it his all and tries playing the Mongol warlord, but the typical plots drives this into bizarro medievil land of pseudo westerns. After while it's like watching an alternate universe Lord of the Rings movie with everyone dressed as Ming The Merciless from Flash Gordon. Watch sober if you dare.
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