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September 23rd, 2007, 18:06
The movie is a hollywood legend
First, its possibly those most miscast movie you've ever see. The script is terrible; it rarely lets historical facts get in the way of a lousy story.
There is the cancer controversy. So many people on this movie died of it (including John Wayne and Dick Powell) and it was shot downwind in Utah where the gov't was doing Nuclear bomb testing. However, its argued that many of these people, including Wayne, were heavy smokers. Lee Van Cleef died of cancer too but wasn't until the 1980's.
There is a legend that director Dick Powell, the famous hollywood singer and film noir radio start, was considering what to make as his next picture with John Wayne when he left the room. When he came back Wayne was flipping through the script for The Conqueror and insisting it was the picture he wanted to do. Powell tried to talk him out of it but Wayne was persistent. In the end Powell commented, "Who am I to turn down John Wayne."
Yet another story is that Howard Hughes wanted to make this picture and as he owned RKO he remembered Wayne and Powell both had one more picture on their contracts. Powell's contract was from 1939! Susan Hayward insisted on working with John Wayne.
Reports say that Hughes was so upset over this picture, some say over the cancer deaths, others the lousy quality, that he bought the rights back to it and never showed it publicly again. In fact, this is one of the films that Hughes reportedly watched every day in bed until his death. It was after 1974 the public got to see it again.
And aren't we so much better off today.
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