The Conqueror (1956) is the source of much Hollywood lore. This ill-fated production happened to be filmed downwind from an above-ground nuclear testing site. More than half of the crew contracted cancer, with a majority of them dying from the illness.
Among the many stars who took part in this production and passed away from cancer were Susan Hayward, Dick Powell, Agnes Moorehead, John Wayne, and more.
In addition to this sad reality, the epic film was considered a failure by critics, though it did perform well at the box office. It ranks as one of the worst films of the 1950s and is among the worst films ever made. Wayne also received a Golden Turkey Award for his performance in this film, with critics and audiences feeling that he was woefully miscast in the role.
Ryan Uytdewilligen’s Killing John Wayne: The Making of The Conqueror, published by Lyons press, delves in the history of the production and its many challenges, in addition to discussing the fates of its cast and crew members. Since so much has been printed in relation to The Conqueror, it is refreshing to see a book that focuses deeply upon the film.
Killing John Wayne: The Making of The Conqueror is available for purchase via Lyons Press.