Comedy = Tragedy + Distance
December 18, 2003 7:02 PM   Subscribe

To say that The Conqueror, the Howard Hughes-backed film about Ghengis Kahn with John Wayne as the lead, is an awful film is somewhat of an understatement. Bad acting in the hot Nevada desert surrounded by radiation from the Yucca Flats lead to around 90 people getting cancer and 30 dying from it. They even shipped radioactive sand back to Hollywood for extra scenes. Lost in La Mancha doesn't seem so bad in retrospect.
posted by destro (5 comments total)
Check this Utah history site out for some truly horrifying tales of an America willing to tolerate all manner of spookdom and government lying in the name of preserving "national security."
posted by digaman at 9:09 PM on December 18, 2003

Fascinating tidbit: Kim Jong-Il of North Korea wanted to make an authentically Asian remake.
posted by inksyndicate at 9:48 PM on December 18, 2003

I just saw that the other day and I was transfixed by the overwhelming awfulness. Thanks for the research - now I understand that maybe everyone involved had some kind of radiation sickness in the brain.
posted by pomegranate at 4:40 AM on December 19, 2003

Is it not ironic John Wayne died because of the military. He was haunted his whole life that he never was in service or put his life at risk on the battlefield.
posted by stbalbach at 4:53 AM on December 19, 2003

As I recall, Tony Curtis is (mis)cast as Wayne's son, and utters the immortal line "Yonduh lies de castle of me faddah."
posted by k.43 at 9:45 AM on December 19, 2003 [1 favorite]

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