Episode 149: The Conqueror (1956)

Tighten your shorts, Pilgrim, and get ready for another episode of “Whitewashing” here at Max, Mike; Movies.  Genghis Khan: when you think of him, what do you see? Close your eyes and think of the first Great Khan of the Mongols, a man who created an empire over half the world, a man who is widely acclaimed as one of the most brilliant and brutal masters of war in human history.  When you see that mighty Mongol warlord, born to the saddle, master of strategy, whose face do you see? What man could possibly portray such a controversial and influential figure? Well, if you said “John Wayne,” then the creators of “The Conqueror” agree with you and you should all seek serious help. Yes, we’ve got The Duke himself striding across the tumbling tumbleweeds of . . . the Gobi Desert.  Sure, why not.  This movie . . . hoo boy.  Never mind the fact that out of a cast of about 200, there’s only a sprinkling of Asian actors, most of whom have no lines.  Never mind that we’ve got people like Agnes Moorehead, William Conrad, and Lee Van Cleef portraying Mongols.  Never mind that the Gobi Desert and Mongolia look an awful lot like Utah. Yes, set all that aside: this movie holds the distinction of being responsible for striking down nearly half its cast and crew with cancer.  How, you ask? Give a listen and we’ll clue you in! You’ll also get a fascinating historical lesson as to how 13th Century Mongols spoke! No really! I’m absolutely sure that’s what they sounded like! Hollywood wouldn’t lie . . . would they?

Poll question: When watching a movie in a language you don’t know, do you prefer subtitles or that it be dubbed? Subs or Dubs? Leave a comment below!

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4 thoughts on “Episode 149: The Conqueror (1956)”

    1. Interesting that he prefers anime dubbed. Thanks for the response! Toss Stephen some BumpyBux for us, please!

  1. Animation isn’t as bad dubbed as live action but I am for subtitles over dubbed pretty much all the time. We dub the “simpsons “ here in Quebec and it’s really well done, but it’s the only good example I can think of!
    I find it hard to get to the racist in this film because you have to climb over so much dumb first! That and so many people died you have feel the Asian actors were lucky to not be considered for the roles!

    1. I cannot imagine “The Simpsons” au Francais! That’s like “The Beverly Hillbillies” in Japanese, which I’ve seen. As for the racism here, you’re right though it is a great example of Hollywood just having no brain at all when it comes to the depiction of anyone other than white people. Utterly tone deaf, tin eared, blinkered. Thanks, Vince!

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