Can a movie be cursed? Of course not. Could a tragic mistake have been made? Maybe. Could a murderous truth that led to the death of dozens of people have been ignored? Of course yes.
It is customary every time Easter comes to read about the "cursed" role of Jesus that only causes problems or even the death of actors. With a closer look, however, we will see that nothing supernatural exists. Accidents occur during the shooting of many films. Maybe in most. What happened, however, in a 1956 American film is beyond imagination. Not for some… supernatural reason but because the numbers are shocking!
This is the movie "The Conqueror" with the unforgettable John Wayne! In Greece the title was "The Demon of Asia" but logically few will have seen it. Not because it's old but because it has gone down in history as one of the worst movies ever made in Hollywood.
And to think that in order to complete the shooting of this film about 200 people were exposed to lethal rates of radioactivity resulting in cancer to reap its rates.
A very promising movie that "stepped on"
"Fight. I love. I conquer like a barbarian! These were the words that dominated the advertising poster of a film that in 1956 was one of the strongest papers of the film age. The company wanted a strong cast to catch the eye and it did.
The film was produced by businessman and tycoon Howard Hughes, who did not hesitate to put his hand deep in his pocket. The leading roles were "held" by the great John Wayne and the beautiful Agnes Murrent, while the director of the film was the excellent Dick Powell.
For many, the success of the film, which essentially described the love affair between Chekis Khan and the daughter of his deadly enemy, was a given!
Despite the hopes for the creation of a shocking film, however, the film "fell"! The audience turned their backs on her and the critics gave her the gratuitous shot. It is indicative that in that year, in 1956, he came 11th in the receipts while a few years later he appeared high on the list of the 50 worst movies of all time in Hollywood.
Bad luck for John Wayne and Agnes Murrent who were not affected at all by the catastrophic failure of the film project as they were already known and loved by cinephiles.
The wrong place to shoot a movie
As already mentioned, the producers and sponsors of the film had relied heavily on this project and really wanted the best possible result.
Given that the film chronicles a fantastic part of Chekis Khan's life, the scenery that would be filmed should be reminiscent of the depths of Asia. For most of the outdoor shooting, a location near the city of St. George was chosen. Jute.
It is a relatively remote area surrounded by desert. So what's more ideal? And yet…
At a distance of less than 200 kilometers there was a special firing range. There, for at least 10 years, the US military has been testing young people nuclear weapons! Radioactivity concentrations were high but none of those responsible seemed to take scientists' warnings seriously.
The barren hills around the shooting site were covered in radioactive dust. The measurements made by experts sent alarm signals that no one took seriously.
To understand the extent to which the film's actors were exposed to radioactive substances, it is enough to mention that according to scientific measurements, the area where the shooting took place in 1955 potentially remained dangerously infected until 2007!
Archives of their army USA prove that during the 1950s more than 100 nuclear tests were carried out in the area and just two years before filming began, in 1953, there were 11!
There are many warnings but no one paid attention to them.
Cancer kills "Occupier" contributors
With this and that, the film was shot, shot and everyone wanted to quickly forget about this adventure. Until the "beast" of radioactivity began to leave its mark on the bodies of the film's actors.
A total of about 220 people were busy filming the film outdoors in the St. George's area of Utah. Of these, 91 had fallen ill in the following years! The 46 did not make it and died. Among them are both the protagonists and the director of the film.
Susan Hayward, about 15 years after the film was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The battle turned out to be uneven and short. He finally died in 1975, at the age of just 57.
The story of the unforgettable John Wayne is probably more shocking. The most famous cowboy of the era died of cancer (first of the lungs and then of the stomach) at the age of 72. When he became ill, there were many people who had either died of cancer or had been defeated. He, however, never admitted that he was responsible for the radioactivity he suffered. He always blamed cigarettes as he said "it's normal for someone who smokes 5 and 6 packs of cigarettes a day".
The actor's two sons, however, said that their father blamed the cigarette and not her radioactivity because as a "patriot and anti-communist" he could not blame the weapons being tested to protect the United States from the Soviet threat!
The shocking thing in history is that in order for Wayne's sons to prove that the place where the shooting took place was polluted by radioactivity, they went there many times and they themselves there with special machines to control the radiation. Shortly afterwards, they were both diagnosed with tumors in various parts of their bodies. Luckily for them, however, they were benign and surgically removed!
The film was produced by businessman and tycoon Howard Hughes. According to rumors, he was the first person to be informed about the danger of the area, but he did not seem to be worried and reassured everyone that nothing bad was going to happen.
Perhaps this behavior and the Erinyes who persecuted him, according to another urban legend, was the reason he spent more than $ 1970 million by the end of the 12s in order to buy all the copies of the film that had been released. Eventually, the production company Paramount, who "smelled" sea bass with the doro that had been created approached him and paid him generously in order to buy the rights to the film and the original film. In any case, this was the last film in which Hugh undertook the production.
It has never been shown to be associated with dozens of cancers. The scientists who were called to "investigate" the case, however, stressed that the numbers are shocking and there can certainly be nothing supernatural!