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Conquest (1928 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Directed byRoy Del Ruth
Written by
Based onA Candle in the Wind
1919 novel
by Mary Imlay Taylor
Produced byWarner Brothers
CinematographyBarney McGill
Edited byJack Killifer
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • December 22, 1928 (1928-12-22)
Running time
75 minutes
CountryUnited States

Conquest (aka The Candle in the Wind) is a 1928 American aviation drama film, based on the short story Conquest by Mary Imlay Taylor.[N 1] The film was made using the Vitaphone sound process.[2] Conquest was directed by Roy Del Ruth, and stars Monte Blue, H.B. Warner and Lois Wilson. The film is a melodrama about an aircraft crash in Antarctica.[3] Conquest is now considered a lost film,[1] although the complete soundtrack exists on Vitaphone discs.[4]

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Two pilots, James Farnham (H.B. Warner) and Donald Overton (Monte Blue) are in love with the same girl, Diane Holden (Lois Wilson ). Attempting to fly an aircraft to the South Pole, the pair run into trouble, tumbling out of control, and crashing in the Antarctic wastelands. Donald's leg is broken, and is left to die by James, whose motives are suspect. He can now have Diane all to himself.

Rescued by the crew of a whaler, Donald is injured but survives. When he recovers, he vows vengeance on the man who left him to die. Returning home, James has proposed and marries Diane, Donald's former fiancée.

Now, scarred and crazed, Donald searches out Dianne and James. Donald persuades William Holden (Edmund Breese), Diane's father, the sponsor of the first flight, to finance another flight to Antarctica.

The same crew is resurrected but again the two pilots crash, and this time James is injured, unable to move because of a broken leg. Donald cannot bring himself to leave him, and together they make their way to safety.

On the way back to civilization, James asks Donald's forgiveness and then kills himself, freeing Donald to find happiness with Diane.



Original pre-production work was on a film project entitled The Candle in the Wind, that was subsequently changed to Conquest.[1] Highly influenced by public awareness of Antarctic aerial exploration by Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, Conquest was one of a number of aviation films about Antarctica flights, that were released, including With Byrd at the South Pole (1930) and The Lost Zeppelin (1929).[5] Principal photography on Conquest began on July 30, 1928.[1] To recreate the aircraft used on the Antarctic flight, an "elaborate full-scale Fokker tri-motor mockup" was constructed.[6]


Aviation film historian Stephen Pendo, in Aviation in the Cinema (1985) characterized Conquest as a typical early "talkie" with a heavy reliance on dialogue, with as much as 70 percent of the film taken up by conversations.[7]

Preservation status

Conquest is considered a lost film.[8][9]

See also



  1. ^ Prior to publication in book form, Mary Imlay Taylor's novel was serialized in Munsey's Magazine (July–November 1917).[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Catalog: 'Conquest'." The AFI Catalog of Feature Films 1893-1993, 2019. Retrieved: June 30, 2019.
  2. ^ Liebman 2003, p. 202.
  3. ^ "Data: 'Conquest'.", 2019. Retrieved: June 30, 2019.
  4. ^ "Conquest (1928)". UCLA Library.
  5. ^ Paris 1995, p. 110.
  6. ^ Farmer 1984, p. 300.
  7. ^ Pendo 1985, pp. 10, 274.
  8. ^ "American Silent Feature Film Survival Catalog:'Conquest'." The Library of Congress/FIAF, 2019. Retrieved: June 30, 2019.
  9. ^ Andersen, Arne."Lost Warner Brothers films of 1928: 'Conquest' ." Arne Andersen's Lost Film Files, 2019. Retrieved: June 30, 2019.


  • Farmer, James H. Celluloid Wings: The Impact of Movies on Aviation (1st ed.). Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania: TAB Books 1984. ISBN 978-0-83062-374-7.
  • Liebman, Roy. Vitaphone Films: A Catalogue of the Features and Shorts. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2003. ISBN 978-0-78644-697-1.
  • Paris, Michael. From the Wright Brothers to Top Gun: Aviation, Nationalism, and Popular Cinema. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 1995. ISBN 978-0-7190-4074-0.
  • Pendo, Stephen. Aviation in the Cinema. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1985. ISBN 0-8-1081-746-2.

External links

This page was last edited on 20 December 2023, at 05:06
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