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Conquest (1937 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Theatrical release poster
Directed byClarence Brown
Gustav Machatý (uncredited)
Screenplay byS. N. Behrman
Salka Viertel
Samuel Hoffenstein
Talbot Jennings
Zoë Akins
Based onPani Walewska
by Wacław Gąsiorowski (1904 book)
Helen Jerome (1933 play)
Produced byBernard H. Hyman
StarringGreta Garbo
Charles Boyer
Reginald Owen
Alan Marshal
CinematographyKarl Freund
Edited byTom Held
Music byHerbert Stothart
Distributed byLoew's, Inc.
Release date
  • October 22, 1937 (1937-10-22)
Running time
113 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$2,732,000 US[1][2]
Box office$2,141,000

Conquest (also called Marie Walewska) is a 1937 American historical-drama film directed by Clarence Brown and starring Greta Garbo, Charles Boyer, Reginald Owen. It was produced and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It tells the story of the Polish Countess Marie Walewska, who becomes the mistress of Napoleon in order to influence his actions towards her homeland.[3][4] The supporting cast includes Alan Marshal, Henry Stephenson, Leif Erickson, Dame May Whitty, George Zucco, and Maria Ouspenskaya.

The movie was adapted by S.N. Behrman, Samuel Hoffenstein, Helen Jerome and Salka Viertel from the novel Pani Walewska by Wacław Gąsiorowski. An uncredited Gustav Machatý took over some of the direction. It was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Charles Boyer) and Best Art Direction (Cedric Gibbons and William A. Horning).[5]

Its worldwide gross amounted to $2,141,000, but its massive budget led to a loss of $1,397,000.

MGM initially advertised the upcoming release of the film under the title Marie Walewska, but at the last moment changed the title to the more marketable Conquest when the movie arrived in theaters.

The Dad's Army episode "A Soldier's Farewell" starts with the platoon in the cinema watching this film.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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Napoleon Bonaparte (Charles Boyer) launches an unsuccessful seduction of the Countess Marie Walewska (Greta Garbo), who is married to a much older man (Henry Stephenson), but she resists until convinced that giving in will save Poland. After her husband annuls their marriage and Napoleon divorces the Empress Josephine, the pair are free to formalize their happy relationship, but Napoleon shocks her by announcing his decision to wed the Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria for political reasons. While he doesn't expect it to impact his relationship with Marie, she leaves him, without ever telling him that she is expecting his child.


Greta Garbo and Charles Boyer in Conquest
Maria Ouspenskaya and Greta Garbo

Uncredited Cast


Boyer's fee was $125,000, with an equal amount to be paid for any French version, as well as an overtime provision. In the final event, Boyer earned $450,000 for his performance; reshoots on the film saw the budget rise.[2]


Writing for Night and Day in 1937, Graham Greene gave the film a poor review, characterizing it simply as "one of the dullest films of the year". Greene's chief complaints came from the plot, writing, and "middlebrow" dialogue which inelegantly attempted to bridge "poetic and realistic drama". Greene also notes a number of scenes or moments of "unconscious comedy" which undermined the film and let to a feeling of "great fake emotions booming out - Love, Country, Ambition".[6] On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an aggregate score of 100% based on 5 critic reviews.[7]

The film grossed $730,000 in the United States and $1,411,000 in other markets, bringing the total sum of $2,141,000. Although a success with audiences, it lost $1,397,000 due to such a high budget.[8]


  1. ^ [1][citation needed]
  2. ^ a b Scott Eyman, Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer, Robson, 2005 p 199
  3. ^ Variety film review; October 27, 1937, page 18.
  4. ^ Harrison's Reports film review; November 13, 1937, page 183.
  5. ^ "NY Times: Winterset". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-10-17. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
  6. ^ Greene, Graham (23 December 1937). "Marie Walewska/True Confession". Night and Day. (reprinted in: Taylor, John Russell, ed. (1980). The Pleasure Dome. Oxford University Press. pp. 187, 190. ISBN 0192812866.)
  7. ^ "Conquest". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  8. ^ "Conquest".

External links

This page was last edited on 29 May 2024, at 21:25
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