Man of Conquest (1939)

96-97 mins | Drama | 15 May 1939

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HISTORY

Sam Houston (1793-1863) was an American general and political leader and the president of the Republic of Texas from 1836-38 and 1841-44. The production credits were missing from the print viewed. The working title of this film was Wagons Westward. An early HR production chart lists Ernest Miller as photographer, although he is not credited on reviews. According to a news item in HR, Max Terhune replaced Guinn Williams in the role of Deaf Smith because Williams was working on the Warner Bros. film Juarez. News items in HR reveal the following members of the production were plagued by various illnesses. When C. Henry Gordon, who replaced Victor Jory in the role of "William Travis" because Jory was busy working on Juarez, fell ill with appendicitis, Jory stepped in to take over the part. Gordon appeared in the completed film as "Santa Ana" (whose actual name was General Antonio López de Santa Anna).
       Richard Dix, who played "Sam Houston," fractured two bones during a fight scene, forcing a week delay in the production. Photographer Joseph H. August was hospitalized during the last week of filming and was replaced by Frank Redmond. The film was shot on location at Sonora, CA. At the time of its production, this picture was the costliest film Republic had made and was awarded the most expensive advertising campaign in the studio's history. Other news items in HR add that after the film was released, Republic was sued by author Marquis James, who claimed that the studio had plagiarized his book ...

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Sam Houston (1793-1863) was an American general and political leader and the president of the Republic of Texas from 1836-38 and 1841-44. The production credits were missing from the print viewed. The working title of this film was Wagons Westward. An early HR production chart lists Ernest Miller as photographer, although he is not credited on reviews. According to a news item in HR, Max Terhune replaced Guinn Williams in the role of Deaf Smith because Williams was working on the Warner Bros. film Juarez. News items in HR reveal the following members of the production were plagued by various illnesses. When C. Henry Gordon, who replaced Victor Jory in the role of "William Travis" because Jory was busy working on Juarez, fell ill with appendicitis, Jory stepped in to take over the part. Gordon appeared in the completed film as "Santa Ana" (whose actual name was General Antonio López de Santa Anna).
       Richard Dix, who played "Sam Houston," fractured two bones during a fight scene, forcing a week delay in the production. Photographer Joseph H. August was hospitalized during the last week of filming and was replaced by Frank Redmond. The film was shot on location at Sonora, CA. At the time of its production, this picture was the costliest film Republic had made and was awarded the most expensive advertising campaign in the studio's history. Other news items in HR add that after the film was released, Republic was sued by author Marquis James, who claimed that the studio had plagiarized his book The Raven, a biography of Sam Houston.
       The film was nominated for Academy Awards in the Art Direction, Music (Original Score) and Sound Recording categories. In 1917, Fox made The Conquerer, which was also based on the life of Sam Houston, starring William Farnum and directed by R. A. Walsh (see entry).

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
7 Apr 1939
p. 3
Film Daily
10 Apr 1939
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
28 Nov 1938
p. 2, 3
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jan 1939
p. 7
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jan 1939
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jan 1939
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jan 1939
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
11 Feb 1939
p. 5-6
Hollywood Reporter
23 Feb 1939
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
25 Feb 1939
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
28 Feb 1939
p. 8
Hollywood Reporter
1 Mar 1939
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
8 Mar 1939
p. 12
Hollywood Reporter
14 Mar 1939
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
7 Apr 1939
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 1939
pp. 5-12
Hollywood Reporter
24 Feb 1940
p. 5
Motion Picture Daily
2 May 1939
pp. 4-5
Motion Picture Daily
10 May 1939
pp. 4-5
Motion Picture Herald
28 Jan 1939
p. 40
Motion Picture Herald
15 Apr 1939
p. 57
New York Times
28 Apr 1939
p. 31
Variety
21 Apr 1939
p. 25
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
E. E. Paramore Jr.
Scr
Orig story
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Joseph H. August
Photog
Photog
Fill-in photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Supv film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Richard Tyler
Sd rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Wagons Westward
Release Date:
15 May 1939
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 28 Apr 1939
Production Date:
6 Jan--13 Mar 1939
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Republic Pictures Corp.
15 May 1939
LP8942
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
96-97
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

After spending much of his youth among the friendly Cherokee Indians, Sam Houston enlists with General Andrew Jackson and is severly wounded while leading a charge at the battle of Horseshoe Bend. Jackson commends Houston for his gallantry and a lifelong friendship is formed. Soon after, Jackson is elected to the Presidency and Houston becomes governor of Tennessee. On the eve of Houston's reelection, he marries Eliza Allen, but the demur Eliza is unable to adjust to life as the wife of a boisterous politician, and she leaves Sam. The scandal of their divorce forces Sam to resign as governor and sends him back to the Cherokees, accompanied by his friend, Lannie Upchurch. As Ambassador to the Cherokee Nation, Houston goes to Washington to protest the government's treatment of the Indians, and there he meets Margaret Lea at the Presidential Ball. After Jackson accedes to his demands, Houston joins Margaret on a stagecoach headed for Texas. On their way West, the two fall in love, but Houston foresakes his love for Margaret for his quest to free Texas from Mexico. In Texas, Houston is opposed by the peace-loving colonist Stephen Austin, who refuses to enter into war with Mexico. When word comes that Santa Ana is marching his army across Texas, killing and pillaging all in his path, Austin realizes that war is inevitable, and Jackson persuades Houston to fight for the statehood of Texas. Appointed head of the army, Houston leads his handful of troops to relieve the garrison at the Alamo. Arriving too late, Houston retreats before the advancing Mexican army and, at San Jacinto, launches the strategic ...

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After spending much of his youth among the friendly Cherokee Indians, Sam Houston enlists with General Andrew Jackson and is severly wounded while leading a charge at the battle of Horseshoe Bend. Jackson commends Houston for his gallantry and a lifelong friendship is formed. Soon after, Jackson is elected to the Presidency and Houston becomes governor of Tennessee. On the eve of Houston's reelection, he marries Eliza Allen, but the demur Eliza is unable to adjust to life as the wife of a boisterous politician, and she leaves Sam. The scandal of their divorce forces Sam to resign as governor and sends him back to the Cherokees, accompanied by his friend, Lannie Upchurch. As Ambassador to the Cherokee Nation, Houston goes to Washington to protest the government's treatment of the Indians, and there he meets Margaret Lea at the Presidential Ball. After Jackson accedes to his demands, Houston joins Margaret on a stagecoach headed for Texas. On their way West, the two fall in love, but Houston foresakes his love for Margaret for his quest to free Texas from Mexico. In Texas, Houston is opposed by the peace-loving colonist Stephen Austin, who refuses to enter into war with Mexico. When word comes that Santa Ana is marching his army across Texas, killing and pillaging all in his path, Austin realizes that war is inevitable, and Jackson persuades Houston to fight for the statehood of Texas. Appointed head of the army, Houston leads his handful of troops to relieve the garrison at the Alamo. Arriving too late, Houston retreats before the advancing Mexican army and, at San Jacinto, launches the strategic attack that routs the Mexican forces and frees Texas. As Texas is admitted into the Union, a dying Jackson praises his old friend for scoring a victory for the principles of Jacksonian democracy.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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