24 comments on “The Conqueror (1956): The Film that Killed John Wayne…Literally

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    • Out of 220 people to have 91 of them develop cancer of any sort and have 46 of them die from it does seem to be an abnormally high rate. To determine the cause of any individual cancer is difficult especially given John Wayne’s smoking habit and other risk behaviors. . However statistically there is an epidemic of cancers associated with the cast and members of this movie.

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  5. 91 people dying of cancer out of 220 people is very close to the expected cancer death rate. Cancer kills roughly 40% of people in America. If you follow any group of 220 randomly chosen people, about 90 will die of cancer. The only way to blame the US army for this would be if the death rate from cancer was much HIGHER than expected. Also Wayne was a heavy smoker which explains his lung cancer. His death from stomach cancer was probably old age, with cigarette carcinogens thrown in.

  6. If John Wayne was able to register radioactivity on a Geiger Counter it’s pretty safe to say they all got more of a dose of radioactivity than was certainly healthy to get. Some who were predisposed to the desease probably contracted it immediately. For others it had to be in their system for some time before becoming evident. In any case the movie should have never been made there.

  7. I have a advertisement out of a 1956 Saturday Evening Post, advertising this movie… I wonder what it is worth?

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  9. I don’t know where you folks are getting your information, but according to the American Cancer Society, on average, over the last 75 years, the death rate from all cancers among Americans stands at 22.7%. It’s pretty absurd to believe that nearly half of all deaths in America are the result of Cancer. Further, 20% of all cancers that kill people stem from either Breast or Prostate Cancer…neither of which are prevalent among the statistics of this movie. They filmed a movie on sites that were contaminated with high levels of radioactive fallout. Then, they moved TONS of dirt that was highly contaminated WITH RADIOACTIVE FALLOUT to a hollywood set and then, using that dirt within the confines of an enclosed set, continued to film the movie. Oh….and to the moron who suggested that John Wayne got stomach cancer from smoking, you are an idiot, sir.

  10. The biggest killer of Americans is heart disease. The next biggest killer was anyone who watched this movie. I started to laugh and thought I would die before it was over. By far the worst casting and hilarious acting. A must see to believe it.

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  12. I was actually expecting to hear of a huge amount of retakes and spoiled film due to ghosting on the print from the radiation levels. Maybe that’s why they hauled all that dirt to H-wood, thinking they were getting away from the source. I thought the movie companies employed environmental advisers for such issues as this. Guess not.

  13. That is a trip thats for sure. I didnt know anything about all the interesting stuff in this artical, although I has seen several films that John Wayne stared in and this film I have seen it before in the yr 1972 I was only 8 yrs old and @ that time children of this wssnt sitting much or just didnt to watch westerns all the way threw if you get my meaning we to busy playing and making Mudd pies playing cowboys and indians and what not, but I must say threw the yrs Ive watched alot of his films and Im very sorry he did of that terrible terrible sickness and in severe pain constantly thats such a bad way to go im very sad we lost such a great man and actor.
    There was one part in the artical that I didnt quite understand when the person who wrote it when they were talking of his son Michael they stated that. ” Michael died also of cancer in 2003 after visiting him on the set at age 22. ”
    “HUH” Who is him ? ?
    Darla Almond
    Age 51
    June 24,2015

  14. I do believe he died of “lung” cancer, just not the way usually thought. I think the stomach cancer was a metastasis (spread to a different part of the body) from his original lung cancer. I’d love to see his pathology reports. Why do I believe this? Well, I’m a stage 4 bone mets cancer patient myself. 5 years ago, I had breast cancer originally. Well, it metastasized (breast cancer cells) from the original site thru my blood stream to my bones…the pathology report says the cancer cells in my bones are consistent with breast cancer cells. So…yeah, likely his “stomach” cancer originated from his lung cancer years previously.

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