Man of Conquest


1h 45m 1939

Film Details

Also Known As
Wagons Westward
Release Date
May 15, 1939
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 28 Apr 1939
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Sonora, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 45m
Sound
Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
11 reels

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 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.

Film Details

Also Known As
Wagons Westward
Release Date
May 15, 1939
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 28 Apr 1939
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Sonora, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 45m
Sound
Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
11 reels

Award Nominations

Best Art Direction

1939

Best Score

1939

Best Sound

1939

Quotes

Trivia

Richard Dix fractured two bones during the wrestling scene, causing a delay of a week in the production schedule.

Joseph H. August was hospitalized during the last week of filming and was replaced by Frank Redmond as director of photography

Notes

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 Hollywood Reporter production chart lists Ernest Miller as photographer, although he is not credited on reviews. According to a news item in Hollywood Reporter, Max Terhune replaced Guinn Williams in the role of Deaf Smith because Williams was working on the Warner Bros. film Juarez. News items in Hollywood Reporter 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 Hollywood Reporter 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.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1939

Released in United States 1939