The Mistake That Killed John Wayne

the mag

In 1956, the Duke starred in an epic biopic about Genghis Khan called "The Conqueror"—a casting decision that probably qualifies as one of history's greatest mistakes in and of itself. Personally, if we were cast as Genghis Khan in a film that required us to pretend Utah was the Gobi Desert and forced us to spout lines like, "I feel this Tartar woman is for me, and my blood says, take her!," we're pretty sure the shame would kill us. Sadly, however, it was more than shame that killed dozens of people involved in the movie's production.

Turns out, much of the filming for "The Conqueror" was done in Utah's Snow Canyon, about 150 miles downwind from a U.S. nuclear testing facility.

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