Conquest (1937 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Clarence Brown
Gustav Machatý (uncredited)
|Produced by||Bernard H. Hyman|
|Written by||S. N. Behrman
Waclaw Gasiorowski (novel)
Helen Jerome (dramatization)
Talbot Jennings (uncredited)
|Music by||Herbert Stothart|
|Edited by||Tom Held|
|Running time||113 minutes|
Conquest (also called Marie Walewska) is a 1937 film which tells the story of the Polish Countess Marie Walewska, who becomes the mistress of Napoleon in order to influence his actions towards her homeland. It stars Greta Garbo, Charles Boyer, Reginald Owen, 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 Waclaw Gasiorowski. It was directed by Clarence Brown and Gustav Machatý (uncredited).
Its worldwide gross amounted to $2,141,000. But its massive budget led to a loss of $1,397,000.
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 as Countess Marie Walewska
- Charles Boyer as Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte
- Reginald Owen as Tallyrand
- Alan Marshal as Captain d'Ornano
- Henry Stephenson as Count Anastas Walewski
- Leif Erickson as Paul Lachinski (as Leif Erikson)
- Dame May Whitty as Maria Letizia Buonaparte
- Maria Ouspenskaya as Countess Pelagia Walewska
- C. Henry Gordon as Prince Poniatowski
- Claude Gillingwater as Stephan (Marie's servant)
- Vladimir Sokoloff as Dying soldier
- George F. Houston as Grand Marshal George Duroc
- Scotty Beckett as Alexandre Walewska
- Oscar Apfel as Count Potocka
- Betty Blythe as Princess Mirska
- Stanley Andrews as Prince Mirska
- Henry Kolker as Sen. Wybitcki
- Mitchell Lewis as Beppo
- Lois Meredith as Countess Potocka
- Charles B. Middleton as Sergeant at Elba
- Dennis O'Keefe as Jan Walewska
- Robert Warwick as Capt. Laroux
- Ian Wolfe as Prince Metternich
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 ended up earning $450,000 for his performance; reshoots on the film saw the budget rise.
- Scott Eyman, Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer, Robson, 2005 p 199
- Variety film review; October 27, 1937, page 18.
- Harrison's Reports film review; November 13, 1937, page 183.
- "NY Times: Winterset". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-09.