John Wayne died from cancer because of where the movie, The Conqueror, was filmed

Posted By Staff

Date: August 18th, 2015

The ConquerorFrom Strange Facts: The Conqueror is a 1956 CinemaScope epic film produced by Howard Hughes and starring John Wayne as the Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan.

Other performers included Susan Hayward, Agnes Moorehead, and Pedro Armendáriz. Directed by actor/director Dick Powell, the film was principally shot near St. George, Utah.

The exterior scenes were shot on location near St. George, Utah, 137 miles downwind of the United States government’s Nevada National Security Site.

In 1953, extensive above-ground nuclear weapons testing (11 total) occurred at the test site as part of Operation Upshot-Knothole.

The cast and crew spent many difficult weeks on location, and in addition Hughes later shipped 60 tons of dirt back to Hollywood in order to match the Utah terrain and lend verisimilitude to studio re-shoots.

The filmmakers knew about the nuclear tests but the federal government reassured residents that the tests caused no hazard to public health.  More

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