6.7/10
1,236
22 user 13 critic

Conquest (1937)

Approved | | Drama, History, Romance | 22 October 1937 (USA)
A Polish countess becomes Napoleon Bonaparte's mistress at the urging of Polish leaders, who feel she could influence him to make Poland independent.

Directors:

Clarence Brown, Gustav Machatý (uncredited)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Anna Christie I (1930)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young woman reunites with her estranged father and falls in love with a sailor, but struggles to tell them about her dark past.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Charles Bickford, George F. Marion
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After a ski instructor catches her husband flirting with an old flame, she decides to pose as her (fictitious) twin sister in an attempt to keep him faithful.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Constance Bennett
Romance (1930)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Young Harry is in love and wants to marry an actress, much to the displeasure of his family. Harry thinks that Bishop Armstrong knows nothing about love so Armstrong tells him the story of ... See full summary »

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Lewis Stone, Gavin Gordon
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A wife neglected by her husband, a medical researcher in China, falls in love with a dashing diplomatic attaché.

Director: Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Greta Garbo, Herbert Marshall, George Brent
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Fleeing her cruel uncle and an arranged marriage Susan Lenox falls in love with a kind stranger but circumstances force her to become a woman of easy virtue.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Jean Hersholt
Anna Karenina (1935)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The married Anna Karenina falls in love with Count Vronsky despite her husband's refusal to grant a divorce, and both must contend with the social repercussions.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, Fredric March, Freddie Bartholomew
Love (1927)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A married woman compromises her social standing and family life when she falls for a young officer.

Directors: Edmund Goulding, John Gilbert
Stars: John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, George Fawcett
Mata Hari (1931)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A semi-fictionalized account of the life of Mata Hari, an exotic dancer who was accused of spying for Germany during World War I.

Director: George Fitzmaurice
Stars: Greta Garbo, Ramon Novarro, Lionel Barrymore
The Kiss (1929)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An unhappily married woman is caught up in scandal and murder when her affection toward a young man is misinterpreted.

Director: Jacques Feyder
Stars: Greta Garbo, Conrad Nagel, Anders Randolf
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Budapest bar entertainer Zara is a discontented alcoholic who is pursued by many men but lives with novelist Carl Salter. A strange man (Tony) shows up on Salter's estate claiming that Zara... See full summary »

Director: George Fitzmaurice
Stars: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Erich von Stroheim
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When two childhood sweethearts are kept from marrying, misery ensues.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Lewis Stone
Ninotchka (1939)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Greta Garbo ... Countess Marie Walewska
Charles Boyer ... Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte
Reginald Owen ... Tallyrand
Alan Marshal ... Capt. d'Ornano
Henry Stephenson ... Count Anastas Walewski
Leif Erickson ... Paul Lachinski (as Leif Erikson)
May Whitty ... Laetitia Bonaparte (as Dame May Whitty)
Maria Ouspenskaya ... Countess Pelagia Walewska
C. Henry Gordon ... Prince Poniatowski
Claude Gillingwater ... Stephan (Marie's servant)
Vladimir Sokoloff ... Dying soldier
George Houston ... Grand Marshal George Duroc
Edit

Storyline

After a brief informal meeting two months earlier when they were impressed with each other, Countess Marie Walewska formally meets Napoleon Bonaparte at a ball in Warsaw. When Napoleon notes her husband is three times her age, and as he is taken with her charms, he unsuccessfully tries to seduce her. She ignores his frequent letters and flowers until a few grim Polish leaders led by Senator Malachowski urge her to give into his desires as a personal sacrifice in order to save Poland. She goes to him despite the humiliation of her husband, who leaves for Rome to annul their marriage. They are extremely happy for a while; Napoleon divorces childless Empress Josephine and Marie eventually becomes pregnant. She is about to tell Napoleon about her baby when he tells her he decided to marry Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria. He explains it will be a political marriage to insure his future son could rule securely with Hapsburg blood in him. It will not affect their relationship, he says, ... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Love Story of Marie Walewska See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 October 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Beloved See more »

Filming Locations:

Calabasas, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,732,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$730,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,411,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The lavish ballroom set where Napoleon dances with Marie Walewska is actually identical to that used in Maytime (1937) - the Jeanette McDonald /Nelson Eddy operetta. It has simply been redressed and given a different floor covering and shot from a different angle. See more »

Quotes

Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte: Against my will, I love you.
Countess Marie Walewska: I believe in you.
Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte: Come with me, Marie.
Countess Marie Walewska: I shall never long for Spring again. In the Spring, you'll have to go forth to war. You'll be in danger, fighting. I shall long always for Winter - when you'll be safe.
Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte: I have signed many treaties. But, this is the first time, I am at peace.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Garbo (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

1812 Overture
(uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Napoleon Affair
10 August 2013 | by lugonianSee all my reviews

CONQUEST (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1937), directed by Clarence Brown, is not a full-fledged biography nor grand scale remake of the four hour silent epic of director Abel Gance's French masterpiece, NAPOLEON (1927), though any attempt might have been interesting. Instead, this historical mini 112 minute epic indicates: "This is a story of an historic love. The imaginary detail supplied by the dramatist has not violated the spirit of this immortal romance." Starring the fine combination of Greta Garbo and Charles Boyer for the first and only time, CONQUEST, like NAPOLEON, falls into a lavish scale style, fortunately not at four hours. It does, however, equally balance these leading performers to the best capacity in screen entertainment. Reportedly a box office disappointment upon release, it was Boyer, not Garbo, who garnered enough attention to earn an Academy Award nomination, indicating Boyer was not just an ordinary Garbo co-star, but a logical choice to play Napoleon.

Told in detailed title format, the first chapter reads, "January 1808, Eastern Poland" followed by rebellious horseback riding Cossacks invading and destroying personal property of the luxurious home of 75-year-old Count Wakenski (Henry Stephenson) and his attractive, younger third wife, Marie (Greta Garbo). Shortly after the intruders depart comes Marie's brother, Lieutenant Paul Pachinski (Leif Erickson) of the French Army, with news of the Emperor Napoleon and his Army arriving in Poland. Later that night, Marie leaves home just long enough to see and capture the attention of Napoleon (Charles Boyer) while standing outside a church. Chapter Two: "Two months later, at the Poniatowski Palace, Warsaw" - The Count and Marie attend a ball where Napoleon, after meeting with the Countess once more, attracts attention from surprising guests by being together on the dance floor. Though Marie consoles her husband of Napoleon's love letters to her, it is Senator Malachowski (George Zucco) who encourages her to accept Napoleon's invitation so he can free Poland. Having gone against her husband's wishes, Wakewski leaves Marie and annuls their marriage. Chapter 3: "The Castle of Finckenstein, East Prussia" - With Napoleon and his personal staff seeking shelter in the Wakenski home, Marie acts coldly towards the aggressive guest. Things eventually change as Napoleon's loneliness falls into Marie's own personal pattern. After Marie's brother learns of their affair, he loses all respect for them. Chapter 4: "Two years later, July, 1809, The Rue De La Houssaie, Paris" - Bonaparte's mother, Laetitia (Dame May Witty) confronts Marie of her son's intention on divorcing his wife, Josephine; Chapter 5: "Three Weeks Later, Schoebrunn Castle - Vienna" - Napoleon encounters an assassin; Talleyrand (Reginald Owen) encourages Napoleon to marry the Duchess Marie Louise of Hapsburg in order to have an heir of royal blood. The news proves disappointing for Marie; Chapter 6: "Two years later, December 1812, The Retreat of the Grand Army from Moscow through Poland," Napoleon and Army march through a stormy blizzard and encounter a half frozen soldier; Chapter 7: "Two years later, August 18, 1814, The Island of Elba" - After a defeat at Waterloo, Marie arrives with a surprise for Napoleon; Chapter 8: "One month after Waterloo, July 1815, The Port of Rochefemas, France." Napoleon goes into exile.

In the supporting cast are Claude Gillingwater Sr. (Stefan, Marie's loyal servant); Alan Marshal (O'Ornano); C. Henry Gordon (Prince Poniatowski); and Scotty Beckett (Alexander). Maria Ouspenskaya should not go unmentioned as the Countess Pelagia, Wakewski's sister with memory loss. Her card playing encounter with Napoleon is as noteworthy as Napoleon telling Marie that, "You are the only woman whose favor I ever begged for." Aside from a smooth underscoring by Herbert Stothart, and impressive sets, CONQUEST, which often cries for Technicolor as well as extensive war battle scenes, the camera shows Garbo to great advantage on numerous occasions of her now mature, yet stunning beauty.

No stranger to broadcast television prior to the 1980s, CONQUEST, with availability after-wards on video and DVD formats, remains a much underrated Garbo product. Interestingly, in the 1990 documentary, "The Divine Garbo," as hosted by Glenn Close, of all the Garbo films, CONQUEST did not get a single mention, almost as the movie itself never existed, which is quite unfortunate. CONQUEST may not be accurate in its historic account nor will it ever become a sort-after Garbo conquest in cinema history, but it's certainly worth exploring the next time it broadcasts on Turner Classic Movies. (****)


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 22 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed