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milkmania
07-19-2007, 02:15 PM
a documentary on National Geographic about John Wayne and the filming of The Conqueror (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049092/)
Filmed near the site of contemporaneous nuclear testing grounds, the set was contaminated by nuclear fallout. After location shooting, much dirt from the location was transported back to Hollywood in order to match interior shooting done there. Scores of cast and crew members developed forms of cancer over the next two decades, many more than the normal percentage of a random group of this size. Quite a few died from cancer or cancer-related problems, including John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Pedro Armendáriz (who shot himself to death soon after learning he had terminal cancer), Agnes Moorehead, 'Thomas Gomez' , John Hoyt and director Dick Powell. People magazine researched the subsequent health of the cast and crew, which it published in November 1980. By the time of the article's publication, 91 of the 220 members of the film's cast and crew had contracted cancer, and half of these had died from the disease. The figures did not include several hundred local American Indians who served as extras on the set. Nor did it include relatives who had visited cast and crew members on the set, such as the Duke's son Michael Wayne. The People article quoted the reaction of a scientist from the Pentagon's Defense Nuclear Agency to the news: "Please, God, don't let us have killed John Wayne".

it appears that 91 of the 220 cast & crew have died of cancer

Apparently the government exploded 11 nuclear bombs near the film site the year before

here's a Q&A that I found http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a2_016.html

ProTour X9
07-19-2007, 02:36 PM
I have heard this also, that wasn't a very good movie anyways.

chudson
07-19-2007, 03:00 PM
It says that photographs exist of John Wayne holding a Geiger counter. You would think they would have known of the danger!

JimN
07-19-2007, 03:27 PM
So, all of the thousands of packs of cigarettes couldn't have done it?

In the neighborhood where I grew up, I can name 26 people who had or died from cancer. This is two streets, both sides of one and one side of the other, in a stretch of either eight or nine consecutive houses, depending on which row. That's 26 cases in 24 houses. We never had any nuclear testing in our neighborhood (they said it was a sonic boom) but I know all of them smoked. The only other thing I can think of is the well water, and I hope that wasn't the cause.

Maristar210
07-19-2007, 03:30 PM
So, all of the thousands of packs of cigarettes couldn't have done it?

In the neighborhood where I grew up, I can name 26 people who had or died from cancer. This is two streets, both sides of one and one side of the other, in a stretch of either eight or nine consecutive houses, depending on which row. That's 26 cases in 24 houses. We never had any nuclear testing in our neighborhood (they said it was a sonic boom) but I know all of them smoked. The only other thing I can think of is the well water, and I hope that wasn't the cause.


It was one or the other for sure but nearly half dies of cancer?

Nearly half probably smoked too though :rolleyes:

Ric
07-19-2007, 03:37 PM
how close were these 91 folks to what's considered a ripe old age too?

etduc
07-19-2007, 06:14 PM
Gov'ment cover-up. Protect the film industry.

Another cover-up:

Did you know....

That nearly everyone, who ate carrots in 1901, is DEAD!

Bush family, covered up the story to protect their friends in the carrot farming cartel.

Ric
07-20-2007, 08:38 AM
now that is funny