Man of Conquest
Film poster
Directed byGeorge Nicholls Jr.
Written byHarold Shumate
Wells Root
Jan Isbell Fortune
Edward E. Paramore Jr.
Produced bySol C. Siegel
StarringRichard Dix
CinematographyJoseph H. August
Edited byEdward Mann
Music byVictor Young
Republic Pictures
Distributed byRepublic Pictures
Release date
  • May 15, 1939 (1939-05-15)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited States

Man of Conquest is a 1939 American Western film directed by George Nicholls Jr. and starring Richard Dix, Gail Patrick, and Joan Fontaine. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Score, Best Sound (Charles L. Lootens), and Best Art Direction (John Victor Mackay).[2]

The film marked the first serious attempt by Republic Pictures to break out from its traditional production of B movies and produce a work of greater cost and prestige.[3] The film is a biopic of the politician Sam Houston, focusing on his relationship with Andrew Jackson and his role during the Texas Revolution. It was inspired by Marquis James's 1929 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Houston.


Sam Houston fights beside his friend Andrew Jackson and is wounded. Not long thereafter, Jackson is elected President of the United States and appoints Houston as governor of Tennessee.

Houston is married to Eliza Allen, but his lifestyle as a politician does not appeal to her. Their divorce is somewhat scandalous for the time, and Houston decides to accept Jackson's suggestion that he become ambassador to the Cherokee tribe instead.

On a trip to Washington, DC, to put forth his argument how the Indians are being mistreated in their own land, Houston falls in love with Margaret Lea at a presidential ball. She returns with him to Texas, where the next mission for Houston is to free the territory from the rule of Mexico, either by diplomacy or on the battlefield.

Stephen F. Austin disagrees with Houston's methods, preferring peaceful negotiations, but when the army of Santa Ana heads toward The Alamo in tremendous numbers, Houston knows no peaceful settlement is possible. He arrives too late to prevent the carnage there, but then leads the Texans in their fight for freedom and statehood.


Other use

Republic Pictures contributed footage from scenes dealing with Sam Houston and the Alamo in the not-yet-completed film for inclusion in the 1939 documentary Land of Liberty.[4]


  1. ^ "Dix as Gen Grant". Variety. February 22, 1939. p. 7.
  2. ^ "The 12th Academy Awards (1940) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved August 12, 2011.
  3. ^ Hurst p.14
  4. ^ "Land of Liberty, a conglomerate". American Cinematographer. 72. ASC Holding Corporation: 36. 1991.