Conan the Barbarian (1982)

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Movie Info & Cast

Synopsis

John Milius's jingoistic direction and pulpy screenplay fit perfectly into this film version of the Robert E. Howard fantasy story of the sword and sorcery hero, Conan the Barbarian. Complementing Mulius's heavy metal production is Arnold Schwarzenegger's leaden acting, which in any other context would be deadly, but here (as in The Terminator) corresponds nicely with the whole sonorous project. The story begins when a horde of rampaging warriors massacre the parents of young Conan and enslave the young child for years on The Wheel of Pain. The Wheel of Pain seems to have as its only purpose the building up of Conan's muscles, so it's no surprise that one day Conan grows up to become Arnold Schwarzenegger. As the sole survivor of the childhood massacre, Conan is released from slavery and taught the ancient arts of fighting. Transforming himself into a killing machine, Conan travels into the wilderness to seek vengeance on Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones), the man responsible for killing his family. In the wilderness, Conan takes up with the thieves Valeria (Sandahl Bergman) and Subota (Gerry Lopez). The trio comes upon a weird snake cult, linked to Doom, and Conan wants to trek off to Doom's mountain retreat to kill him. But he is prevented from doing that by King Osrik (Max Von Sydow), who wants the trio of warriors to help rescue his daughter who has joined Doom in the hills.~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide

Cast

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • James Earl Jones
  • Max von Sydow
  • Sandahl Bergman
  • Ben Davidson
  • Cassandra Gava
  • Gerry Lopez
  • Mako
  • Valérie Quennessen
  • William Smith

Did You Know?

Trivia

  • Sterling Hayden was first choice for the role of King Osric but became ill before shooting began.
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Goofs

  • When Valeria is squatting with her back to the camera, the stitching of the rear pocket on her modern jeans is very visible.
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Quotes

    • King Osric: There comes a time, thief, when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, when the throne room becomes a prison, and all that is left is a father's love for his child.
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Metacritic

75

I liked a lot of it myself, and with me, a few broadswords and leather jerkins go a long way.

Metacritic review by Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
75

Those who have an inherent distaste for this sort of entertainment will appreciate Conan the Barbarian's impeccable production values without enjoying the story; most everyone else will be swept away by the film's spectacle.

Metacritic review by James Berardinelli
James Berardinelli
ReelViews