Conan the Barbarian Movie Review

Conan the Barbarian

Thief, Gladiator, Warrior, King!


Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow, Sandahl Bergman

Ben Davidson, Cassandra Gava, Gerry Lopez, Mako, Valérie Quennessen, William Smith, Luis Barboo, Franco Columbu, Leslie Foldvary, Gary Herman, Erik Holmey, Dr. Akio Mitamura, Nadiuska, Jorge Sanz, Jack Taylor, Sven-Ole Thorsen, Kiyoshi Yamasaki Update Cast

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The life of Conan oddly mirrors that of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Conan's formative years are spent in a small village, then spent in hard manual labor as a slave. Then Conan gains fame and wealth through his physical prowess. Although at first given to wine and women, he eventually abandons his hedonism and uses his skills for acts of heroism. Eventually, Conan becomes a king. In real life, Schwarzenegger was born in a small Austrian village and spent his life bodybuilding. He then becomes famous and wealthy through bodybuilding competitions and action/adventure movies. Schwarzenegger engaged in drug use and womanizing in his past, but gave those up later in life and then campaigned for social causes. Eventually, he was elected Governor of California.

More Trivia from Conan the Barbarian


If you do not grant me revenge, then to hell with you!

Granted, Arnold only says a FEW lines in the movie, it is among the best and famous in film history.

Conan the Barbarian is the reason why the fantasy/adventure movies of the 80s began! Although many have tried to capture the success and magic of Conan, none have come close. Not even the sequel, Destroyer, retained the freshness of the original.

Conan, based on the Robert E. Howard pulp novels, is the story of a Cimmerian warrior from the Hyboerian age. First, as a young boy, he learns the "Riddle of Steel" from his father, which every Cimmerian must try and answer when they meet Crom, their God, after they die, to enter Valhala. Enter now Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) and his Snake Cult.

They raid the village, kill the villagers, including Conan's father and mother, while capturing Conan's father's sword. The last thing Conan remembers is a standard of two snakes coming together over a black sun. They shackle all the children and send them to work as slaves in the WHEEL OF PAIN. This is where we meet Arnold as an adult Conan. Strong, muscular, powerful. This is also where his path to revenge begins.

First by being a pitfighter and becoming the best. Then being sent to the East to learn the secrets and discipline of the sword. Being set free, meeting an ally in Subotai (Lopez) who helps Conan become a theif. Then encountering Valeria (Bergman) where they steal the "Eye of the Serpant" from a Snake Cult Tower in a populated city. In the tower, the same standard he remembers as a child, rekindles his search for Doom. He is enlisted by King Osiric (Sydow) to bring back his daughter who is under Thulsa Doom's spell. Along the way, Conan meets the Wizard (Mako), gets crucified on the tree of woe, brought back to life, and has a GREAT, BLOODY, EPIC climactic battle with Doom and his followers.

Conan the Barbarian works on many levels, and is the best at what it is! One can even associate Conan the Barbarian with philosophical teachings, even a way of life. If you look deep enough, you can find it. Written by Oliver Stone (Scarface, Platoon) and John Milius (Apocalypse Now), who also directed, and produced by Dino De Laurentis, Conan the Barbarian is a film that is both 80's magic, cultish, a GREAT EPIC, and the ultimate guy movie!

Author: Steve PaulUpdate This Review


This is my all time FAVORITE movie. What makes this great is that every scene is vital to the story and of Conan's character arc. There are not any "filter" scenes, everything works on the level where if you think about this movie, you can automatically remember different moments.

This is Arnold's first BIG blockbuster, and it is also where we get to see Arnold's innocence. He is not over the top. We connect more with Arnold than in his other movies, because of the fact that Conan is a guy HELL BENT on revenge. He never turns into a "hero" only until the last scene. He is basically one of us who has a single purporse. One could say Conan is my generations first anti-hero before anti-heroes became popular.

With Basil Poledourus' AMAZING SCORE charging the way, Conan is truly a remarkable film! Often imitated, but never duplicated!

The soundtrack score, the production values, the story, the action, the way the movie just flows without getting boresome. Even the acting. Proves why the 80's had the best movies!
Huh? Weakness? Crom laughs at your girlie-weaknessess!

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The Movie Data

Key Crew

Director: John Milius
Writer: Robert E. Howard, John Milius, Oliver Stone, Edward Summer
Producers: D. Constantine Conte, Raffaella De Laurentiis, Buzz Feitshans, Edward R. Pressman, Edward Summer, Dino De Laurentiis
Locations Manager: Juan Clemente

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Release Date: 29 Jun 1984
MPAA Rating: PG
Studio: Universal Pictures
Production: Dino De Laurentiis Company
Genre: Action / Adventure

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The Movie Trailer
Jump To: Music & Soundtrack Vibes
1982 Universal Pictures
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