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Zardoz (1974)

 -  Fantasy | Sci-Fi  -  6 February 1974 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 12,433 users  
Reviews: 190 user | 82 critic

In the far future, a savage trained only to kill finds a way into the community of bored immortals that alone preserves humanity's achievements.

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Title: Zardoz (1974)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Zed
...
Sara Kestelman ...
May
...
Sally Anne Newton ...
Avalow
Niall Buggy ...
Arthur Frayn / Zardoz
...
George Saden
Jessica Swift ...
Apathetic
Bairbre Dowling ...
Star
Christopher Casson ...
Old Scientist
Reginald Jarman ...
Death (voice)
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Storyline

In the distant future Earth is divided into two camps, the barely civilized group and the overly civilized one with mental powers. A plague is attacking the second group, after which its members cease to have any interest in life and become nearly catatonic. When Zed, one of the barbarians, crosses over, the tenuous balance in their world is threatened. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

immortal | future | stone | library | head | See All (184) »

Taglines:

I have seen the future and it doesn't work See more »

Genres:

Fantasy | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | | | | |

Release Date:

6 February 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tas tanri Zardoz  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,570,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Boorman offered Richard Harris the role of Zed, but he never responded. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 24 mins) The tattoos on Sean Connery's arm are visible. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Arthur Frayn: I am Arthur Frayn, and I am Zardoz. I have lived three hundred years, and I long to die. But death is no longer possible. I am immortal. I present now my story, full of mystery and intrigue - rich in irony, and most satirical. It is set deep in a possible future, so none of these events have yet occurred, but they *may.* Be warned, lest you end as I. In this tale, I am a fake god by occupation - and a magician, by inclination. Merlin is *my* hero! I am the puppet master. I ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Nail Gun Massacre (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 7 in A, op. 92, 2nd movement
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven (as Beethoven)
Played by the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest (as Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra)
Conducted by Eugen Jochum
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Red Diapers + Green Baguettes = Lots of FUN!
26 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

This movie just about defines what a Great Bad Movie is supposed to be.

It starts off with Sean Connery dressed only in red diapers and bandoleers sneaking into a giant levitating stone head, passes through a fruity utopian post-nuclear society, and then heads into post-modern literary references.

The film looks like it was cooked up at an LSD fuelled party in the 70's that I wish I had been at. I wonder if Boorman came up with Excalibur at the same party. Visually there is a similar thread in both films. One is just a whole lot more coherent than the other. At first viewing Zardoz makes no sense at all, but is so wonderfully weird, so out there that you stare at it in disbelief. How did they get James Bond to run around Northern England in his undies? Why is the bread green? What's with the magic marker mustache? These are the types of questions that come to mind and keep you wading through the mess on the screen. The questions keep your mind occupied while your eyes feast on state of the art 70's futuristic concepts. It's as brilliantly fascinating as a 10 car freeway pile-up and you can watch it with considerably less guilt.

Everything is so beautifully, perfectly confusing in this film that it was with a heavy heart that I had to admit after the 4th viewing that it DOES MAKE SENSE. I will not spoil the fun for anyone else but the whole thing really does come together. I can only say that you should enjoy the cacophony while it lasts because once you get the film's storyline it's not half as fun. Though there are still some great lines of dialogue left: "I'm voting for him, Monster" being my favourite.

In any case viewing the film from a 21st century perspective reminds me that back in the 70's some very original, idea based SF movies could be made with a fittingly large budget. Some of these films have become classics which is more than I can say for the big-budget, no-brainer crap that mostly comes out of Hollywood nowadays.

I wholeheartedly recommend Zardoz for those who can admit to cinephilic guilty pleasures!


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