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Zardoz (1974)

R  |   |  Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi  |  6 February 1974 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 13,774 users  
Reviews: 191 user | 99 critic

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



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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

immortal | future | stone | library | head | See All (179) »


Beyond 1984, Beyond 2001, Beyond Love, Beyond Death See more »


Drama | Fantasy | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

6 February 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tas tanri Zardoz  »

Box Office


$1,570,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Burt Reynolds, a big box-office star at the time who had recently just worked with director' John Boorman' on Deliverance (1972), was the first choice for the lead male role of Zed, but Reynolds bowed out due to illness. The part in the end was cast instead with Sean Connery. See more »


Early in the film, when the weapons are spewed out of the floating head's mouth, several crew-members' arms and a face, can be seen throwing them. See more »


[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 »


Featured in Brows Held High: Zardoz (2011) See more »


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

2 September 2003 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

There seem to be a lot of people who didn't like this film. I loved it. It is a film for people who aren't perturbed by a lack of surface glitz in science fiction, and can take on the underlying meanings about immortality or the fear of death that other films rarely raise. Some of it doesn't make sense, but only if you are not paying attention. In my view, it gets straight to the point without any polish, which some people are uncomfortable about in any artform. It is not made for Star Trek fans. It is a bleak and powerful story about a cabal of ineffectual immortals who play God to an inferior but more vigourous race, and who long for death yet cannot die. They stealthily invite one of these inferiors (Connery) into their midst to solve their problems. The final scenes are extremely striking, and are set to the 2nd movement of Beethoven's 7th symphony. **You just don't hear this symphony enough in the movies***. I recommend this film to anyone who likes science fiction with a small sf.

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