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Zardoz (1974)

R  |   |  Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi  |  6 February 1974 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 13,148 users  
Reviews: 186 user | 84 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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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:

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

Genres:

Drama | 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

Radio spots (available on the DVD) were narrated by Rod Serling. 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 Atop the Fourth Wall: 2001: A Space Odyssey #1 (2013) 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

 
Everything but the kitchen sink!
26 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

This movie is truly awful, but at the same time it's got to be one of the BEST SCI-FI MOVIES I'VE EVER SEEN!

There are so many concepts to digest: Civilization's end, immortality, genetic manipulation, artificial intelligence, time control, psychic power, space travel, and on and on and on. If you're the least bit interested in science-fiction, there's more for you in this one movie than you'll find in a year's worth of Star Trek conventions!

Then why do I say it's awful? Well, within this movie's running time are some of the most cheesy moments ever captured on celluloid!

From the opening shots of the hairy-backed, leather-thonged, gun-toting Sean Connery (who at least manages to wear more than most of the rest of the cast), to the catch-cry of the Giant Hovering Stone Head ("The gun is good! The penis is bad!"), as it spews out a torrent of weapons and ammo from its mouth. What about the Eternal's predilection for studying erectile tissue function, by flashing up images of naked mud-wrestling? Or that crazy "wobbling-hands" thing that they do when in some sort of telepathic communion? Completely laughable!

Despite these moments of "cheesy-ness", Zardoz tells an utterly engaging and compelling story. The moment of revelation of the meaning of "Zardoz" took me completely by surprise, even though all the clues had been under my nose right from the beginning! (The Magritte painting "La chateau des Pyrenees", hanging in Frank's house, reminiscent of the hovering stone head, for example.)

If you like hard-core science fiction, and can put up with a few minor flaws, then I think you'll really enjoy Zardoz! It's weird, it's brilliant, it's unique! (Just make sure you watch it while you're wide awake, though, or you may drift off from time to time!)

9 out of 10!

jon :-)


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