5.8/10
15,547
197 user 122 critic

Zardoz (1974)

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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4,959 ( 25)

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ON DISC
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

2293. Zardoz, an unseen "God" who speaks through an idol - a large stone statue of a head - leads a barbaric race called the Brutals, who live a harsh existence in the Outlands. Zardoz tells the Brutals that once they die, they will be transported to the Vortex, where they will live happily as immortals. He has armed a small group - the Exterminators - with guns, as Zardoz's philosophy is that killing is good, and procreation is the root of all that is bad. In reality, Zardoz is Arthur Frayn, from a competing more advanced race called the Eternals who live in paradise in the Vortex. The Eternals truly are immortal as they do not age and their bodies undergo reconstruction if they "die". As such, they truly do not believe in procreation as their society has reached perfect equilibrium. Past human acts such as sex and sleep are obsolete in their advanced state. All major decisions are achieved through pure democracy. The Eternals, however, are not immune to non life threatening disease ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

immortal | stone | future | head | library | See All (216) »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Fantasy | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

| | | | | |

Release Date:

6 February 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Зардоз  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,570,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening title card reads: "Set in the year 2293". Originally John Boorman was going to set the movie about five years into the future, which would have been the late 1970s. See more »

Goofs

(at around 58 mins) When Zed shoots Arthur the magician, who then falls out of the mouth of the Zardoz head, you can see the wire supporting the actor. 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 ...
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Connections

Referenced in Enlisted (2014) 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Brilliant
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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