A barbarian trained in the arts of war joins with thieves in a quest to solve the riddle of steel and find the sorcerer responsible for the genocide of his people in this faithful adaptation of Robert E. Howard's sword and sorcery adventures. This film briefly sparked a wave of fantasy films including the sequel, Conan the Destroyer, in the early 80s. Written by
Keith Loh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis and the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of. And unto this, Conan, destined to wear the jeweled crown of Aquilonia upon a troubled brow. It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of high adventure!
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I have a soft spot in my heart for this movie, being that this is one of the first movies I can remember seeing. As I grew up I never stopped enjoying this movie and could come away with something new every time I watched it (now around 50+ times). The movie is multi-layered. On one level there is the action (which is very graphic). There is also philosophical layer (why am i here ?? that which doesn't kill you....). Mix that in with some wonderful cinematography (filmed in Spain) and very appropriately accompanied by dark, serious, foreboding music (by Basil Poledouris - who also did the music for Hunt for Red October) and you get the ultimate action movie (that is more than just an action movie - its the thinking man's action movie).
Conan is based on the work of Robert E. Howard. Howard once described writing the Conan stories (which were published in Weird Tales) as this : At sunset, he could feel the presence of Conan coming into his room, looming over him and compelling or forcing him to write the stories. The movie captures the spirit of Conan, as portrayed in the stories. He is one who has lived a harsh existence, yet endures. He has been everything from a barbarian, to a swashbuckler, to a soldier, to a thief, to a general and eventually to even king. He is considered a barbarian by all the people he meets, include those considered to be "civilized". Conan plays by his own rules and morals. Even though he kills, he does so in much the same way a tiger eats its prey. At the same time, he displays more humanity, mercy and honor than most of the civilized world. This movie is perfect in the above respects. John Milius (the director and co-writer) does an excellent job along with Oliver Stone (co-writer) in getting the feel of the stories into the movie world. Schwarzenegger is cast perfectly in the role of Conan. I don't think anyone else would have been able to pull it off as well as he could have and still kept the role in the way it was meant to be. Conan does not say much, but when he does you better listen because it is important. Along with Schwarzenegger, the rest of the cast does a brilliant job to support the story. James Earl Jones is wickedly evil and Mako is perfect as the reluctant sorcerer.
There are so many wonderful scenes that stick out in my mind. So many in fact that you should go out and see the movie for yourself (make sure you get the special edition DVD since it has extra footage and a great making of with all the cast including Schwarzenegger). By far my two favorite scenes/sequences of the movie are : 1) Prior to the battle in the desert, Conan says a little prayer to his god, Crom. This prayer embodies everything that Conan stands for. WHAT A PRAYER !!!. 2) The sequence thats starts from Conan's return to the Tower of Power to confront Thulsa Doom all the way to the end. It is wrought with meaning and some great cinematography. This movie is an absolute must see. 10/10
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