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Masters of the Universe (1987)

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A fabled warrior by the name of He-Man battles against the dark lord Skeletor and his armies on the planet Eternia for control of Castle Greyskull.



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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe, goes against the evil Skeletor to save the planet Eternia and protect the secrets of Castle Grayskull.

Director: McG


Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Carroll ...
Blade (as Anthony DeLongis)
Robert Towers ...


On the planet Eternia, the dark lord Skeletor has taken over Castle Greyskull, and imprisoned the Sorceress, and Skeletor has begun draining the Sorceress' powers as he attempts to claim the powers of Greyskull and become master of the universe. Mighty warrior He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe and his companions: loyal soldier Man-at-Arms, his daughter Teela and a dwarf inventor named Gwildor finds themselves on Earth, by Gwildor's creation, the Cosmic Key, a device that can open portals that lead to anywhere in the galaxy, which Skeletor requires in his goal for universal conquest. But when the Cosmic Key is discovered by Julie Winston and her boyfriend Kevin Corrigan, both unaware that Earth is about to become a battleground, as Skeletor and his vile minions arrives on Earth, as they go in pursuit of He-Man and his companions who are searching for the Cosmic Key so they can return to Eternia and defeat Skeletor. Written by Daniel Williamson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A battle fought in the stars... now comes to Earth. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 August 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Masters of the Universe: The Motion Picture  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$22,000,000 (estimated)


$17,336,370 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (workprint)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Because of financial difficulties, Cannon Cinema made a decision to discontinue all filming three days before its scheduled end, leaving the movie in a quandary. All the climactic scenes were completed bar the final battle and resolution between He-Man and Skeletor. After two months, the Cannon Cinema executives allowed director Gary Goddard to film the ending in a complete, albeit rushed manner. See more »


Actor's nose visible through the nostrils of Skeletor's mask in close-ups See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: At the center of the universe, at the border between the light and the dark stands Castle Greyskull. For countless ages, the Sorceress of Greyskull has kept this universe in harmony. But the armies of darkness do not rest, and the capture of Greyskull is ever most in their minds. For with those that control Greyskull, will come the Power... The power to be supreme... the power to be almighty... the power to be... Masters of the Universe!
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the closing credits have ended, Skeletor's head, sans cowl, pops up from the waters of the pit he was thrown in, and says "I'll be back!". See more »


References Ms. Pac-Man (1981) See more »


Purple Haze
Written and Performed by Jimi Hendrix
Courtesy of Bella Godiva Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Cheesy but Enjoyable Sci Fi Adventure!
20 March 2004 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

I feel a bit guilty, reading some of the other reviews posted, but I liked MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE! Perhaps because I was never 'into' the cartoon series, I am more forgiving of characters or plot devices left out, and I certainly recognize that it is derivative of both STAR WARS and FLASH GORDON (particularly in Bill Conti's bombastic musical score), but there is so much energy in the film, such abundant confidence in the ultimate victory of Good versus Evil, and such a wonderfully campy performance by Frank Langella as rubber-masked Skeletor that I get a kick out of it, whenever it airs.

Physically, no actor could be more perfect as the hero, He-Man, than ROCKY 4's Dolph Lundgren. At 6'6" (that's two inches taller than JOHN WAYNE, trivia fans!), with flowing blond hair and blue eyes, the 30-year old Swedish actor combined a Herculean physique (if Marvel Comics' "The Mighty Thor" is ever filmed, he would be perfect as the Thunder God), with a knack for weapons that would earn him the future title of 'King' of 'B' action flicks. True, his English was so poor at the time of filming that his dialog was kept to a minimum, but who watches this kind of film for dialog, anyway?

Supporting Lundgren's He-Man is crusty veteran soldier, Duncan (Man-at-Arms), played by character actor Jon Cypher, who makes up for He-Man's taciturn nature by reminiscing constantly about a life in the military (with observations EVERY soldier has made, through history), and his daughter, Teela (pretty Chelsea Field, one of the busiest actresses of the decade), serving as a "Xena Lite" for the proceedings.

Opposing the Forces of Good with the irreplaceable Langella is one of my favorite actresses, Meg Foster, as the sublimely wicked Evil-Lyn, using her piercing green eyes and barely suppressed sexuality to great advantage. With an array of the cartoon's more colorful villains in support of Skeletor and Evil-Lyn, He-Man has his hands full!

The plot involves a tonal 'key', created by a dwarf, Gwildor (screen legend Billy Barty, in an initially irritating, but eventually endearing role), that can transport individuals wherever they desire. Stolen by Evil-Lyn, Skeletor uses it to capture He-Man's Castle Greyskull and it's resident Sorceress ("St. Elsewhere" alum Christina Pickles). With a hidden prototype 'key', Gwildor leads our heroes into the castle...where they are nearly captured by Skeletor, before the dwarf throws together some random numbers, and transports our heroes...to Earth.

The 'key' is lost, as the four arrive on our planet, to be found by aspiring musician Kevin Corrigan ("Star Trek: Voyager" star Robert Duncan McNeill) who thinks it's a Japanese musical instrument! With girlfriend Julie Winston (future "Friends" superstar Courteney Cox, looking young and gorgeous), the pair are astonished by the musical complexities of the device, unaware that each time it is 'played', Skeletor is getting a better 'fix' of it's location. Eventually, our planet is pinpointed, and Skeletor leads an army of villains to subdue us, and capture He-Man.

With great comic support by bald character actor James Tolkan (BACK TO THE FUTURE), as a bewildered police detective, some spectacular 'set' pieces (Skeletor's invasion force, backed by 'Darth Vader'ish music, is a highlight), and an ending that concludes that "ANYTHING is possible", MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE is great cheesy fun!

Certainly, the film is not a classic, but if you accept it on it's own terms, I think you might find it to be a lot of fun!

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