5.9/10
18,354
217 user 146 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.

Director:

John Boorman

Writer:

John Boorman
Reviews
Popularity
3,120 ( 424)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sean Connery ... Zed
Charlotte Rampling ... Consuella
Sara Kestelman Sara Kestelman ... May
John Alderton ... Friend
Sally Anne Newton Sally Anne Newton ... Avalow
Niall Buggy Niall Buggy ... Arthur Frayn / Zardoz
Bosco Hogan ... George Saden
Jessica Swift Jessica Swift ... Apathetic
Bairbre Dowling Bairbre Dowling ... Star
Christopher Casson Christopher Casson ... Old Scientist
Reginald Jarman 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

Taglines:

Into a world of eternal life, he brought the gift of death See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening sequence is an introduction added by John Boorman, at the request of Twentieth Century Fox executives, to help the audience understand this movie. 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 ...
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Alternate Versions

The pre-credits sequence featuring Arthur Frayn's disembodied head was added by director John Boorman after the movie was released, as an attempt to explain the plot to audiences that found it hard to understand. Boorman would later declare that the scene didn't work as he wanted it to.
  • The Spanish (Spain) released version cut part of the "boner" scene (the breasts-rugging and mud wrestlers on-screen). Later prints and current DVD and video releases are uncut.
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Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Curse of the Cannibal Confederates (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Rondo in A minor for Piano
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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User Reviews

 
I kind of liked it
25 August 2004 | by sal_pSee all my reviews

This movie came out when I graduated from high school and I first viewed it with the awe and admiration of a young man seeking intriguing concepts of what the future might be like. Zardoz did not disappoint me. The question of what would happen to mankind if all our physical needs were met and we were thereby allowed to expand intellectually is fascinating. We are constantly striving to make life easier, better and to live longer. Do we really need a struggle to exist or is it merely a leftover animalistic aspect of our evolution? Personally I like living in a climate controlled surrounding versus a cave where I have to kill something with my bare hands in order to eat. For what it's worth, I saw it again as a middle aged adult and I am still impressed with some of the concepts of the movie. My 13 year old daughter was not so much impressed. I'd still give it a good review and wouldn't mind owning it for my personal collection. I guess it takes a sci-fi geek to not be so bored with it and, of course, a bare breast thrown in gets my attention just as it did back in 1974.


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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Italian | Swedish | Latin | German | French | Irish

Release Date:

6 February 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Zardoz See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,570,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,320
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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