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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
3,373 ( 2)

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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:

I have seen the future and it doesn't work See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Ireland | USA

Language:

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

Release Date:

6 February 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Зардоз See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,570,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To make the shots of the stone head move into the mouth accurately, the camera was placed at the mouth and tracked backwards, and the film reversed in the lab. See more »

Goofs

(at around 57 mins) When Zed finds the children's book hanging in mid-air, the thin lines holding it up can be seen. 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 Half in the Bag: Life and Power Rangers (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Rondo in A minor for Piano
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Nothing like it ever made!
12 January 2002 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

I've seen some weird movies in my time! 'The Holy Mountain', 'Human Highway', 'Men behind The Sun', 'Nude For Satan', 'Pink Flamingos', 'Dune', but NOTHING as weird as 'Zardoz'! Nothing!

'Zardoz' has the feel of a Alan Smithee movie. It's like you're watching a movie made by committee or recut behind the director's back. But you see that it is written, produced and directed by John Boorman, the man who made the still dazzling revenge thriller 'Point Blank', and the first rate hillbilly suspense classic 'Deliverance', and you realize that this movie is EXACTLY what Boorman intended it to be. And your mind boggles!

'Zardoz' is neither a mindless sci fi action movie not a serious SF-as-ideas film ala Tarkovsky or Kubrick. It's... well, I don't know WHAT it is! A trippy Dystopian fantasy that cribs a few ideas from other sources (Huxley's Savage, Wells' Eloi and Morlocks, Moorcock's Jherek Carnelian), adds plenty of philosophical gobbledygook, some semi-naked babes, an embarrassed looking pony-tailed Sean Connery, and by the look of it, mixes in a bucket full of psychotropics, and hey presto! you end up with a movie like no other before or since!

'Zardoz' MUST be seen! By you. Right now. Unforgettable.


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