5.9/10
17,909
212 user 142 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
4,455 ( 365)

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After the son of engineer Bill Markham is abducted by an aboriginal tribe on the edge of the rain forest, the engineer spends the next 10 years searching for him.

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Powers Boothe, Meg Foster, Yara Vaneau
Outland (1981)
Action | Crime | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A federal marshal stationed at a mining colony on the Jupiter moon of Io, uncovers a drug-smuggling conspiracy. He gets no help from the workers or authorities when he finds himself marked for murder.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Sean Connery, Frances Sternhagen, Peter Boyle
Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

During World War II, an American pilot and a marooned Japanese navy captain are deserted on a small uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. There, they must cease their hostility and cooperate if they want to survive, but will they?

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Lee Marvin, Toshirô Mifune
Leo the Last (1970)
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A social satire about the last heir of a dethroned family of European monarchs whose plans to return to power through revolution become secondary after he becomes fascinated by the life of a poor London black girl and her boyfriend.

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Billie Whitelaw, Calvin Lockhart
The Next Man (1976)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Influential Arab diplomat becomes the target of numerous assassination attempts, when he announces his plan to make peace with Israel by letting them join the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (O.P.E.C.).

Director: Richard C. Sarafian
Stars: Sean Connery, Cornelia Sharpe, Albert Paulsen
Mister Frost (1990)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A serial killer gets sent to a mental institution, but as his insidious presence cause the doctors and orderlies to receive strange visions, his psychiatrist tries to find out his true identity.

Director: Philippe Setbon
Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Kathy Baker, Alan Bates
Excalibur (1981)
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Merlin the magician helps Arthur Pendragon unite the Britons around the Round Table of Camelot, even as dark forces conspire to tear it apart.

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The young, friendless daughter of Oliver and Alice Reed befriends her father's dead first wife and an aging, reclusive actress.

Directors: Gunther von Fritsch, Robert Wise
Stars: Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph
THX 1138 (1971)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In the twenty-fifth century, a time when people have designations instead of names, a man, THX 1138, and a woman, LUH 3417, rebel against their rigidly controlled society.

Director: George Lucas
Stars: Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasence, Don Pedro Colley
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A charismatic old acquaintance drifts into town, stirring up trouble for a mild-mannered family.

Director: Charles Burnett
Stars: Danny Glover, Paul Butler, DeVaughn Nixon
Point Blank (1967)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After being double-crossed and left for dead, a mysterious man named Walker single-mindedly tries to retrieve the money that was stolen from him.

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, Keenan Wynn
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A scientist stands against an entire town when he discovers their medicinal spa is polluted.

Director: George Schaefer
Stars: Steve McQueen, Bibi Andersson, Charles Durning
Edit

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)
Edit

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:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

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 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,570,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,320
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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Three of John Boorman's children appear in the flashback scene concerning the founding of the tabernacle: Daisy Boorman, Telsche Boorman, and Katrine Boorman. 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 ...
See more »

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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Enlisted: Randy Get Your Gun (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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Weird and wonderful cult classic
27 June 2002 | by Bogey ManSee all my reviews

Zardoz is written and directed by John Boorman, the director of Deliverance and Point Blank. There is no point in trying to describe the plot or story of Zardoz, which is very weird and strange piece of film. It stars Sean Connery as "brute" among "greater" and "wiser" people, who have also developed a way to live forever. The film is set in future and there are many things that are impossible to describe or write down. The less you know about the story and plot of Zardoz the better.

The film's main point is that humans are primitives and brutes that are only hiding under their "civilized" surface and society. Zed (Connery) is loathed because of his "animalism" but soon it turns out that the more they hate him, the more they become like him. The film is pretty philosophical and needs to be watched with brains, since there are many issues under its science fiction film oriented surface.

The film tells also something about immortality and asks is it after all as great thing as we may think. In the film, there are those who have lived many hundreds of years and gained all the possible knowledge about everything. They have become sad and bored, it is not so great to live forever especially once we see our "real face" what Connery's character in the film reflects. Some have said that the film is artificially philosophical, but that is not true; the subject matters the film tells (with great optimism, though!) are as topical and important as they were back then, when Boorman wrote this film.

The film could have been very cynical and pessimistic, but it is not. Boorman tells the story with great optimism and most importantly, with humor. Zardoz is very funny at times, but with clever way, and many will not understand the film and its satiric elements. For me, the film was fantastic and pleasant, with all its themes and merits. The film is also shot fantastically, and MUST be seen in widescreen or in the big screen. The cinematography is gorgeous and the gorgeous landscapes were shot in Ireland and near Boorman's house. The film is occasionally little slow moving and repeats itself, but there are no other negative points I can say about this satiric classic.

Zardoz has deserved its cult status and it is great to see James Bond in little different role. Zardoz is way too difficult for many viewers, and so the film is easy to hate and laugh at, for those who don't understand it. I give Zardoz 8/10 and really smiled after the viewing. This will not leave your mind too soon, if you just manage to understand the film and see into its core.


22 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 212 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed