5.9/10
18,555
218 user 148 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
3,397 ( 138)
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:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer, Producer, and Director John Boorman made this movie after his project to film J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" was cancelled. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, when the weapons are spewed out of the floating head's mouth, several crew-members' arms and a face, can be seen throwing them. 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 Ashens: Christmas Special 2015 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Rondo in A minor for Piano
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

User Reviews

I will not go to level 2!
22 March 2001 | by dragon-90See all my reviews

British Director John Boorman produced, directed, and wrote this extremely campy sci-fi drama about a utopian refuge created by the world's elite sometime in the future. Into the oasis of culture and leisure, whose inhabitants never age and are troubled only by the occasional negative aura, bursts Zed (a burly Sean Connery), a brutal from the overpopulated outlands beyond the perfect plastic bubble.

Initially an object of fascination to decadent futurists May (Sarah Kestelman, luminous in her best role), Consuella (a smoldering Charlotte Rampling), and Friend (John Alderton), Zed's raw nature and virility causes the dysfunctional paradise to unravel into fratricidal warfare. Only by breeding with Zed and giving him all the knowledge of the universe via osmosis is the human race able to survive.

This movie is rich in wild vivid imagery, including Sean Connery clad nearly throughout in only a red suede loincloth. Despite its progressively complex and dated story and message, Zardoz remains intriguing and entertaining. Performances, sound, and visual effects all come together to create a fun and memorable movie-watching experience. Look for it!


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Details

Country:

UK | USA | Ireland

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
See more on IMDbPro »

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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