5.9/10
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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)

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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:

Beyond 1984, Beyond 2001, Beyond Love, Beyond Death 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)

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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Zed's revolver is a .455 caliber Webley-Fosbery, a unique pistol because it is semi-automatic. The recoil turns the cylinder and cocks the hammer. 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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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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

a fine example of a single vision
26 January 2004 | by rollo88See all my reviews

I read that Boorman woke from a dream with the entire film whole in his head, as opposed to, say, Terminator, which started out as one scene(rising from the flames and advancing once again) and was written in both directions. Zardoz was a last gasp of the 60's and had flaws, but it is so unique a vision that it still stands out artistically. Most sci-fi film is marred by the same problem: avid older readers have seen these ideas since the 30's and not much can improve on a good idea, so all that's left is to pile on more special effects. The only film I still use as a benchmark is Forbidden Planet. But Boorman had James Bond in a diaper, the incredible Charlotte Rampling, minimal effects, nudity and attitude to bring this solid-sender to you. 7/10


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