A young boy, Conan, becomes a slave after his parents are killed and tribe destroyed by a savage warlord and sorcerer, Thulsa Doom. When he grows up he becomes a fearless, invincible fighter. Set free, he plots revenge against Thulsa Doom.
Beyond the mists of time, having witnessed the brutal death of his blacksmith father and the massacre of the entire village by the murderous followers of Thulsa Doom, the undead evil wizard and servant of the serpent-god, Set, Conan, the orphaned young Cimmerian, is condemned to a life of slavery. Chained to the perpetual Wheel of Pain, the helpless boy grows into a man, and after years of rigorous training as a fierce gladiator, Conan, now an unstoppable mountain of muscle, regains his precious freedom. But, with the image of the blood-soaked raid etched on his mind, Conan teams up with Subotai, the Hyrkanian thief, and Valeria, the Queen of the Bandits, and embarks on a peril-laden journey to the mysterious Mountain of Power, and the impregnable Snake Cult Temple. Will Conan avenge his parents?Written by
The first series character by Robert E. Howard was Kull the Conqueror, created in 1929. Howard wrote 12 short stories about Kull and one poem. However, he only managed to sell three of them to his publisher. Conan was conceived as a replacement character. The Kull story "By This Axe I Rule!" was re-worked into "The Phoenix on the Sword", the first appearance of Conan. See more »
At various points in the movie the sound of the common loon (a type of duck) is heard. It has a haunting, mystical sound. The movie takes place in arid, desert conditions, however the common loon is a waterfowl that only inhabits lakes and other bodies of water. Loons would not be heard in the kinds of settings depicted in the film. See more »
Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis and the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of. And unto this, Conan, destined to wear the jeweled crown of Aquilonia upon a troubled brow. It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of high adventure!
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In the North American prints, the 1963 Universal Pictures logo is playing normally, while the 1978 EMI Films logo is shown in the former international prints. Select market prints and current international prints have the silent version of the 1981 20th Century Fox logo. See more »
Some streaming versions of the US theatrical cut include the epilogue voiceover from the international cut (with "This story shall also be told" voiced incongruously over the text "....but that is another story"). See more »
In an age of Xena-esque fantasy adventure films (al la the tepid Scorpion King) It is startling to go back and see just how good this movie still is. "Conan" is not for the faint of heart, and not just for gore - there are far more bloody movies out there - but for the uncompromising warrior-ethos John Milius infused into his vision. There is nothing PC about this fantasy world. When he is asked "what is best in life?" Conan paraphrases Genghis Khan: "Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women!" We are not led to believe he is kidding. It is true that Arnold is no great actor, but it is also true he has always stuck with parts he can handle, and he does a fine job as Conan, but the real star here is the director. John Milius is one of the greats, totally unappreciated in his time, and his sweeping scope and epic, gritty battle sequences add a dimension lacking from almost every other S&S film. There is a grim aura of doom pervading the movie that fits the original Howard stories to a T, and I think Robert E Howard would have really liked this movie. James Earl Jones gives a killer performance as the evil Thulsa Doom, rivalling Darth Vader himself. A last point in this film's favor is the score. Basil Poledouris turned out his best score ever for this film: Brooding, powerful and operatic, it lends the film a grandeur Hercules could only dream of. I must have seen this film 40 times and I still never get tired of it.
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