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Insightful & entertaining
realmofinfamy-com9 October 2005
Quite frankly, I'm really surprised that Conan Unchained has a mere 5.2 rating on IMDb. It's far better than its average rating indicates. In fact, it was nominated for 'Best DVD Original Retrospective Documentary/Featurette' by Video Premiere Award in 2001.

As for the documentary's content, Arnold and Milius are engaging and charismatic as always in Unchained, and it was great to see the rest of cast and hear their comments after nearly 20 years. It was also great to see others such as Gerry Lopez and James Earl Jones. Lastly, I'm glad they discussed Robert E. Howard, Conan's creator, and gave some insight into how the barbarian came to be.

Now, if I had to offer some criticism, it would be how the documentary completely neglected William Smith (Conan's father) and Valérie Quennessen (the princess). I was really disappointed that they didn't interview William Smith and get his thoughts on the experiences he had making the film. Furthermore, I was saddened that they didn't mention how Valérie Quennessen died tragically in an automobile accident approximately 7 years after Conan the Barbarian in 1989.

Other than that, I found the documentary insightful and very entertaining. Don't miss it.
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Conan Unchained: The Making Of "Conan The Barbarian" (V) (Laurent Bouzereau, 2000) **1/2
Bunuel197612 January 2008
This is a competent, fairly lengthy but hardly exhaustive documentary on the subject by renowned film-maker/historian Bouzereau. It should perhaps have dug deeper into the history of Conan – creator Robert E. Howard (and his personal demons) is only mentioned in passing; ditto for the influence maverick illustrator Frank Frazetta had on the mythology behind the character (and the fictionalized era which he inhabited) – not to mention the film’s sequel, or its own place within the whole sword-and-sorcery cycle prevalent during the early 1980s!

Still, several of the main contributors (both behind and in front of the camera) have their say about the film: at the forefront, of course, are John Milius and Arnold Schwarzenegger – but it also goes on to interview Oliver Stone and Max von Sydow (who, of his performance, recalls best his bloody death scene which remained on the cutting-room floor!). The documentary also deals with the painstaking production – from the film’s elaborate sets to its choreographed swordplay, and even touches upon the creation of CONAN THE BARBARIAN’s special effects (here the speakers felt the need to remind the audience that these were done in the days before CGI). However, some discussion on critical reaction to the film at the time of its release – and how it has worn the passage of time – should not have been amiss.
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cloothur27 December 2006
I've had the special edition DVD for some time, but I'd not taken the time to see this. Last night I did, and it was really interesting to hear what went into this movie. You can always tell when a movie has that little touch that makes it rise above the rest, and here you see why. Don't miss John Milius' imitation of Arnold when he first met DeLaurentis and his big desk! Only Arnold would say and get away with something like that. Unlike some behind-the-scenes documentaries that tend to detract from the air of the film or give away something you'd simply be better off not knowing, I'm really hyped to re-watch the movie now.
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An excellent retrospective documentary
Woodyanders11 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This strong and engrossing retrospective documentary on the making of "Conan the Barbarian" covers the film from its genesis to its theatrical release, with a lot of especially interesting information about the rigorous shooting of the picture in Spain. Among the people interviewed are intelligent and articulate co-writer/director John Milius, charismatic star Arnold Schwarzenegger, lovely and athletic female lead Sandahl Bergman, the ever-affable James Earl Jones, champion surfer Gerry Lopez, Max von Sydow (who agreed to do the role of King Osric because it gave him a chance to have fun and ham it up!), genial production designer Ron Cobb, outspoken co-writer Oliver Stone, producer Dino de Laurentiis and his daughter Raffaella, stunt coordinator Terry Leonard, executive producer Edward R. Pressman, and ace composer Basil Poledouris (whose amazing score is smartly retained for the doc). Among the anecdotes related are the casting of Arnold as Conan, the extensive training the leads had to do prior to making the film, the giant animatronic snake, Bergman almost having her index finger cut off during a sword fight scene, Milius striving to make the violence as brutal and realistic as possible (the movie actually had to be resubmitted to the MPAA three times before it got an "R" rating!), the tremendous box office success of the film, and how the picture was supposed to be the first in an ongoing series of movies. This fine and illuminating documentary is absolutely essential viewing for fans of the film.
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A wonderful "making of" feature
bensonmum214 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Conan Unchained: The Making of Conan is an interesting look back, almost 20 years later, at probably the best Sword and Sorcerer movie ever made – Conan the Barbarian. Maybe it has something to do with my almost fanboy kind of love for the subject matter, but this is one of the more entertaining "making of" documentaries I've seen. It's filled with stories and memories of many of the cast and crew involved in the movie. A few of my favorite moments include Arnold talking about being chased by wolves, Sandahl Bergman's story of almost losing a finger, and Max Von Sydow reminiscing about his favorite scene (it was actually cut from the movie). But it's director John Miliius' enthusiasm for the movie – even some 20 years later – that makes this "making of" feature so special. He comes across as a real, down-to-earth sort of guy that you'd actually like to meet. His feelings for the movie are quite evident and infectious. After listening to him talk about "The Great Danes" or the wheel of pain or the giant snake the crew built, I can't wait to watch the movie again.

As much as I enjoyed Conan Unchained: The Making of Conan, I can't call it perfect. There are a few things I would have liked to have seen included. While most of the cast was interviewed for the documentary, I would have really enjoyed hearing form Mako, Ben Davidson, and/or Sven-Ole Thorsen. Also, I would have liked to see some discussion on the effect Conan the Barbarian had on the genre, the imitators, and its long lasting appeal. But you can't have everything. And as it is, Conan Unchained: The Making of Conan is still very entertaining.
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The Making of Conan the Barbarian (1982)
BatmanFunReviews201830 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Conan Unchained: The Making of 'Conan' (2000) is a very very interesting documentary it takes you behind the scenes of a Classic 80's film and Arnie's first big hit plus there are some great informations about stuff that we didn't actually know like for example Arnold did all of his own stunts for this film since they couldn't find a stunt double that matched his size for back on those days plus he was injured during his escape from the dogs. We also get the Producers, the Director and the Actors talking about how the movie was eventually got made and some stories that we didn't even knew before like deleted scenes and alternate scenes and many cool stuff in general plus the ending of the documentary is pretty funny with Arnie. Overall if you loved the original film and Arnold in general you really going to enjoy this!!
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