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Conan the Barbarian (1982)


10/10: A perfect film
Monday, January 28, 2019

When Robert E. Howard created Conan, it was popular for its time as a pulp character. By the time of his creator's suicide in 1936, Conan had appeared in 21 complete stories, 17 of which had been published, as well as a number of unfinished tales. After years of the copyright to the character passing around, Lancer released a series of paperbacks with dynamic Frank Frazetta covers that introduced the Cimmerian barbarian to an entirely new audience.In 1970, Marvel Comics began adapting the Howard tales, arguably increasing the reach of the character even further than the original books. Then, in 1975, Edward R. Pressman (who also produced Christmas Evil) and Edward Summer started working on getting the books onto the silver screen. They had Oliver Stone writing it and Arnold Schwarzenegger for the lead, but couldn't get major studios interested.However, in 1979, they sold the project to Dino De Laurentiis and John Milius picked as the...

8/10: Sit here... SIT HERE
Thursday, January 13, 2011

I was hugely disappointed by "Conan the Barbarian" (1982) when I first viewed it because it deviated too far from the blueprint established by creator Robert E. Howard. Yeah, they got many things right, but the things they got wrong ruined the film for me. Yet I've warmed up to it over time because one can't deny the film's merits. If you're a fan of the books and the faithful comics, it's important to realize going in that this is an ALTERNATIVE Conan, similar to Howard's, but far from a strict interpretation.The flaws mostly have to do with John Milius and Oliver Stone's deviation from Howard. Consider the opening sequence of Conan as a little boy on his father's knee getting advice about the trustworthiness of the sword: Sorry, but the lad looks like an average soft suburbanite boy, not a tough kid that grew up in the wilds of Cimmeria...

9/10: Trend-setting sword and sorcery epic
Saturday, May 14, 2016

This is it - the big one. The film which spawned twenty or thirty imitations across the world in the following years. The film which gave the fantasy adventure - dormant since the Italians packed in doing their sword and sandal flicks in the mid sixties - new life and a brief resurgence in popularity. Of course, it disappeared as soon as it came, the craze died down and the majority of the films were forgotten, except for cult movie fans to uncover them every now and then and marvel at their "wonders". There were American imitations - CONAN THE DESTROYER (the sequel in which things degenerated into kiddie level), DRAGONSLAYER; British imitations - HAWK THE SLAYER - and most of all, Italian imitations - THOR THE CONQUEROR, HERCULES, ATOR THE FIGHTING EAGLE to name but a few. Few if any of these films capture the same epic beauty as CONAN THE BARBARIAN, which has the benefit of being an intelligent film (scripted by Oliver Stone with...

5/10: Contemplate this on the tree of woe." Didn't do much for me
Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Conan the Barbarian starts as evil ruler of a Snake cult named Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) & his men ride into a small village & brutally kill most of the people who live there & sell the other's into slavery including a young boy named Conan (Jorge Sanz). Jump forward several years & Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is now a man, a very strong man who quickly shines as a gladiatorial fighter. Conan is taught sword fighting skills & is educated until he escapes & meets up with a female thief named Valeria (Sandahl Bergman) & an archer named Subotai (Gerry Lopez), they alone dare to stand up to the cult of the Snake which is engulfing the entire world. Out for both vengeance & profit the three allies must do battle against an entire army if they are to succeed in their quest...Co-written & directed by John Milius this was the first time that the character of Conan the Barbarian had appeared in a film...

8/10: A supremely tough, gritty and exciting sword and sorcery fantasy action winner
Sunday, January 13, 2008

Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger in the tailor-made role that launched his career) vows to get revenge on evil cult leader Thulsa Doom (a grandly wicked James Earl Jones), who killed both of Conan's parents and everyone in his village. Conan is assisted by the brave Valerie, Queen of Thieves (a fine performance by the exquisitely graceful and gorgeous Sandahl Bergman), loyal thief/archer Subotia the Mongol (an extremely likable turn by champion surfer Gerry Lopez), and a batty, but wise wizard (the excellent Mako). Director John Milius, who also co-wrote the smart and gutsy script with Oliver Stone, does a masterful job of creating a hard, serious, rough-edged tone, maintains a steady pace throughout, and stages the action scenes with considerable rip-snorting brio. The sterling cast qualifies as a significant asset: Max von Sydow hams it up deliciously as the drunken King Osric, William Smith makes a strong impression as Conan's father, Valerie Quennessen is...

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