SLAVE. BARBARIAN. WARRIOR. THIEF.
Sometime during the Hyborian Age, a slave boy grows up to become a man with a burning desire to avenge the brutal deaths of his parents at the hands of a wizard (James Earl Jones). Robert E. Howard’s pulp character gets a decent but uninvolving screen treatment; that said, the film has its admirers. Arnold Schwarzenegger feels right as Conan, a big man driven by simple principles and emotions. John Milius gets his barbaric adventure going at times, but it’s just as often either silly or borderline dull. The sweeping and innovative music score is worth five stars alone, though.
1982-U.S. 129 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by John Milius. Screenplay: John Milius, Oliver Stone. Stories: Robert E. Howard. Music: Basil Poledouris. Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger (Conan), Sandahl Bergman (Valeria), James Earl Jones (Thulsa Doom), Gerry Lopez, Mako, Ben Davidson… Max von Sydow.
Trivia: Followed by Conan the Destroyer (1984) and two TV series, Conan: The Adventurer (1992-1993) and Conan (1997-1998). Remade as Conan the Barbarian (2011).