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Conan The Barbarian (2 Disc Special Edition) [1981] [DVD]

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Conan The Barbarian (2 Disc Special Edition) [1981] [DVD] + Conan The Destroyer [DVD] [1984] + Red Sonja [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sandahl Bergman, James Earl Jones, Gerry Lopez, Mako
  • Directors: John Milius
  • Producers: Buzz Feitshans, Rafaella de Laurentiis
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 18 April 2005
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007D5G72
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,027 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Mythical hero Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) vows to take revenge after the murder of his parents and destruction of his village. Determined to learn the 'riddle of steel', he sets off with his companions, Subotai the Mongol (Gerry Lopez) and Queen of Thieves (Sandahl Bergman), to kill Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones), the leader of an evil snake cult. John Milius, who co-wrote the script with Oliver Stone, directs.


The film that launched Arnold Schwarzenegger's international career, Conan the Barbarian is still regarded by many as his finest hour. Limited to a mere handful of lines and expertly directed by John Milius to play up the Nietzschean strength of the character, the Austrian Oak has never looked more suited to a role, his muscle flexing and sword twirling apparently effortless. The extraordinarily finely detailed production design ensures that the barren Spanish countryside perfectly suits the Hyborean-era backdrop envisioned by author Robert E Howard. Whether dressed in rags or riches, Schwarzenegger and companions Subotai (Gerry Lopez) and Valeria (Sandahl Bergman) look believably born to their surroundings. Backing their own very fine performances are brilliant supporting roles from James Earl Jones as serpentine baddie Thulsa Doom and Max Von Sydow as doomed King Osric. Plot-wise the film is simply the transformation of a wild barbarian into a worldly-wise king who, via a quest for revenge, finally learns the riddle of steel. The script is highly regarded for its dazzling set-pieces (the opening village raid, the orgy of body parts) and quotable dialogue ("They shall all drown in lakes of blood"), and it comes complete with an anti-peace movement reactionary subtext for anyone who cares to look closely enough. One other element deserving mention is the extraordinary score by Basil Poledouris, which inspires the film with a sense of operatic grandeur. --Paul Tonks --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By "the_nutopian" on 18 April 2005
Format: DVD
This new edition of Conan the Barbarian serves up the best quality yet, the picture is slightly better due to the special features being on a seperate disc, but the main improvement is the sound.
The legendary soundtrack is now rendered (at last!)in pure DTS sound providing 5.1 channel perfection and it sounds incredible!
The special features from the 2003 'Special Edition' are reproduced here, with the only new feature (not history of fantasy films as advertised)being a short history of Conan with interviews with various fantasy writers, including those who worked on Marvels comic book adaption, Artists and the great James Earl Jones.
'Conan the Barbarian: Collectors Edition' delivers the goods, and if it were not for the daft censorship of BBFC butchering parts of this glorious film, then I would be quite comfortable in labeling this as Cinematic perfection.
This DVD is a must for your collection and I insist you order now!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By TJ Doc on 22 July 2011
Format: Blu-ray
At long last, 'Conan the Barbarian' comes to Blu-ray. I'm sure most of you reading this will already be familiar with the film, so I'll be brief. It's magnificent. The land of Hyboria is brought to vivid life, the action is brutal and exciting, Basil Poledouris' score is simply breathtaking, James Earl Jones is evil incarnate, Arnold punches a camel... Sure, it's also clunky and dated in that charmingly 80s way, and there's some unintentional comedy on offer (not least from Arnie's "UARGHAAAARGHNYUARGH" moments). But it's such a spectacle that almost all of its shortcomings are forgiven.

As for the new hi-def transfer, it's sort of a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that, for the most part, this presents a very pleasing and filmic viewing experience. There are no DNR issues to report (at least none that I could detect), and film grain has been rightfully preserved. This is quite a soft-looking film by nature - the same goes for most 80s movies - but there is still a decent amount of fine detail to be spotted.

BUT, the bad news: edge enhancement. It sticks out like a sore thumb, I'm afraid, and can be very distracting in certain scenes. Just watch the early sequence where Thulsa Doom lops off Conan's mother's head. When the young Barbarian looks unbelievably at his now motherless hand, his fingers are surrounded by jarring, thick white bars.

So a little disappointing, but certainly not a deal breaker. As previously stated, it generally looks fine, and is the best the film has looked since its orginal release. I have no complaints about the revamped HD sound, however. This is Poledouris at his most thunderous/tender/epic/enchanting, I could go on.

I guess the extras do deserve a mention.
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Howard Watson on 20 Mar. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
This is a review for the steelbook blu-ray edition.
As a long fan and admirer of this film,(I first saw this in the cinema in September 1982,and have owned every version both on VHS and DVD) I can honestly say I am somewhat disappointed.
As it is a blu-ray,you would obviously expect this version to have the best picture quality,however,it does'nt.
There is a lot of grain evident,the colours are not particularly vibrant and the print used here,looks very tired.
Of course it is still cut by the BBFC,but sadly it is no improvement over the FOX DVD release.Therefore,if you already own the DVD definitive edition,stick with it.
I can safely say the UNIVERSAL release on region 1 DVD and the Korean import are both vastly superior in picture quality,although they are both in the original mono soundtrack.On top of this,they are both uncut.
If we could only have this version with the 5,1 surround soundtrack,then we'd have it all!
As regards the steelbook,at first glance it looks lovely,but upon closer inspection we notice the original Renato Casaro poster artwork is doctored.Conan's face is different and a severed head has been added to his right hand.Once again,this being a Fox release,we also do not have the original Conan lettering with the sword going through the name.
So,all in all,what promised to be so good,is sadly just another average release.
A great shame and not the release this classic movie deserves.
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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. G. Taylor on 26 Nov. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Conan The Barbarian is probably my fave film. Since 2002, this film has been released on DVD 4 times, 2 of which were Special Editions, and now this Definitive Edition. All my life I had been waiting for a uncut version, but once again its the same old, same old - I'm not sure what the previous reviewer was on about concerning some cuts 'restored' but the fact is that like the previous DVD releases, some of the 'horse fall' scenes have been cut, mostly in the final battle sequence. Its particularly poxy because, like before, if you watch the Conan Unchained documentary on Disc 2, you will see one of the cut scenes shown ! (its the scene where Conan, and Rexor on a horse, charge each other, and Conan cuts at the legs of the horse - in the film, the actual fall sequence of the horse is cut, but its in the Documentary - ludicrous). As before, the film features the extended 'directors cut' ending with the Princess reinstated (on the old VHS Pan & Scan copies, the final scene did not have the Princess and is much shorter, but all the DVD releases have the extended ending - the old VHS ending would have been an interesting extra) and also has the short Subotai and Conan remeniscing scene (between the Funeral Pyre and Battle Of The Mounds) which was in the previous version and is similar to the scene early on when Conan and Subotai talk about the gods. I'll give this release one star cos the metal tin case is beautiful ! - but if you want an uncut version, the best route is to buy the US version (Region 1) from or the French "Edition Prestige" from, which is Region 2 and has the English 5.1 soundtrack.
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