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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive Conan..
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...
Published on 18 April 2005 by the_nutopian

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Close but no cigar.
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...
Published 9 months ago by Howard Watson


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An impressive, respectful new lease on life for Conan the Barbarian, 11 Sep 2006
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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I'm rather protective of the work of Robert E. Howard, a brilliant writer who died - by his own hand - far too young, and I was quite pleased by this cinematic treatment of his famed barbarian hero. Far too often, true fantasy seems to turn into comedy once Hollywood writers get their hands on it, but Conan the Barbarian is a dark, serious film that treats Conan as a man and not some mythical figure. By no means a big-budget production, the film features an impressive cast, some really nice special effects, and a wonderful musical score. I wasn't all that sure about James Earl Jones playing the bad guy, but the man's a great actor and never strays a bit out of character as the ominous Thulsa Doom.

Life wasn't easy back in Conan's day. As a child, he saw his village razed, his father killed, and his mother beheaded before his very eyes, then suffered the life of a slave until early adulthood. Obviously a supreme worker given his natural strength, you'd think his masters would want to keep him around, but eventually he's thrown into a mediaeval fight night challenge to kill or be killed. He wins, of course, then goes on to stomp mud holes in opponent after opponent; he is so good that he is sent to the east to get the best training available - including the ability to read, yet another skill you don't normally want your potentially dangerous slave to obtain. The big mystery, though, is his master's decision to grant him his freedom. As far as I can tell, the film offers no real explanation for that decision. Now a free man, though, Conan soon picks up a sidekick in Subotai (Gerry Lopez) and a love interest in the form of female warrior Valeria (Sandahl Bergman). They all live it up as daring thieves for awhile, but fate eventually leads Conan to the formidable temple of Thulsa Doom and his serpent cult, thereby pitting our hero against the man who had taken everything from him, including his freedom, all those years ago.

Barbarians, as you know, can't sleep unless they've killed at least one person that day, so expect plenty of violence over the course of the film's two hours. Sharpened steel blades tend to cut right through human flesh, especially when it's the powerful arm of Conan wielding the sword. Along with all the hack and slash, you get at least two decapitations and a couple of unique deaths by snake (that Thulsa Doom has a few dark tricks in his arsenal). A couple of gigantic snakes also put in an appearance, but they don't even try to swallow anybody, which is a little disappointing. All of the blood is realistic and never gratuitous, yet another reason why this is such an impressive film. Arnold Schwarzenegger deserves a lot of credit himself, turning in quite an impressive performance for a relatively unknown body builder. One can only wish that more great characters from the world of fiction were given as respectful a cinematic make-over as Conan the Barbarian received in this 1982 fantasy classic.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected Treat, 25 Jun 2007
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Most things beloved of your childhood are rarely as captivating when viewed once more through adult eyes. I remember sneaking out of my bedroom late at night to watch this film, and being bowled over by its fantastical world. It inspired me to track down the original Howard short stories, and set a young boy on a path to, well, an unfashionable love of fantasy in general.

So I had some misgivings in approaching this film on DVD, especially given its lead star. What I found was a film that has survived extraordinarily well over the years, and in fact delivers as much for the adult as it did for the child. The story, whilst a condensation of Howard's writings, does well to capture the spirit of his heroic tales, leading you through some fantastical landscapes that come alive in simply stunning cinematography . The cast is solid, and Arnie is every inch the wild barbarian, all strength and instinct. The film uses special effects sparingly, and so has kept most of its imaginative power. Finally, the score by Basil Poledouris is probably one of the most fitting I have heard, and well worth buying separately on CD.

Fantasy films are rarely great works of cinema, but Conan is perhaps better appreciated now it has gained some distance from its source material and its monosyllabic star. It really is a work of art. This DVD release too is a real treat, with a great transfer and soundtrack (although why is the music in mono?). Give it a try, by Crom.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arnie's Masterpiece - understated, raw and dark, 16 Dec 2001
If you ever want to see just one action/fantasy that is both dark and enthralling then this is it.
The music is inspiring - you can feel the raw energy throughout the film.
The fight scenes are superb - and grow in sophistication with each viewing.
The plot is strong for its genre - you wouldn't expect oscar winning performances for acting, but nevertheless Arnie and James Earl Jones fulfil their roles with complete aplomb.
This film is in my all-time top 5 - at number 1!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The original "Conan" is still the best Sword & Sorcery flick, 29 Dec 2003
By 
Amazon Customer (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
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"Know, O Prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of...Hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandled feet." At least, that was what was written in "The Nemedian Chronicles," the faux ancient text referred to by Robert E. Howard in his stories about Conan the Barbarian. Conan had been a pulp fiction hero in the 1930s and the stories had been republished in the 1960s with great covers by artist Frank Frazetta, with some unfinished stories by Howard completed by L. Sprague De Camp, and Lin Carter, who also wrote some adventures to fill in the gaps in the Conan chronology. Then Marvel comics launched a comic book version, scripted by Roy Thomas and drawn by Barry Smith, with many of the stories being adapted from Howard's original stories about Conan and other sword and sorcery adventurers.
It was with that literary lineage in the realm of sword and sorcery that "Conan the Barbarian" was released in 1982, although it ended up doing more for Arnold Schwarzenegger's acting career than it did for the character he was playing, since the film spawned only one sequel, "Conan the Destroyer." Director John Milius covers the early years of Conan's career, when he was taken from his home in Cimmeria as a boy by a raiding party of Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones), and sold into slavery. Eventually he began a trained gladiator and eventually earned his freedom, where he became a thief. The script by Milius and Oliver Stone essentially created a new narrative for the film, although readers of Conan will recognize scenes and elements from to "The Thing in the Crypt", "The Elephant Tower", "Red Nails," "Queen of the Black Coast", "The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune," and "A Witch Shall Be Born."
Schwarzenegger's acting experience was rather limited at that point. Having appeared (dubbed) as Hercules in "Hercules in New York" in 1970, with the billing of Arnold Strong, Schwarzenegger had done a series of small roles in small films and television shows. However, in 1977 he appeared as himself in the documentary "Pumping Iron" and showed himself to be a charismatic spokesperson for the sport of body building. However, all Schwarzenegger was really required to do as Conan was flex his muscles and grunt a few lines. The key thing here is that he did look good. The showcase sequence of the film is when Conan and his companions, Valeria (Sandhal Bergman) and Subotai (Gerry Lopez), sneak into the stronghold of Thulsa Doom to rescue the daughter of King Osric (Max Von Sydow), who has joined the Snake Cult. With some pretty good background music by composer Basil Poledouris, the trio of thieves set up a diversion and launch a quick attack. There is a moment when Conan, his body painted with black stripes as camouflage, gets into position to begin a sword fight that simply looks great. The actual swordplay is rather limited, more slashing that actual swording, but we do get a sense of the power of Conan.
James Earl Jones seems a bit distant as the villain, but he was engaged in a weird acting experiment where Milius told him how to do line readings and he did it. In the end, it is Sandahl Bergman who surprisingly provides what little emotional impact the film exhibits. A trained dancer, Bergman's elegant and fluid movements contrast nicely with Schwarzenegger's raw power, and she has a great way of looking at him that makes it clear which one of them has the brains in the operation. More importantly, Bergman's Valerie seems totally at home in the savage world that the film creates.
"Conan the Barbarian" is not a great film, although it is arguably remains the best sword and sorcery film made to date, although clearly the competition for the honor is rather sparse. Despite the overall woodenness of the acting, it does have the virtue of taking its characters seriously without descending into camp. If anything it is the reluctance to find humor (although Conan does slug a camel in an apparent homage to "Blazing Saddles"), that keeps this 1982 film on the high road, relatively speaking. Consequently, while Conan fans might have hoped for something better, they certainly had ample reason to expect something much worse, and thus were relatively overjoyed by the end product.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conan steelbook, 11 Dec 2013
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Unless they do a complete restoration I think this is the best Conan will look. Overall the Blu-ray is pretty good but does have grain which can be heavy at times. Audio is great though with 5.1 DTS, mono track and commentary with Milius and Arnold. It also has english subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing.

The disc does have plenty of extras such as deleted scenes, Art of Steel, Conan from the vault, Conan unchained, Conan rise of a fantasy legend, special effects, Conan archives and trailers.

The steelbook case is the same style as the Fifth Element steelbook. The disc is also region free with a run time of 2:10:10. This is not a perfect release but I'm more than satisfied.

Special thanks to my editor Ian.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Conans finest 2 hours, 5 Sep 2003
By 
Peter Morrison "luxor180" (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This film inspired a whole plethora of rubbish fantasy films in the 80's, but remains a well made classic in its own right, with excellent photography, camera work, fight scenes, tight script (they even give a reason for Arnies bulging muscles) and a first rate musical score. Arnie does much better in this film than anyone had a right to expect, Bergman makes a charismatic lead (such a shame she never seemed to find her niche in Hollywood)and james Earl Jones is an excellent and literate villian.
The DVD picture is high quality, letterboxed, with good Doblby 5.1 sound. Special features are of varied use. The commentary is excrutiating, with Arnie managing to make himself appear bombastic and simple-minded, while constantly interrupting interesting points by the director, telling him "I know", when he is trying to explain things to the viewer and equally constantly saying "Exactly!" In short he makes the buyer feel glad his dialogue in the film was sparse. A few removed scenes are shown, including one where the director appears as a food vendor, but the reason they were deleted is obvious.
The photo section made excellent by the musical score played as the montage of art and photos appears on screen.
The film also features yet another alternative ending to the quest for Thulsa Doom, but the most complete to date.
This one is worth buying, just avoid the commentaries.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Form Arnie, 4 Sep 2003
By 
Dutch (Ramsgate, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Conan The Barbarian is simply one of the finest Arnie films ever made, with stirring music, excellent cinematography and a performance from the Austrian Oak that captures Conan spectacularily. But its not just Arnies film, excellent support from Sandahl Bergman, Gerry Lopez and the always watchable James Earl Jones adds to the films overall effect.
The special features are overall good, with several interesting deleted scenes including Max Von Sydow's repeated deaths, and the "Conan Unchained" documentary features interviews with all of the principal characters involved in the movie, adding real insights to the film. The commentary is a little rambling, with Arnie in particular providing few insightful comments, but its good to see the main star and director combining on a commentary (As Kurt Russell and John Carpenter do so effectively).
There are bad points here, the scene where Subotai and Conan reminisce about their childhood is a standout as Gerry Lopez forgets that he's not supposed to be from California. The final battle scene also seems a little disjointed, although it doesnt lose any of its visceral impact.
Overall this Special Edition does the film justice, and director John Milius has created a believable fantasy setting that stands up to many of todays special effects. If you like blood, guts and Arnie, this is probably the film for you!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get it uncut !, 23 Nov 2005
By 
Mr. P. G. Taylor (UK) - See all my reviews
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By the French version from Amazon.fr - its region 2 and UNCUT, so you can enjoy the whole movie and its magnificent score unbutchered ;) - five stars for that version !
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tale that grows with repeated viewing, 25 Jun 2002
By 
HLT (Wales, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I have to admit that I didn't fully appreciate this when I first saw it in the cinema in the early 80s; it looked like no more than a bit of exciting sword-and-sorcery fluff at the time. Which just goes to show how your tastes can change! This is one of the few pieces of media that I've come to appreciate *more* as I've grown older.
However... don't come looking for great acting or script. Come for the atmosphere of an ancient and mystical world that John Milius captured. Come for the fantastic sets, costumes, and action sequences. Come to see Sandahl Bergman in camo body paint, moving with dancer's grace through the shadows of Thulsa Doom's temple and killing like a demon.
Typical Arnie this ain't, and that may be why one or two of the other reviewers have been disappointed. Like Terminator, this was made before the blockbuster Arnie formula was invented: to me, that's what makes it so great.
The extras on the DVD are well worth having too, including a painfully hilarious commentary (recorded with beers close at hand, one imagines) by Milius and Arnie (Robert E Howard? Who vos he, John? :-)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu ray at last!!, 12 Dec 2013
By 
J. Powell "DA BARON!" (LEEDS . UK) - See all my reviews
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Back in the days of vhs I have always had a copy of this film in many formats i know it word for word.now at last i have it on blu ray the picture quality is brilliant! as the reviewer said before they is some iffy parts i must admit and the battle of the mounds seems to have less of the be-felling of the rider on the horse but in all fairness i have only seen one uncut version of that and it was on a pirate video back in the 80s!I will not moan its a classic film still moody and brutal its arnies best film as he doesnt say that much just a brilliant mass of muscle who chops hacks and steals and of course seeks revenge! and james earl jones is sheer brilliance as thulsa doom .
just remember if you have lived on mars and not not seen this film it was the start of a sword and sorcery spate back in the early 80s i cant say i saw a film that had props as good as this one and such a great cast too! i do remember a lot of terrible ones though, even the dreaded sequel "conan the destroyer" was appalling !!rant over
This is a brilliant upgrade for me and in a steel book case too! "bonus"
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Conan The Barbarian [Blu-ray] [1982]
Conan The Barbarian [Blu-ray] [1982] by John Milius (Blu-ray - 2011)
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