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on 20 November 2014
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on 8 June 2015
Awesome film, good value.
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on 28 March 2016
EPIC Film!!!!!
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on 31 October 2014
A classic film for swords & sorcery lovers.
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on 25 October 2010
Of the many genres of film that have come (and in some cases gone) over the years, few (with the possible exception of the Western) force you to sift through quite so many awful films to reach the few treasures as the 'Sword and Sorcery' genre. Up until the Lord of the Rings trilogy, many a far-fetched, un-thought-out plot was strung together with bad acting and poor effects and thrust upon fans of such films.

Conan the Barbarian is almost certainly the best of the Sword and Sorcery genre, and whilst that is akin to being the best bobsledder in Jamaica, it is nonetheless an excellent - if flawed in some ways - film.

It plots the early rise of Conan; orphaned at a young age when a tribe of warriors slaughter all the adults of his peaceful village and take the children into slavery, Conan, against all odds grows up to be immensely strong. Little more than an animal, he fights in the pits for his master and soon develops into a formidable combatant. Once finally free, he becomes a thief but always is determined to seek revenge for the murder of his parents.

There are many blazing battles, spectacular visuals and a few excellent lines of dialogue. The true success of the film lies in the fact that it understands its weaknesses. For example, the plot can almost slow to a crawl in places as the plot is lacking in details at points. To combat this, the narration deliberately gives the film an air of mythology, as though an old legend, passed from father to son has lost much detail through the ages resulting in the film still being captivating.

Likewise, another fault is Arnold Schwarzenegger who, at that point, was not long an immigrant to the USA and still spoke English with a heavy accent. His dialogue is less frequent but punctuated with thundering one liners such as: 'You killed my mother, you killed my father...YOU TOOK MY FATHER'S SWORD'. And Conan's prayer to Grom on the hilltop makes up for its simplicity with a forceful delivery that ranks it up with any monologue you are likely to see.

There are other highlights such as a typically menacing performance from James Earl Jones and a thundering soundtrack that all make for a very enjoyable film and a cult classic. I say cult classic not because it is not a good film but because it is such heavy viewing that you will have to appreciate (not necessarily love) the genre to love this film. Conan the Barbarian is among Arnie's best films, bettered only by the two Terminator movies and maybe one or two others.

A short note about the release of the film: It differs from the UK VHS release of the 1980s in some small details that are barely noticeable...until the end. The old UK VHS version, Thulsa Doom delivers one of the most frightening sermons in film history to full effect before being interrupted and then murdered by Conan. In this release, Conan is seen sneaking in with the daughter of King Osric and the sermon can only be heard in the background to considerably lessened effect. The final sequences also change the emphasis placed by the music with the VHS release again proving superior.

Nonetheless, it is a classic, a great film that works around its faults very well and is definitely worth a look.
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on 25 June 2007
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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on 3 September 2011
What a pity this Blu ray has been edited by the BBFC. The two main scenes that have been cut are the sex scene with the witch has been shortened, as well as the horse fall at the battle of the mounds, where subotia shots down two riders on horseback. Both these scenes are available on my American special edition DVD from 2000.

However, even although setting my current Panasonic Blu ray player language to the Netherlands this did not help get around the issue. Nonetheless, I was able to see the uncut version of the movie by playing it on my all region player - choosing region A, [North America], and it played all scenes uncut. I will need to establish from Panasonic as to whether there is a bug with the firmware, as by all accounts choosing dutch should show the uncut version on region B, [European], players.

Now I have established that if you have an ALL region blu ray player and play this film as region A, (US), then the cut scenes are no longer cut.

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on 23 November 2005
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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on 20 October 2010
You just cannot beat a good Arnie film. However old it is, he makes the besrt films - the action, storyline and tongue in cheek all make for a wonderful film. We love all his films.
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on 11 December 2013
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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