Conan the Barbarian (1982)

Film and Plot Synopsis

Based on the novels of Robert E. Howard, Conan the Barbarian tells the story of an orphaned Cimmerian boy who is raised as a slave and trained as a pit fighter before finally being released from servitude. Once free, Conan takes up the profession of thief alongside his friends Valeria and Subotai. However, when the trio are offered a job by King Osric to recover his kidnapped and brainwashed daughter from a bizarre snake cult, Conan finally has the opportunity to achieve vengeance for his murdered parents by facing the cult leader Thulsa Doom.

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Conan: The Complete Quest (Conan the Barbarian / Conan the Destroyer) [Blu-ray]

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‘Conan the Barbarian’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Conan the Barbarian (1982)As the film begins, Conan (Jorge Sanz) is a young boy that lives in a small village with his blacksmith father (William Smith) and warrior like mother (Nadiuska). Conan’s father teaches him the “Riddle of Steel,” an aphorism on the importance of the metal to their people, the Cimmerians. One day, the Cimmerian village is attacked by a group of raiders led by Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones). Most of the Cimmerians are killed, including Conan’s mother and father. Thulsa Doom takes Conan’s father’s sword as a prize. Conan and the other surviving children are taken and sold into slavery at a large mill, known as the Wheel of Pain. Conan spends the next twenty years working on the Wheel and develops into an extremely muscular man.

An adult Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is eventually sold to a new master who trains Conan to be a gladiator. He is trained in hand to hand combat and the use of weapons. Conan wins many fights and is taken for additional training and education in the East. Ultimately, Conan’s master frees him. An emancipated Conan is soon chased by a pack of wild dogs while in the frontier. He accidentally falls into an Atlantean colonist warrior tomb, where he recovers an ancient sword. Afterwards, Conan wanders the world. He initially encounters a witch (Cassandra Gava) in a hut who attempts to seduce him, but Conan kills her before she succeeds. He also encounters and befriends Subotai (Gerry Lopez), a Hyrkanian thief and archer.

Conan follows the advice of the witch, and he and Subotai go the city of Zamora to seek out Doom. Along the way, they encounter a female warrior thief named Valeria (Sandahl Bergman). The trio decide to break into the Tower of the Serpent, the main headquarters of a cult that worships snakes, including a giant one that protects a priceless jewel called The Eye of the Serpent. They steal the Eye, but Conan and Subotai are forced to kill the giant snake to escape. After escaping the Tower, the thieves trade in their goods and begin to celebrate. Conan and Valeria have sex with each other and begin to have a relationship.

Not long after, the city guards capture the trio and bring them before King Osric (Max von Sydow). King Osric is impressed with Conan and his friends for the brazenness of their theft and asks them to rescue his daughter, Princess Yasimina (Valérie Quennessen), from the brainwashing of Thulsa Doom. King Osric offers them a great reward if they can accomplish the task. Subotai and Valeria tell Conan that they do not wish to take on the quest. However, Conan is motivated by vengeance for the deaths of his parents. Conan leaves his friends behind and sets out for Doom’s Temple of Set, also known as the Mountain of Power. Along the way, Conan encounters and befriends Akiro (Mako), the Wizard of the Mounds, who lives on a burial site for warriors and kings.

To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women. Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger)

Conan enters Doom’s Temple disguised as a priest, but he is quickly discovered and captured. He is briefly tortured before he is brought before Doom himself. The cult leader lectures Conan on the power of flesh and demonstrates his power by directing a young girl to take her own life. Conan defies Doom and fails to convert. Doom has Conan crucified on the Tree of Woe. Conan fights off death long enough for Subotai and Valeria to find him. However, Conan hovers near death and his friends seek the help of Akiro to keep Conan among the living. The wizard summons spirits to heal Conan and warns Valeria that the spirits will demand a heavy price for their services, something that Valeria is willing to pay. The spirits attempt to take Conan, but Valeria and Subotai fend them off. As a result, Conan is restored to full health.

Conan still desires to complete Osric’s quest, but this time, Subotai and Valeria agree to join him. The trio infiltrate the Temple of Set. They interrupt the cult as they engage in a cannibalistic orgy. The trio attack Doom’s cult and abduct the princess. Doom transforms into a large snake and slithers away before Conan can confront him. As the thieves ride away with the princess, Doom shoots Valeria with a stiffened snake as an arrow. Valeria is mortally wounded and dies in Conan’s arms, more than willing to pay the ultimate price for Conan’s life. Conan has her cremated on the Mounds, where Conan, Subotai, and Akiro prepare to battle Doom and his approaching forces.

Conan begs for help from his god Crom. Conan and his friends use bobby traps and the surrounding terrain to overcome overwhelming forces. They successfully kill all of Doom’s forces. During the battle, Conan is nearly killed by Doom’s lieutenant, Rexor (Ben Davidson), but Valeria reappears for a brief moment as a Valkyrie to save him. After losing his men, Doom attempts to shoot a stiffened snake at the princess, but she is saved by Subotai who blocks the shot with his shield. Doom flees and returns to his Temple. Conan recovers his father’s now broken sword from the body of one of Doom’s men.

Conan and Princess Yasimina sneak back into the Temple. Yasimina is no longer under Doom’s spell after his failed attempt to kill her. Doom is addressing the members of his cult when Conan sneaks up behind him. Doom attempts to mesmerize Conan by embracing him. Conan resists the mind control and uses his father’s broken sword to behead Doom. Their leader dead, the cultists begin to leave the Temple. Conan ponders his next move and then burns down Doom’s Temple and returns the princess to King Osric. The film ends with an older Conan sitting on his own throne, wishing for the days of adventure.

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Universal Pictures released Conan the Barbarian on May 14, 1982. John Milius directed the film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, and Max von Sydow.

User Rating: 3.05 ( 4 votes)
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