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Darren says

Milius delivers a complete vision for the character and Arnie does deliver in a role meant for him. The film is lifted by a great performance by James Earl Jones and well-realized art direction.

Tym says

Low energy, and some serious theft in the villain backstory, though Jones is great.

Ciaran says

Dream casting of great character that no one knew about.

Robert E.Howard, the father of Conan, was born during the depression and during this formative age, was brought up to respect the strength and ability needed to survive during lean, aggressive times.

A voracious reader, Howard was inspired by tales of adventure and the fantastic. He constantly sought out the works of Jack London and Lovecraft.

Unsatisfied with the standard jobs given to him during his early years, Howard pursued writing and began sending his drafts to publications like Strange Tales and eventually succeeded in selling some stories to it.

This beginning success allowed to focus on writing for a living -constructed full worlds and civilizations with fantastic elements.

Howard created the character Kull and from that sprang Conan the Barbarian. Conan embodied a fierce, physical strength and a strategic, analytical mind. The land of his birth, Cimmeria, came forth in the mythos of the Hyborian age, a post Atlantean civilization, raw and full of mysticism.

Howard would tragically take his own life by the age of 30, a victim of mental illness.

The character of Conan would continue to inspire creators and writers long past Howard’s demise. This included numerous novels in the 70s, in particular those written by Len Carpenter and Lin Carter, which saw the first use of Frank Frazetta’s hallmark depiction of Conan. This would shape the vision of the character that would span decades. Frazetta, a leading artist of the era, renowned for his fantasy paintings, brings the perfect combination of sensuality, mysticism and power.

John Milius directed and wrote the film, and much in demand screenwriter, who wrote the first draft of Apocalypse Now. He was friends with Frances Ford Coppola and George Lucas.

Milius crafted the movie with a commitment to creating a visceral, solid feeling world – casting heavyweight James Earl Jones as the authoritative Thulsa Doom. He also case Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead role, at the time a relatively unknown actor, more noted for his physique as a professional bodybuilding champion. This movie would be a cornerstone for him, starting his journey to superstardom. While perhaps not the best actor in the world, he does inhabit the role well and has the stature to pull off the vision that Frazetta had for the character.

The film stays true to Howard’s writings, bringing in the history of Cimmeria, the solidity of the Hyborian age and the proper mix of fantasy and brutality set forth by the writer.