Was there ever a better casting job than whomever hired Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Robert E. Howard classic character, Conan the Barbarian?
The Cimmerian Conan searches for revenge on a cult leader (James Earl Jones) for the death of his parents and much of his village when Conan was but a young and impressionable boy. On the path to vengeance, Conan encounters battles with men and monsters as well as encounters with the world’s females, including his great love, Valeria (Sandahl Bergman).
There is an epic feel to Conan the Barbarian and it helped to launch the career of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The shots and images of the lands were beautiful and helped to infuse this with more than just a story of swords and sorcery.
Sure, Schwarzenegger has limited dialogue, but his physical performance is top notch and brings Conan to life. Truthfully, every other chance to bring Conan to the big screen has not been successful.
The score of the film is remarkable too. Basil Poledouris was brought on by his friend, director John Milius and the soundtrack makes the lack of dialogue less important. The music stands out here.
It is also weird to see James Earl Jones appear as the villainous Thulsa Doom, but he brings a certain gravitas to the film, as does Max von Sydow as King Osric.
This film has its moments and may not be the greatest film made, but it owns some of the wildest quotes around.
“Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women!”
What else can you need?