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Conan the Barbarian

Thief Warrior Gladiator King  

Year: 1982 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

Before James Earl Jones was a lion or Darth Vader he was a snake, and before Arnie was given millions of dollars at the mere mantion of a new film he made the fantasy action film against which all subsequent fantasy films have been measured against.

The plot goes something like: Child has parents killed by nasty snake people who then cart him off to push a big wheel round and round. Years pass and child grows up to be so big that he cannot wield a sword properly and has to tone down his work-out so that he can make film. Surprising as it may seem, that child turns out to be Conan (Arnie) who is recognised as being a suitable candidate for a gladiator by some bloke who buys him for a pound of cheese and a pint of milk. Conan turns out to actually be quite good as a gladiator so gets educated by his master in the ways of the sword, the arts and, of course, women. Then being the kind and generous soul that he is, Conan's master lets him go to wreak revenge on the horrible snake people.

Off Conan goes to get revange, (on the way gets laid by a witch, finds lost swords, rescues princesses and disturbs an orgy (YES I did say ORGY!) in order to meet big bad mister snake/Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) and find true love in the form of Valeria (Sandahl Bergman).

If nothing else, this film is worth coming to see to watch Arnie battle with two other mad barbarians who use a big hammer and an axe (oo-er) and have constant smiles on their faces due to the large amounts of alcohol that was consumed during the making of the film. Apparently it was so cold the fake blood had to be mixed with vodka as an antifreeze and when the actors were meant to spit blood they "accidentally" swallowed it and had to get some more.

Anyway enjoy, I'm off to make a film where I can find any old reason to have free alcohol.

Andrew Boucher.

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Screenings of this film:

1994/1995 Spring Term (35mm)